In times of user reviews, the practice of verification bombs has become a serious problem. The tactic is that many groups leave negative ratings in order to ruin the rating points of a product. Nowhere is this more obvious than on Valve's Steam Marketplace. In recent years, the company has taken steps to combat the verification bombs, which are less about evaluating a game than retaliation. Now add a new tool to the arsenal.
After Valve has evaluated the feedback from players and developers, Valve declares that it is starting to hide off-topic reviews and not include them in the overall user rating for a game. To achieve this, a bomb attack review campaign will be identified and addressed in several steps, including automated and human assessment. The first thing is to determine if a check is outside the topic:
"We define an off-topic review bomb as one in which the focus of these reviews is on a subject that we believe is not related to the likelihood that future buyers will be happy if they do buy the game, and therefore not something that should be added to the evaluation result. "
As soon as "abnormal review activity" is detected as near as possible in real time, a team of Valve employees is notified, who then investigate and decide if a bombing campaign is taking place. If so, mark the beginning and end of the attack. The review activity is performed between the review result calculations.
These reviews are hidden by default and marked as not included in the score of the game. The disadvantage, however, is that neutral or even serious positive reviews left during a bomb window are removed from the rating results. "Our data shows us that review bombs usually lead to temporary distortions. Therefore, we believe the review score is still accurate and other players will be able to find and read your review within that time frame, "says Valve.
Users can still disable the auto hide feature. In the Steam settings, an option is available to include off-topic ratings in the overall rating of a game.