Hi everyone,

We've been working on new guidelines for SteamGifts to help clarify some questions raised by the community, and to help users better understand what type of content is allowed and not allowed on the site. I'm sharing the proposed guidelines below so the community can read them over, ask questions, and provide feedback that can be taken into consideration before the new guidelines are put in place. I would like to leave this discussion open for 10 days for review, and then have the official guidelines go live with any revisions.

I imagine people will have different viewpoints on a number of guidelines, neither of which are right or wrong, so please try to be considerate and constructive when commenting. Thanks!



General

  • Users are limited to one account per person, and accounts cannot be shared.
  • Avatars need to be appropriate for all ages. If you have a NSFW Steam avatar, please change it prior to using the site.
  • If you notice a user not following our guidelines, do your best to politely explain our rules with relevant links or quotes to our guidelines when appropriate. If they do not take action or deny any wrongdoing, please submit a user report ticket so we can take action if necessary.
  • It is important giveaway creators are always given the benefit of the doubt when their giveaways appear too good to be true and, to remain respectful, you do not write comments that question the legitimacy of their giveaways.

Giveaways

Creating

  • All giveaways must be for Steam redeemable gifts or Steam redeemable keys.
  • Beta keys which do not provide unrestricted access to the full game in the future, guest passes, demos, and coupons cannot be given away.
  • Giveaways need to accurately reflect the game being given away. If the game is not available in the giveaway list, please contact support to have the game added, instead of posting the giveaway under an incorrect name.
  • When a giveaway has ended, the gift is required to be sent to the winner within one week.

Entering

  • Only enter to win games you do not already own, and do not enter to win DLC if you are missing the required base game.
  • Try to refrain from entering giveaways for packages if you already own the majority of the games contained within. The giveaway creator may request a new winner if they believe you own too many of the packaged games.
  • Respect the privacy of invite only giveaways and do not share the link with other users unless given permission by the giveaway creator. Entering an invite only giveaway through a leak from a third party may invalidate your entry.
  • If you are taking part in a puzzle, do not disclose or hint towards any information that should remain private, such as the game being given away, how the puzzle may be solved, or the URL of the giveaway.
  • We encourage users to write comments thanking the giveaway creator for their generosity, although this is not required.
  • Scripts are not allowed to be used to automatically enter into giveaways. This includes scripts that enter multiple giveaways at once, or scripts that enter giveaways while you are away.
  • An entry will be considered invalid if you enter a group restricted giveaway and the giveaway creator is able to prove you were removed from the corresponding Steam group prior to the giveaway ending.
  • Exploiting a vulnerability or bug to access a restricted giveaway may result in your entry being invalidated. For example, if a user creates a puzzle giveaway using a third-party service and they are able to demonstrate you extracted the giveaway link through a security vulnerability in their code rather than solving the puzzle.
  • If your account is suspended your giveaway entries are not eligible to be selected as a winner until the duration of your suspension has completed.

Winning

  • Won gifts must be activated on the Steam account used during registration, and they cannot be regifted, traded, sold, or removed from your Steam account after activation.
  • Allow the giveaway creator one week to send the gift. Please be patient and do not contact them during this time. If the gift is not received after one week, you may contact the giveaway creator on Steam to follow-up.
  • Winners will need to correctly mark their gift as received or not received within one week of the gift being marked as sent by the giveaway creator. It is also necessary to keep this feedback up-to-date if the status of the gift changes.
  • If you are selected as the winner of a giveaway and then your account is suspended, the giveaway creator has the option to request a new winner.

User Content

The below is a list of content that is not allowed in our community. Content consists of any material you post or make available through our site, such as discussions, links, comments, usernames, or Steam avatars.

  1. Illegal content. For example, sharing links to pirated content, or to services that assist in illegal activity, such as torrent websites.

  2. Inappropriate content. If you are posting content that may be considered NSFW (not safe for work), prefix any links or images with a NSFW tag to warn others. Do not post pornography, or explicit content, such as real life images depicting severe injury, gore, or death.

  3. Unsafe content. Products or services that are not credible or potentially dangerous, such as those that could lead to a user's Steam account being compromised, or their financial information stolen. Please do your due diligence prior to posting content or links, and if we have concerns about the safety of a product or service, we will try to remove it from our site or close the offending discussion.

  4. Personal attacks or hate speech. Threats or harassment is not allowed, neither are slurs against race, sexual orientation, or gender.

  5. Referral links. If you choose to post a link, please be sure all referral codes have been removed. For example, by changing http://www.example.com?ref=12345 to http://www.example.com. Also, do not attempt to circumvent this rule by adding referral links through intermediary processes as users try to reach their intended destination.

  6. Spam. Do not repeatedly post content to increase visibility. This also includes creating multiple discussions for content that could be more appropriately consolidated into a single discussion.

  7. Private or identifying information. Users in the community have a right to privacy. Do not post their private or identifying information without their consent. For example, their name, address, phone number, photos, or private messages.

  8. URL shortening. When posting links, make sure you are not using URL shorteners as they obscure the destination of links and make it difficult for users to know what they are clicking.

  9. Inappropriate use of comment formatting. The intended use of comment formatting is to improve the readability of your posts. An inappropriate use of formatting would be writing all of your content with headings, or using all caps for your comments.

  10. Untagged spoilers. Refer to our instructions on comment formatting for learning how to add spoilers to your content. A spoiler is content that reveals important plot elements of games, movies, tv series, or other types of fiction released in recent years.

  11. Unreasonable bumping. When bumping a discussion you should try to ensure it is in the best interest of the community. If you notice our community is not engaging with the content after it has been bumped a couple of times, then you need to stop bumping the discussion unless important new information or updates would make it appropriate to do so.

  12. Begging. Do not ask game developers or users for keys or games, unless they are offering and searching for interested parties.

  13. Trading. This site is not for trading, so do not attempt to directly trade games or other items with users in our community. If you attempt to indirectly trade or express a willingness to trade with an unusually high frequency, it will also be viewed as trading. If you would like to conduct trades, refer to our sister site, SteamTrades.

  14. Reselling keys and links to reseller stores. Do not use our site to resell keys, and do not post offers from stores which allow third parties to resell their keys or gifts. For example, do not ask others if they are interested in buying your leftover keys from a recent bundle purchase, or link to keys for sale on sites such as Kinguin, G2A, or Eneba.

  15. Collecting money, items, or games for giveaways, lotteries, or group access. For example, asking users to donate a few dollars, with the promise of giving away a valuable game once adequate funds have been raised. Or, asking users to personally send you games and items for an event. Or, requiring users to send you annual fees to participate in your Steam group.

  16. Third party giveaways that require or reward users for performing profitable actions. For example, linking to a giveaway on another service that requires or incentivizes users to click a referral link, like a Facebook page, follow a Twitter account, join a Steam group, complete a survey, sign-up for a newsletter, or make a donation.

  17. Gambling. Do not post content or links to gambling related sites, such as those to bet on the outcome of gaming matches, or those that collect money or items for a chance to win a prize.

  18. Whitelist solicitation. Do not ask or hint for other users to whitelist you, unless they are explicitly asking or searching for such users and you fulfill their requirements.


Advertising

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with, or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored. Directly naming or linking to an associated product or service will always be viewed as advertising. General references (e.g. referring to your "website", "YouTube channel", or "Steam group") may also be viewed as advertising when we believe their purpose is to bring attention to an associated product or service for publicity or sales. Below is a breakdown of when advertising is allowed in our community. Remember, the above rules regarding user content still apply. For example, we might allow you to advertise in giveaway descriptions, but that does not permit you to post referral links or link to your website with illegal content.

Giveaways

When creating a giveaway you are able to write a description. In this space you are welcome to advertise your products or services, including social media channels (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter), games, groups, curators, or other giveaways.

Discussions

Our forum allows you to create discussions for engaging in conversation with our community. In these discussions you are able to promote your SteamGifts giveaways, but only when there is a greater reason for the discussion, such as including the giveaways in part of an event, puzzle, cake day, or milestone. For category specific advertising, please refer to the below.

  1. Add-ons / Tools

    • If you are the creator of an add-on, extension, script, or tool for either Steam or SteamGifts, you can promote it here along with relevant products or services (e.g. a Twitter account where users can follow updates for your add-on).
  2. Game Showcase

    • You are invited to share your Steam game in this category when you are a game developer. You can show us your work-in-progress, let us know when your game launches on Steam, or poll our community for feedback. We encourage you to provide additional information about the game, such as a description, what you are trying to achieve, why we may find it interesting, or how your game differs from others in the same genre. You are limited to one open discussion per game. Be considerate to not repeatedly bump your content if the community is not engaging with your post.
  3. Group Recruitment

    • In this category you are allowed to promote your Steam group, corresponding group giveaways and events, and relevant products or services (e.g. a website with group information or statistics). One of the primary aspects of your group needs to be SteamGifts or gifting using our platform.
  4. User Projects

    • In this category you can show us projects you are working on. For example you could share a website you are developing, a YouTube channel you recently launched, or home renovations for your gaming / theater room. Projects do not need to be gaming related. You are limited to one open discussion per project. Each discussion should have work-in-progress or a finished product or service to show our community. Be considerate to not repeatedly bump your content if the community is not engaging with your post.

Comments

This refers to comments throughout our site, such as those contained within giveaways or discussions. You are able to advertise in your comments, but only when it is both relevant and valuable to the conversation. For example, if a user is searching for a giveaway group only available to users that have not yet won a game, and you are the owner of such a group, it would be appropriate to post a link to your Steam group. Or, if a user is searching for new strategy games, and you have a Steam curator page highlighting your recommendations from that genre, you could share a link since it would be helpful to those reading.


Support

  • All questions and concerns must be directed through the support system on our site, and we ask users not to add support members on Steam for help.
  • Due to the large number of support tickets and reports we receive, we encourage users to be patient when waiting for help. It is not necessary to bump tickets, and if your ticket is pending, it is in the queue to be reviewed by a support member.

Chat

  • The chat room is not to be used for trading.
  • Use the Steam /spoiler command when posting spoilers in the chat.
  • Follow the community guidelines, and do not post referrals, spam, inappropriate material, or ask users for gifts within the chat.


Changes based on community feedback below.

Before

Scripts are not allowed be used to automatically enter into giveaways.

After

Scripts are not allowed to be used to automatically enter into giveaways.

Reason

  • Grammar

Before

Personal attacks or hate speech. Threats, harassment, discrimination, or negative comments or slurs against race, sexual orientation, or gender are not allowed.

After

Personal attacks or hate speech. Neither threats or harassment is allowed, nor are slurs against race, sexual orientation, or gender.

Reason

  • Improved clarify. Also as pointed out, the only discrimination we will likely see is limiting access to giveaways or groups, which is integrated into the site in many ways through restrictions to regions, contributor levels, and whitelists. Therefore, it's been removed from the guideline. Negative comments towards certain groups could be viewed as too vague and broad of a guideline, so it was also removed.

Before

Trading. This site is not for trading, so do not attempt to trade games or other items with users in the community. It is acceptable to discuss the general topic of trading, but it is not allowed to use our site to facilitate actual trades.

After

Trading. This site is not for trading, so do not attempt to trade games or other items with users in the community. It is acceptable to discuss the general topic of trading, but it is not allowed to use our site to facilitate actual trades. If you would like to conduct trades, refer to our sister site, SteamTrades.

Reason

  • Added a note regarding SteamTrades as requested by users.

Before

Winners will need to correctly mark their gift as received or not received within one week of the giveaway closing. It is also necessary to keep this feedback up-to-date if the status of the gift changes.

After

Winners will need to correctly mark their gift as received or not received within one week of the gift being marked as sent by the giveaway creator. It is also necessary to keep this feedback up-to-date if the status of the gift changes.

Reason

  • Adjusted the time frame to one week after the gift was sent to provide the winner with adequate time to leave feedback.

Before (this refers to the FAQ)

If you've been unable to reach the winner of your giveaway using email and Steam after one week of your giveaway ending, and they have not yet activated or redeemed any keys or gifts you attempted to send, please contact support to request a new winner.

After

If you contacted the winner of your giveaway on email and Steam over one week ago, and they have not yet responded or redeemed any keys or gifts you attempted to send, please contact support to request a new winner.

Reason

  • Technically, in the past a giveaway creator could first contact their winner one week after their giveaway ended and try to immediately request a new winner. The change means they need to allow the winner one week to respond after making a reasonable effort to contact them.

Added

Unreasonable Bumping. When bumping a discussion you should try to ensure it is in the best interest of the community. If you notice our community is not engaging with the content after it has been bumped a couple of times, then you need to stop bumping the discussion unless important new information or updates would make it appropriate to do so.

Reason

  • Trying to help users understand when it's appropriate to bump discussions. In short, if a discussion is being repeatedly bumped and we don't feel the community is finding the content interesting (i.e. we're not seeing comments or activity), we'll see future bumps as being unreasonable.

Before

If posting spoilers in chat, include a spoiler warning before and after your message to warn users.

After

Use the Steam /spoiler command when posting spoilers in the chat.

Reason

  • The /spoiler command is a new addition to Steam chat and should be reflected in the guidelines now.

Before

Inappropriate content. Do not post pornography and other material that may be inappropriate for a general audience. If you are posting anything that may be considered NSFW (not safe for work), please prefix any links or images with a NSFW tag to warn others.

After

Inappropriate content. If you are posting content that may be considered NSFW (not safe for work), prefix any links or images with a NSFW tag to warn others. Do not post pornography, or explicit content, such as real life images depicting severe injury, gore, or death.

Reason

  • There was some prior confusion about whether pornography was allowed when tagged as NSFW. This change makes it more clear that it's never allowed. The previous guideline also mentioned that "other material that may be inappropriate for a general audience" was not allowed, but NSFW content was allowed when appropriately tagged, which was confusing because those two categories frequently overlap. The change makes it more clear that general NSFW content is allowed when tagged, while more explicit imagery or links are not.

Before

Giveaways restricted to Steam groups can only be advertised in giveaway descriptions, the "Group Recruitment" discussion for the group, or in the comment section of other giveaways for the group. Whitelist restricted giveaways can only be advertised in giveaway descriptions corresponding to the whitelist, the "Group Recruitment" discussion for the whitelist, or in the comment section of other giveaways for the whitelist.

After

Giveaways restricted to Steam groups or whitelists can only be advertised in giveaway descriptions, their corresponding "Group Recruitment" discussions, or in the comment section for other giveaways available to the group or whitelist.

Reason

  • Update so group and whitelist giveaways are treated equally, since a giveaway can combine the two options, and having separate rules would cause confusion about where a giveaway is allowed to be advertised.

Added

Private or Identifying Information. Users in the community have a right to privacy. Do not post their private or identifying information without their consent. For example, their name, address, phone number, photos, or private messages.

Reason

  • We do not want users to search out and identify individuals in the community which could result in harassment.

Removed

Community giveaways available to everyone or invite only giveaways can be advertised anywhere on our site. Since giveaways open to everyone are displayed on our homepage, it is not necessary to create a discussion to advertise them, so please only do so when there is a greater reason for the discussion, such as including the giveaways in part of an event, cake day, or milestone. Giveaways restricted to Steam groups or whitelists can only be advertised in giveaway descriptions, their corresponding "Group Recruitment" discussions, or in the comment section for other giveaways available to the group or whitelist.

Reason

  • More flexibility for sharing group and whitelist giveaway links throughout the site.

Added

You are able to create discussions to promote your invite only giveaways. You can also promote other types of community giveaways, including those which are whitelist or group restricted, when there is a greater reason for the discussion, such as including the giveaways in part of an event, puzzle, cake day, or milestone.

Reason

  • Prevents discussions that are just straightforward giveaway links, and requires more of a reason for them to exist.

Removed

This content can be monetized, but there cannot be any content blocks preventing users from freely reaching their destination. For example, if you are linking to your website in a giveaway description, that website could contain banner advertisements, but it cannot require users to sign-up for a newsletter before they are able to reach the content. Or, if you are linking to a relevant YouTube video you have created, your YouTube channel could reference a Patreon, but the video itself cannot be behind a paywall.

Reason

  • Trying to shrink the advertising section, and this part feels unnecessary.

Added

Content consists of any material you post or make available through our site, such as discussions, links, comments, usernames, or Steam avatars.

Reason

  • Usernames and avatars should follow the content guidelines.

Before

Use the appropriate avenues for support. Submit a ticket with a user report if you believe a user is not following the rules or is causing an issue. This will allow support to resolve the situation, rather than bringing public attention to their behavior which could result in unnecessary arguments between users.

After

If you notice a user not following our guidelines, do your best to politely explain our rules with relevant links or quotes to our guidelines when appropriate. If they do not take action or deny any wrongdoing, please submit a user report ticket so we can take action if necessary.

Reason

  • We frequently have users explain rules to new users to help them out, so we shouldn't discourage it.

Removed

When you disagree with a user in the community, do your best to explain your viewpoint rather than attacking the individual.

Reason

  • Seems unnecessary.

Added

It is important giveaway creators are always given the benefit of the doubt when giveaways appear too good to be true and, to remain respectful, you do not write comments to question the legitimacy of their giveaways.

Reason

  • Users shouldn't comment "fake" in giveaways, because they've been wrong numerous times in the past.

Removed

Paid add-ons, extensions, or tools for Steam or SteamGifts. You may be able to advertise add-ons, extensions, or tools for Steam or SteamGifts, based on the below advertising guidelines. However, they must always be free for users, and not require a payment for use.

Donations. Do not ask for donations directly on our site. For example, linking to your Patreon in your giveaway descriptions, creating a discussion with a reference to your PayPal, or sharing a GoFundMe to raise money for a family member or friend.

Reason

  • I think I'll leave these to fall under the final advertising guidelines we decide on. It also seemed a bit strange to allow users to advertise paid products or services in giveaway descriptions, but not paid Steam add-ons, which would likely be more relevant and interesting to the community.

Before

Community events or third party giveaways that require or reward users for performing an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit. For example, linking to a giveaway on another service that requires or incentivizes users to click a referral link, like a Facebook page, follow a Twitter account, join a Steam group, complete a survey, sign-up for a newsletter, or make a donation. Or, running an event that challenges users to collect achievements for a game you're associated with (e.g. you're the developer, publisher, or promoter of the game), an event that asks users to promote your product or service on social media, or an event where users need to write a review on Steam for your game.

After

Third party giveaways that require or reward users for performing profitable actions. For example, linking to a giveaway on another service that requires or incentivizes users to click a referral link, like a Facebook page, follow a Twitter account, join a Steam group, complete a survey, sign-up for a newsletter, or make a donation.

Reason

Rethinking this section a bit. Similar to the above, the community events aspect might be better covered in revised advertising guidelines.


Before

Trading. This site is not for trading, so do not attempt to trade games or other items with users in the community. It is acceptable to discuss the general topic of trading, but it is not allowed to use our site to facilitate actual trades. If you would like to conduct trades, refer to our sister site, SteamTrades.

After

Trading. This site is not for trading, so do not attempt to directly trade games or other items with users in our community. If you attempt to indirectly trade or express a willingness to trade with an unusually high frequency, it will also be viewed as trading. If you would like to conduct trades, refer to our sister site, SteamTrades.

Reason

The update more clearly defines what we mean by trading.


Before

You cannot ask users to perform any special action in order for their entry to be considered valid, such as liking a Facebook page, or following a Twitter account.

After

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will always be considered valid. Use the available group or whitelist options if you would like to add restrictions to your giveaway, or create an invite only giveaway and distribute the link either manually or with the help of third party tools to those that meet your requirements.

Reason

  • Trying to clarify that users cannot invalidate giveaway entries (e.g. if you didn't write a poem in the giveaway comments, your entry will be invalid and I'll select a new winner), but users can have restrictions for distributing giveaway links (e.g. write a poem and I'll invite you to my giveaway).

Before

Whitelist recruitment. Do not ask or hint for other users to whitelist you.

After

Whitelist solicitation. Do not ask or hint for other users to whitelist you, unless they are explicitly asking or searching for such users and you fulfill their requirements.

Reason

  • Small changes to hopefully avoid confusion.

Removed

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will always be considered valid. Use the available group or whitelist options if you would like to add restrictions to your giveaway, or create an invite only giveaway and distribute the link either manually or with the help of third party tools to those that meet your requirements.

Reason

  • Causes confusion because it says an entry is always valid, but we have a variety of reasons where we allow the creator to request a new winner.

Before

Respect the privacy of invite only giveaways, and if you are invited to a private giveaway, do not share the link with other users unless given permission by the giveaway creator.

After

Respect the privacy of invite only giveaways and do not share the link with other users unless given permission by the giveaway creator. Entering an invite only giveaway through a leak from a third party may invalidate your entry.

Reason

  • Added a note that joining an invite only giveaway through a leak may cause your entry to be invalid.

Added

An entry will be considered invalid if you enter a group restricted giveaway and the giveaway creator is able to prove you were removed from the corresponding Steam group prior to the giveaway ending.


Before

If you are taking part in a puzzle, do not leak or hint towards any information that is intended to remain private, such as the game being given away, or the URL of the giveaway.

After

If you are taking part in a puzzle, do not disclose or hint towards any information that should remain private, such as the game being given away, how the puzzle may be solved, or the URL of the giveaway.

Reason

  • Minor update.

Added

Exploiting a vulnerability or bug to access a restricted giveaway may result in your entry being invalidated. For example, if a user creates a puzzle giveaway using a third-party service and they are able to demonstrate you extracted the giveaway link through a security vulnerability in their code rather than solving the puzzle.


Before

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with, or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored.

After

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with, or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored. Directly naming or linking to an associated product or service will always be viewed as advertising. General references (e.g. referring to your "website", "YouTube channel", or "Steam group") may also be viewed as advertising when we believe their purpose is to bring attention to an associated product or service for publicity or sales.

Reason

  • Tried to remove some uncertainty around the definition so everyone is on the same page.
5 months ago*

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SGTools allows to limit participants to members already having the game on their wishlist. I have never used this option and I'm not aware of ever being able to enter such a GA, but in general this is fine with me.

I'm not sure, however, how it is treated right now, and if it does need the additional clarification, if the GA creator is associated with the game in question, and makes the GAs to promote it through SG. In my opinion, even if the requirement is to have the game on wishlist before the GA has started, it still is a promotional inducement and somehow conflicts with the current rule, that: "When posting links or content, that content should not force users, encourage users through reward, or primarily exist as a traffic source for users to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit." This general rule, allowing Moderators to deal with such borderline and uncommon issues seems to have disappeared from the proposed new guidelines... maybe it should be reinstated.

3 months ago
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if the GA creator is associated with the game in question, and makes the GAs to promote it through SG

The new guidelines above address this explicitly and allow it (emphasis mine):

Associated

When you are associated with the content you are advertising, you may still be able to share it, but only when it is explicitly allowed below.

Giveaways

When creating a giveaway you are able to write a description. In this space you are welcome to advertise your social media channels (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter), Steam games, Steam groups, Steam curators, SteamGifts giveaways, products, or services.

3 months ago
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I think, that you are missing my point here. I do not object to advertising, but in some cases I see it as a hidden statement "add this game to your wishlist, so possibly you would be able to participate in my next GA with it".

3 months ago
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in some cases I see it as a hidden statement "add this game to your wishlist, so possibly you would be able to participate in my next GA with it".

It sounds like you have a concern about allowing giveaways that promote a game, promote wishlisting it, and promotion of entering more giveaways for the same game - Whether direct or indirect - Or maybe just the GA promotion bit?. I interpret the new guideline to already allow all that:

In this space you are welcome to advertise your...Steam games...SteamGifts giveaways, products, or services.

So do you agree with allowing all that, or do you disagree?

3 months ago
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I do not have a problem with GAs advertising the game (like saying: Please, wishlist it).
I would find it unacceptable for a GA to be posted like: Wishlist the game and I will send you the link to this private GA.
The case, that my initial post is about, IMO lies between those 2, and the area seems pretty gray to me. I would rather prefer it to be forbidden, but first of all I would like it clarified.

3 months ago
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the area seems pretty gray to me

I've tried to lay out how the new guidelines above indicate that all advertising of games is acceptable in and using SG. Therefore all your scenarios are not a grey area for the new guidelines as written, and are allowed - Against your preference.

I wanted to help understand this because I support your preference: I think it may be excessive dev/marketing manipulation of Steam to have such a pre-condition to an invite only giveaway.

So given your preference, it would seem that we really want is an additional guideline that is a more specific version of a current/prior guideline:

When posting links or content, that content should not force users, encourage users through reward, or primarily exist as a traffic source for users to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit

Perhaps what we'd want is something like this under the new guidelines User Content section?:

Content should not force users to wishlist or purchase any item in order to access an invite-only giveaway.

3 months ago
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Sorry for the late answer, but I had some other stuff on my head, and I really had to think this issue over.

The old (still current) rule

(...) content should not force users, (or) encourage users through reward (...) to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit. Such actions include but are not limited to clicking a referral link, liking a Facebook page, following a Twitter account, joining a Steam group, completing a survey, or making a donation. (...)

seems so fundamental to me, that I've totally missed the fact, that it's not included in the proposed guidelines.

I strongly feel, that SG should not be a part in the sad and very common practice of inflating different stats by offering rewards.

I think, that practically all of us would agree, that it would be totally unacceptable to create a giveaway with a following condition:

By entering this GA you agree to write on Steam a positive review of this game, if you are a winner of this GA, or if you acquire this game later from a different source. Anyone not fulfilling this obligation will be blacklisted by me and unable to access my further promotional GAs.

That would be an extreme case, but really, it's just a matter of degree, not merit, if we allow users being "encouraged through rewards" to inflate Steam, YT, FB, Twitch or curator stats. And it seems to me, that all those actions under the proposed guidelines can be set as requirements of GA participation, if the creator decides to distribute the link manually.

I see a principal difference between advertisement (a suggestion to take an action) and a tie-in/bundled offer requiring participant to take an action benefiting GA's creator in any way. The first of those I have no problem with, the second being totally unacceptable for me.

Seeing a possibility to abuse the system in many ways, I do think that a much longer and more descriptive point should be included, much like in the current guidelines:

Content should not force or encourage users through reward to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit. Such actions include but are not limited to clicking a referral link, liking a Facebook page, following a Twitter account, completing a survey, or making a donation. Users may however reference their group giveaways, when posting in the Group Recruitment category of our forum, if other requirements are met. Users may also create giveaways restricted to those, that have already wishlisted the game, providing that they are not involved in development, selling or promoting of the game.

Otherwise we will be leaving a loophole, through which some really nasty stuff can flood us. Or am I still missing something? And, btw, thanks for your patience with me throughout this conversation ;).

3 months ago*
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Or am I still missing something?

Well your proposed new point definitely isn't missing anything, but it is three times longer than the original guideline and bans promotion of stuff like Steam Groups and Curators. Those are far more harmless than requiring Steam game wishlisting or purchases as referenced in your prior comment.

So focusing in on the "Wishlist the game and I will send you the link to this private GA" scenario, I think this shorter new guideline would address it:

Access to giveaways cannot require a user to provide commercial or monetary benefit to the giveaway creator. This includes requiring game wishlisting, following, and purchasing.

To ban "promotional" benefit as current guidelines do would prevent promotion of anything, period, which I think goes way further than you intend and further than what I prefer.

3 months ago
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To ban "promotional" benefit as current guidelines do would prevent promotion of anything, period, which I think goes way further than you intend and further than what I prefer.

In my understanding "should not force or encourage users through reward to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit" does not prevent people from advertising anything, as long as they just advertise, and do not offer rewards based on reaction to this advertisements. For me the key is "perform the action" as opposite to "see the advertisement and react to it in whichever way you want". If however by "promotion" you don't understand just advertisement, but also the right to require joining, following, liking or watching stuff to be able to participate in GAs (because we are taking mostly about GAs here, not much more here that could "force or encourage through rewards"), then I think, it should not be allowed.

"Perform an action" is the key phrase for me here. So at the cost of leaving some areas a bit gray, I believe we could indeed go with a much shorter version:

Access to giveaways cannot require a user to perform any actions for commercial or monetary benefit to the giveaway creator. Such actions include but are not limited to clicking a referral link, liking a Facebook page,requiring game wishlisting, following, or purchasing.

I personally would like the issue of wishlisting to be clarified in the new guidelines, but at this point it's obviously a secondary point in our discussion.

I think, however the right to refer to their group GAs in Group recruitment (and also in GA descriptions) should be specifically mentioned either in this point or amended to *"Promoting your Steam group can only be done in the "Group Recruitment" category. One of the primary components of your group needs to be SteamGifts, or gifting using our platform." - otherwise it could be argued, that growing Steam Group may provide it's owner with monetary benefits (free games from Curator Connect) and any advertisement of group giveaways (as requiring action of joining the group) is not allowed, which indeed is not my intention.

Currently group GAs ore often advertised within open GAs, and I see no problem with this, so it seems that to include advertisement of those in both GA descriptions and in Group Recruitment discussions, it would be the best to mention those exceptions within this rule.

So, leaving aside the issue of wishlisting clarification, ATM I would see as the best option the following wording:

Access to giveaways cannot require a user to perform any actions for commercial or monetary benefit to the giveaway creator. Such actions include but are not limited to clicking a referral link, liking a Facebook page,requiring game wishlisting or following. Users may however reference their group giveaways, when posting in the Group Recruitment category of our forum, and advertise them in their giveaway descriptions.

Still more than twice as long as yours, but I don't see, how to make it shorter, unless we want to leave the issue of group GAs hanging in the air.

EDIT:
Well, I guess, we could also cut on legalese and remove "but are not limited to".

3 months ago*
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There are two things to consider here. One thing is a "filter" for giveaways on external sites as SGTools works now. The other thing is the section that you cited from the current rules:

"When posting links or content, that content should not force users, encourage users through reward, or primarily exist as a traffic source for users to perform an action for promotional, commercial, or monetary benefit."

  1. SGTools is an external site that allows access to private giveaways based on information on public profiles (Steam and SG).
  2. the section you cited was directed at clearly monetizing/promotional giveaways on other sites as for example gleam(dot)io

So this rule in its basic intention is still included in the new guidelines in chapter "User Content" under point 16:

Third party giveaways that require or reward users for performing profitable actions. For example, linking to a giveaway on another service that requires or incentivizes users to click a referral link, like a Facebook page, follow a Twitter account, join a Steam group, complete a survey, sign-up for a newsletter, or make a donation.

From my point of view having a game on the Steam wishlist or adding it there cannot be considered as an "profitable action", therefore this rule set on SGTools would not breach any rules from SG, neither can I remember that this point ever was a big point of concern. (Rather the usage of SGTools at all was discussed vividly.)

To sum it up, it all boils down to the question: Does someone profit directly if a certain game is on another persons wishlist, and is it therefore immoral to reward such an action?
I believe not, but other people certainly can have different views.

3 months ago
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+1

3 months ago
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Discussions

The rules for discussions are a little more complex than giveaways, so please carefully refer to the below when writing your discussion descriptions.

  • Advertising Steam games, Steam curators, or social media channels is not allowed.

I still think this point is fairly unclear and bound to cause misunderstandings and troubles.

Let's say I have a Youtube channel called "PartyCentral" about party games.

It is clear, that you're not allowed to post a discussion aka "Look everybody, what a cool youtoube channel I have! Check out PartyCentral!"

It is not clear though if you're also not allowed to mention the said content "I'm happy because of a new job, a new house, a new baby and the fact that my youtube channel PartyCentral just hit 300'000 subscribers."
If this is not allowed, it should be clarified, that any naming and linking of such content is considered advertising.
(Or maybe if it's allowed to mention it, without linking to it, this as well should be said explicitly)

If this should be the case, there is still the question, if you're allowed to mention such content without naming and linking it, as in this example: "I'm happy because of a new job, a new house, a new baby and the fact that a youtube channel I have just hit 300'000 subscribers."
If even this is forbidden, it should be clarified, that any mentioning of such content with or without naming and/or linking it is considered forbidden advertising.

2 months ago
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The advertising section of the proposed guidelines has been rewritten for clarity and to take into consideration new discussion categories and flexibility for certain types of advertising. I believe the guidelines are ready to go live at this time, but I'll wait a couple of more days for final feedback from the community.


Advertising

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with, or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored. Below is a breakdown of when advertising is allowed in our community. Remember, the above rules regarding user content still apply. For example, we might allow you to advertise in giveaway descriptions, but that does not permit you to post referral links or link to your website with illegal content.

Giveaways

When creating a giveaway you are able to write a description. In this space you are welcome to advertise your products or services, including social media channels (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter), games, groups, curators, or other giveaways.

Discussions

Our forum allows you to create discussions for engaging in conversation with our community. In these discussions you are able to promote your SteamGifts giveaways, but only when there is a greater reason for the discussion, such as including the giveaways in part of an event, puzzle, cake day, or milestone. For category specific advertising, please refer to the below.

  1. Add-ons / Tools

    • If you are the creator of an add-on, extension, script, or tool for either Steam or SteamGifts, you can promote it here along with relevant products or services (e.g. a Twitter account where users can follow updates for your add-on).
  2. Game Showcase

    • You are invited to share your Steam game in this category when you are a game developer. You can show us your work-in-progress, let us know when your game launches on Steam, inform us of a promotion taking place for your game, or poll our community for feedback. We encourage you to provide additional information about the game, such as a description, what you are trying to achieve, why we may find it interesting, or how your game differs from others in the same genre. You are limited to one open discussion per game. Be considerate to not repeatedly bump your content if the community is not engaging with your post.
  3. Group Recruitment

    • In this category you are allowed to promote your Steam group, corresponding group giveaways and events, and relevant products or services (e.g. a website with group information or statistics). One of the primary aspects of your group needs to be SteamGifts or gifting using our platform.
  4. User Projects

    • In this category you can show us projects you are working on. For example you could share a website you are developing, a YouTube channel you recently launched, or home renovations for your gaming / theater room. Projects do not need to be gaming related. You are limited to one open discussion per project. Each discussion should have work-in-progress or a finished product or service to show our community. Be considerate to not repeatedly bump your content if the community is not engaging with your post.

Comments

This refers to comments throughout our site, such as those contained within giveaways or discussions. You are able to advertise in your comments, but only when it is both relevant and valuable to the conversation. For example, if a user is searching for a giveaway group only available to users that have not yet won a game, and you are the owner of such a group, it would be appropriate to post a link to your Steam group. Or, if a user is searching for new strategy games, and you have a Steam curator page highlighting your recommendations from that genre, you could share a link since it would be helpful to those reading.

1 month ago*
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You are invited to share your Steam game in this category when you are a game developer. You can show us your work-in-progress, let us know when your game launches on Steam, inform us of a promotion taking place for your game, or poll our community for feedback.

Do we want to have game showcase section filled with deals? There is nothing that prevents user who released 10 asset flips from making 10 threads, to inform that they discounted them on Steam (one thread per game, no limit how many threads can user have active in this category).

I think promotions should stay in deals, and focus on bigger sales / bundles.

1 month ago
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non-category specific discussion creation slots would be interesting, for max simultaneous open topics
base=2 (or level) , +1 per 2 currently closed, -1 opened/reopened

1 month ago
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It could be problematic for deal section for example, as most active users have hundreds (or at least dozens) of active discussions. Could be also problematic when making puzzles.

Now we can see all discussions created by certain user. So I'd be more in favor of having limit in rules (and support that can interfere when we see someone creates too many). Than automatic system that can make live of many harder.

1 month ago
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i see, so, you've stooped to using facts and logic to thwart my evil machinations then 😁

1 month ago
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:blobevil:

1 month ago
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You're probably right. I was thinking promotions would be something more interesting than typical sales, but they're likely not suited well for the category, so I pulled that line from the guidelines. Keep in mind developers could not promote their own sales in the "Deals" section because it would be advertising. I assume if the deal is compelling enough, it would be posted by someone not affiliated with the game.

1 month ago
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Dear cg
Thanks for the update. I think it's a good idea, to have a "user projects" category. That should help sort things out a lot.
But still it is not clear how you want to define advertising in other categories. The rule says "Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with...". The problem I see, is that it's up to interpretation (and therefore guaranteed a source of trouble) what is considered "promoting" and what not.
In my eyes, just writing that one has a specific project or even just mentioning that one has a project (without naming it) isn't necessaraly a promotion. (See what I wrote here If so, there should be a definiton of promoting (i.e. linking to the project or the project thread = promoting) or at least a clarification what isn't considered a promotion (i.e. saying that you have a certain project).
Of course, you may also bann these kind of mentionings all together, but then I ask you to clarify this in the guidelines and really write "Advertising is when you are promoting or mentioning products or services you are associated with...".

1 month ago
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Change to:

Advertising is when you are writing about products or services you are associated with(...)

Would solve this dilemma.

We will not have hard ban on using word "trading" as well. But if you write under every 2nd thread that there are games you like from this bundle, and are willing to trade for it on banter - it will be considered as trading:

If you attempt to indirectly trade or express a willingness to trade with an unusually high frequency, it will also be viewed as trading.

Or we could just keep all projects, social media etc in user-projects now and not mention them in other areas by default. If you hit 500k followers on yt you will be more than welcome to write about it in this new section, no need to poke this tipic in off topic or general.

But it's just how I look at this. It all depends how final guidelines will look like, and any explanations given by cg.

1 month ago
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Thanks for your reply. I woulf find the "keep all mentioning of your projects" a very harsh guideline, but it would be far better than the lack of clarity we have right now. And strongly recommend to really have the guidelines clearly phrased without the need of cg to give further explanations (at least in this area). It's frustrating if you run into trouble, because the rules are unclear even though you read them and want to act according to the guidelines (like it happened to me).

1 month ago*
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It's always going to be up to interpretation and the staff will need to use their best judgement to determine if a user is trying to promote their product or service. If we try to place a precise definition on advertising then users will simply find a way to abuse it. For example, let's take one of your definitions, where we define advertising as naming or linking to a project, but simple references to the existence of a project is allowed. Now, two people post to the site.

Does anyone have recommendations for a drone under $200? What about a DJI Tello? I shoot a lot of low light video for my YouTube channel so it would need to be able to handle filming during twilight hours. Any help would be appreciated!

Is this advertising? Our definition above says it's not, and I think most would agree. What about user number two?

Everyone go join my new Steam group, "S.Gifts", I posted a Cyberpunk giveaway... http://www.steamcommunity.com/gid/103582791432125620

Ok, that one is easy. Everyone agrees it's advertising, our definition says it's advertising, so we can close that discussion. But wait, that same user posts a new discussion after the first is closed...

Does anyone else feel tired because it's so dark in the winter? Or maybe I'm just tired because I've been busy setting up a new Steam group and posting Cyberpunk giveaways to it!!! One of the giveaways only has 10 entries and I'll be choosing the winners soon!

They didn't name the group. They didn't link to the group. Similar to the first person, they just referenced it. The user could make those discussions all day long and since we clearly defined that as acceptable advertising, how can those discussions be closed?

Language is complex. It would be great to have a nice simple rule that can correctly categorize every post as acceptable or unacceptable advertising, but I don't think it's possible.

3 weeks ago*
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Dear cg
Thanks for taking the time to answer me. I agree with you, that language is complex. Still I think there needs to be some kinde of clearer guideline. Otherwise even if you want to be a good user, following the rules and contributing to the community you can be brutally closed down for not following the rule according to the much harsher interpretation of a mod (as it happened to me).
As for your examples: Number 1 is not advertising as long as he's not lying and it is some kind of guerilla tactics marketing. But then he would be associated so case would be clear to. Number 2 is clear as well. And as of number 3, I think it is clear as well, because the sole purpose of the discussion is to advertise the group and make people join it, so it still fulfils the "promoting" aspect of the rule clearly.
As it is, mods can shut down a discussion if only say "I'm so tired because I was working on a new youtube project the whole evening. Guess I should go to bed, but you know what? Better put on a GA up first for you all. [...]".
I think it would make the page poorer, if such things aren't possible anymore, because you don't know if you violate the rules by it and mods can close your thread down for it. And I experienced it first hand: It's not nice, if you're not allowed to even speak about things you care about. But it's much worse and heavily frustrating, if you get in conflict with a mod for a unclear rule, even though you're a user who want's to respect the rules.
I would suggest to at least clarify the word promotion with "Promoting means that you write with the intent of make people buy/use your product." This is still a rubber-paragraph but at least it would make the borders a little bit clearer.

PS: As far as I see it, you now have a ruling (or at least some of the mods do) where any mentioning at all is strictly banned. If this is the way "promoting" is understand then it makes sense being reflected in the guidelines. If this is not the way it is meant, then I would be glad to know that and to know, where exactly you draw the line.

3 weeks ago*
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If you would like, I can try to define promoting in the guideline. It's more of a generic definition of the word, but maybe it'll help people realize all references to a project are not automatically viewed as advertising.

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with (i.e. bringing attention to a product or service for publicity or sales), or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored.

3 weeks ago
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So do I understand you right, that you don't plan to generally forbid any mentioning of a reference? Because this is what happened to me and apart from the whole question of the guidelines in general, I also would like to have certainty for myself on how to act in the future.
Is it allowed then, to mention, having a curator as long as it isn't promoting it? When would you personally draw the line?
(Maybe it would help, to take my case as a example. I wrote a thread where I listed some thinks I was happy about one of which was that my little curator already had more than 300 followers. Would this be advertising in your opinion? If yes, why so and when would it be considered ok in your eyes?)

Maybe it would help if you clarify the line a bit more, i.e. by adding: "References to your product are not considered advertising only they are not the core message of a posting and if there is a logical connection to the discussion." (If this is the way it is thought to go. If the border to "advertising" is meant to be stricter, then it of course should be drawn tighter accordingly)

3 weeks ago
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That's right, there's no rule against all references. How does this definition sound?

Advertising is when you are promoting products or services you are associated with, or when you are posting content that is paid or sponsored. Directly naming or linking to an associated product or service will always be viewed as advertising. General references (e.g. referring to your "website", "YouTube channel", or "Steam group") may also be viewed as advertising when we believe their purpose is to bring attention to an associated product or service for publicity or sales.

Now, to answer your example, let's take the below...

I'm happy because of a new job, a new house, a new baby and the fact that my YouTube channel just reached 500,000 subscribers.

This would be a general reference to the channel. According to the definition above, we need to decide whether you're mentioning the YouTube channel to bring in more subscribers, or whether you're only referencing it because it's a reason for being happy and there are no intentions to attract more viewers to the channel with your post. This is where we need to use our best judgement.

Personally, I would give you the benefit of the doubt and say it's acceptable, assuming you don't have a history of finding creative ways to reference your YouTube channel, which would lead me to believe the post is not genuine.

1 week ago
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Dear cg
Thank you so much, for all your time and effort. And I think this is a pretty close to perfect definition and it definitely would bring much, much clarification.
And of course there will always be some kind of interpretation from the moderators, but I think this way there is a much bigger common ground on which one can discuss this thing (i.e. if I would still be closed down for it, why do I make the impression to just find a creative way to bypass the rules). And of course where people need to judge, there will always be wrong judgements. There is no way of preventing this, but with such a definition, it makes it much less likely for people reading and upholding the rules, to violate them by accident or by clashing into a total different understanding of it.

Thank you very much for having taken my opinion into consideration and working this out!

5 days ago
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If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will always be considered valid. Use the available group or whitelist options if you would like to add restrictions to your giveaway, or create an invite only giveaway and distribute the link either manually or with the help of third party tools to those that meet your requirements.

If a user has access to your giveaway (...) their entry will always be considered valid.

I think it should be phrased differently, as users may get link without creator's approval and argue their entry is legitimate.

For example: creator makes game for event, and for beating it user gets link to private giveaway (as a pop up message). But someone breaks game code to obtain link without completing event. They did access giveaway in a way not wanted by the creator, but it looks like nothing prevents them from entering giveaway.

Or user may have access to group giveaway, be kicked (but not remove their entries) and win. In this situation their entry is no longer valid. But this point makes it look like they are still rightful winner.

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will always be considered valid. Use the available group or whitelist options if you would like to add restrictions to your giveaway, or create an invite only giveaway and distribute the link either manually or with the help of third party tools to those that meet your requirements. Please remember that it's creator who decide how they want to distribute private links, so if you obtain link in a way not approved by them - your entry will not be valid. You also need to still be a group member when giveaway ends for your entry to be eligible.

1 month ago
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👍

1 month ago
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Great proposal. This way I will always be able to say that user I don't like obtained a link to my private giveaway in not approved way (and that's me who decide, so for example "user must not have MSKOTOR username" is valid rule, and yes, I that's me who decide, so I may also add rules after giveaway ended). What a great field of exploitation you propose here! Maybe then make it more simple, and write down a rule "Creator of private giveaway can ALWAYS re-roll winner, for any reason or without one". It would be at least less vague.

1 month ago
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user must not have MSKOTOR username

If you want to prevent specific user from entering your giveaway - just add them to blacklist. Making private giveaway and then "removing" users you don't like (instead of blacklisting them from the start) would be not productive to say at least. And you miss whole point.

Point is about user that get giveaway link without creator's approval when it can be proven (exactly like in case of SGtools). Creator needs to prove leak happened, and if they fail to do so - we will not take any action.

that's me who decide, so I may also add rules after giveaway ended

No, you can't. The same way that if you make private giveaway, make it public, and then add SGtools filter - all entries will be considered valid by knsys, as there is no saying who obtained link before you decided to add filter. And no one will be banned on SGtools.

Creator of private giveaway can ALWAYS re-roll winner, for any reason or without one

I like hyperbole that does not have sense. There are many conditions where re-roll will not be approved, and this whole point of guidelines is here to tackle people that try to write their own rules in the giveaway description. To make it obvious that when you enter (for example) public giveaway (and your level is high enough) - you are valid entrant of the giveaway, no matter what creator writes in the description. No writing poems, liking yt to get game, following fb, automatic permission to delete giveaway etc.

You don't try to discuss, just to ridicule points that were made by some extreme hyperbole. So I will end here.

Also it's not proposal but the way it works for years on SG. I just tried to write it down.

1 month ago*
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No, you can't.

But you said I can. Make up your mind before writing it down.

You don't try to discuss, just to ridicule points that were made by some extreme hyperbole

All this "ridicule" was possible because your "rule" is vague. The whole reason of rules update is to make them less vague, not more. So, you either define a strict rule, that could be followed and checked, or leave it like it was, allowing people to enter if they have a link.

And, to be more constructive in my critics, here is my proposal: Users need to obtain a link to private giveaways personally. Entering through leaked links, as well as leaking links to other users is prohibited (unless it was a clear intention of giveaway creator). When in doubts, giveaway creator can ask winner how the link was obtained, and if winner fails to prove they obtained it personally, they are subject to reroll

This rule is much less vague than yours, and also in situations like

For example: creator makes game for event, and for beating it user gets link to private giveaway (as a pop up message). But someone breaks game code to obtain link without completing event.

Entry will be considered valid, as it should be, because no leak were involved.

Also it's not proposal but the way it works for years on SG. I just tried to write it down.

Lies. People bruteforce puzzles for ages, even zelgh's guide has a recommendation to use brute force if anything else fails. This is for sure not a way creators of puzzles intended, and yet no one was ever suspended for that. So, you either lie, or do your work REALLY bad.

1 month ago
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Please remember that it's creator who decide how they want to distribute private links, so if you obtain link in a way not approved by them - your entry will not be valid.

I support of there is only if there is a verifiable means of restricted distribution where access of entrants can be verified or denied, such as sgtools.info giveaways. Otherwise, a creator could claim that any winner obtained the link in an unapproved way, in which case I would prefer a more candid guideline about the open discretion of invite-only creator's giveaway winners.

1 month ago
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That's how it works now. It's not enough to come and write "This giveaway was leaked, I want re-roll". You need to prove giveaway was leaked.

Only problem is how to word it in guidelines.

1 month ago
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That's how it works now.

Glad to hear it.

Only problem is how to word it in guidelines.

Challenge accepted:

An entry to an invite only giveaway can be invalid if there is proof that access to the giveaway link was restricted up front by the giveaway creator using a third party tool and there is a way to verify that the restriction was bypassed.

That should cover puzzles, tools, and other reasonable up front restrictions put on a giveaway link. "Third party tool" is the same verbiage used under the Giveaway Creation section:

create an invite only giveaway and distribute the link either manually or with the help of third party tools to those that meet your requirements.

1 month ago
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Well this one is so much better than MSKOTOR's one. Much less vague, and don't have a room for misinterpretation. I definitely like it.

1 month ago
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What if we use...

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will be considered valid. The only exception is when we are able to verify a user has gained unjustified access to your invite only giveaway by discovering it through a leaked source, or your group giveaway by no longer being a member of one the required Steam groups at the time of their entry.

1 month ago
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seems fine to me. I like bigger words, so "unjustified" has a nice ring. 😀

1 month ago
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That is much better, though there are two scenarios not covered here:

  • If a giveaway is for multiple groups and the winner is a member of more than one but gets removed from one group, the entry should be valid because their entry would have been thanks to their valid membership in another group.

  • If a giveaway is for one (or multiple groups) and a whitelist, but the winner is still a member of at least one of them, then their entry should still be valid.

So I recommend changing the last part of your revised guideline to...

...by no longer being a member of either the giveaway's specified whitelist and all specified Steam groups at the time of their entry.

EDIT: Updated suggestion

1 month ago*
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"... all Steam groups" probably should be "any Steam groups" since for me it sounds like you require a user to be in every group

1 month ago
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I have revised my suggestion to "...either the giveaway's specified whitelist and all specified Steam groups at the time of their entry."

"any Steam groups" could mean any single Steam group, which was the whole point of my concern.

We do not want an entry to be invalidated just because someone was removed by any (one) Steam group - We want to make sure that they are not a part of all Steam groups specified by the giveaway.

1 month ago
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ah ok, sry then i missunderstood, my bad

1 month ago
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I think we're all reading the same thing different ways. To make sure everyone is on the same page, if a giveaway is limited to groups A and B, then an entry is valid when a user is a member of A, B, or both groups. This means...

  1. An entry is invalid if a user is not a member of one of the required Steam groups.
  2. An entry is invalid if a user is not a member of any of the required Steam groups.
  3. An entry is invalid if a user is not a member of any one of the required Steam groups.
  4. An entry is invalid if a user is not a member of at least one of the required Steam groups.
  5. An entry is invalid if a user is not a member of all specified Steam groups.

I believe #1-4 sound correct, with #4 being the most clear. You believe only #5 sounds correct, right?

1 month ago
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To make sure everyone is on the same page, if a giveaway is limited to groups A and B, then an entry is valid when a user is a member of A, B, or both groups.

Thank you for confirming.

I believe #1-4 sound correct. You believe only #5 sounds correct, right?

/# 2-5 sound correct to me. I personally interpret #1 to indicate that an entry is only valid when a user is a member of both groups, but that may just be me. You have made the intent clear, which matters more to me than the exact wording.

EDIT: Added an escape character to number sign so it doesn't look like I'm shouting

1 month ago
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What do you think about the following...

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will be considered valid. The only exception is when we are able to verify a user has gained unjustified access to your invite only giveaway by discovering it through a leaked source, or your whitelist / Steam group giveaway by no longer being a member of either your whitelist or at least one the required Steam groups at the time of their entry.

1 month ago
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That looks great and covers it all!

1 month ago
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What if user is source of the leak themselves? They did not discover it through leaked source.

Say I make ItsTooHard puzzle, and someone is able to extract giveaway link from source code of last step of the puzzle. They are fine, as they did not "discover it through leaked link". But anyone who enter in giveaway by link provider by them is considered to be invalid entry.

At least it sounds like that to me.

1 month ago
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That would be correct. If the user discovered the link on their own, their entry would be valid.

1 month ago
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Breaking code of the game creator made for event (link is normally revealed after they beat the game), getting access to their personal files with giveaway links (finding flaw in connection to some cloud service), breaking source code of web-page made for event etc.

There are some instances where I may stumble on the solution in random way - mathematical puzzle or something that requires a lot of googling. But here creator wants users to find solution on their own. Think outside of the box. And leave loose hints. If I have question in ITH puzzle "Yes or no", no hints are given and answer is "maybe" - I need to guess as long as I find answer randomly.

But in the cases I write about I know what creator wants from me (beat this game they made / solve ITH puzzle / complete survey). And as I am more knowledgeable than creator, I can extract link in a way creator did not think is possible (say they may know how files in RPG Maker are secured, and how to extract all information included in a game as a plain text).

I'm just thinking of users that may be discouraged to create events, as there will be always someone with bigger knowledge in IT who can break their whole idea, go straight to the giveaway, and then publicly laugh at people who completed event in fair way (designed by creator). As it would be not against the rules to get giveaway link that way.

1 month ago*
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As it would be not against the rules to get giveaway link that way.

And that's exactly how it has to be. This is normal, you like it or not. If someone CAN access your giveaway code without help - then it's publicly available, and it's okay to enter it. If they PUBLICLY say "hey, people, don't play the game, check the source code" - it's a leak, and a violation. But it's okay to tell about it inside the giveaway (as people there already get link) or after giveaway is ended. If giveaway creators discouraged by the fact that there is someone smarter then they are - it's not a reason to punish people for being smart.

1 month ago
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If giveaway creators discouraged by the fact that there is someone smarter then they are - it's not a reason to punish people for being smart.

For me it's not being "smart", but someone who does not care about rules and other people. When you're told to not do something, and you do it anyway because you want - it clearly shows your attitude and lifestyle.

You're not smart as you found new way to steal and "outsmart" bank system. You're still a simple thief. No matter how genius your way of stealing money was.

1 month ago
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Classing "you're not wrong, you're just an asshole" situation.

1 month ago
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:dmunch:

1 month ago
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Aren't you the one who don't care about rules and trying to force your opinion here?

1 month ago
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at the time of their entry.

Is this intentional? So, if user entered open steam group, entered a giveaway, was banned from steam group for violation, and then (a few days later, when giveaway ends) wins the giveaway they entered, this is still valid entry and prize should be delivered? For some reason I thought winner have to be in steam group at the time of giveaway end to be valid.

1 month ago
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I'm on the fence about this rule. You're right, at the moment an entry is invalid if you're not a member of the corresponding Steam group when the giveaway closes. However, it's a little inconsistent, because if you remove a user from your Steam group after they enter your giveaway, their entry is invalid, but if you remove a user from your whitelist after they enter your giveaway, their entry is still valid. The proposed method means they both work the same, and they're based on the time of entry. Blacklists work the same way, and you cannot blacklist a user after they enter your giveaway to invalidate their entry.

What does everyone else think?

4 weeks ago
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This makes sense, thank you for explanation. I, personally, would be fine with this approach, as I'm not an owner on steam group.

4 weeks ago
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To follow-up on this post we're going to keep it the same as now for groups. The following changes have been made...

Discarding

If a user has access to your giveaway they are free to enter and their entry will be considered valid. The only exception is when we are able to verify a user has gained unjustified access to your invite only giveaway by discovering it through a leaked source, or your whitelist / Steam group giveaway by no longer being a member of either your whitelist or at least one the required Steam groups at the time of their entry.

This point was becoming more confusing than it needed to be, and it sounded like someone will be the rightful winner of a giveaway unless one of those two exceptions occurs. That wouldn't be true, because we have a number of acceptable reasons to request a new winner. Instead, I'm breaking up those points and revising / adding them as individual bullets.


Before

Respect the privacy of invite only giveaways, and if you are invited to a private giveaway, do not share the link with other users unless given permission by the giveaway creator.

After

Respect the privacy of invite only giveaways and do not share the link with other users unless given permission by the giveaway creator. Entering an invite only giveaway through a leak from a third party may invalidate your entry.


Added

An entry will be considered invalid if you enter a group restricted giveaway and the giveaway creator is able to prove you were removed from the corresponding Steam group prior to the giveaway ending.


Added

Exploiting a vulnerability or bug in our community or a third party to access an invite only or restricted giveaway will result in your entry being invalidated.

3 weeks ago
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Last addition is too vague, unless you are able to specify what is considered exploiting or vulnerability.

3 weeks ago
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"Exploiting a vulnerability" would be taking advantage of a weakness in security to get access to restricted giveaways. For example, you realize you can connect to the SGTools server with password "12345".

3 weeks ago
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Updated this guideline a bit and included an example...

Exploiting a vulnerability or bug to access a restricted giveaway may result in your entry being invalidated. For example, if a user creates a puzzle giveaway using a third-party service and they are able to demonstrate you extracted the giveaway link through a security vulnerability in their code rather than solving the puzzle.

3 weeks ago
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It may look straightforward for SGTools, but consider another case:
Someone posts a puzzle hosted on their own site. On the page with the site there is a link "admin panel", and when user click it - it has login pre-filled with "root", user tries password "root" and gets to the page with all the answers to questions. For me it looks more like a part of the puzzle in "crackme" style, so user may consider it a legit way to get to giveaway, and giveaway creator may consider it exploiting a vulnerability. And proposed guideline below does not help in deciding who is right in this case.
In my opinion - guidelines should not only be a rule for regular users, saying "do this, don't do that", but also should be a rule for moderators and support, unequivocally explaining in which cases users action considered a violation. It must be as straightforward as possible, not leaving much space for interpretation. And, as I already said, "Exploiting a vulnerability or bug" is too vague. "they are able to demonstrate you extracted the giveaway link through a security vulnerability in their code" is better, but since it's only an example it by definition does not cover all cases, so those cases will be up for interpretation, and this is bad.

3 weeks ago
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user tries password "root" and gets to the page with all the answers to questions

Then they input questions into the puzzle, solve it and are registered by the creator as valid entry. Remember that creator needs to prove someone entered in "wrong way". If they cannot - re-roll will not be approved.

If they realize their mistake - they can close GA and puzzle, fix it and re-open it.

"Exploiting a vulnerability or bug" is too vague.

Won gifts should be activated to the Steam account used during registration, and they should not be regifted, traded, or sold.

I think you can agree that this rule is straight to the point. And we still have users that don't activate wins, and give them to family / friends; say they are trash and they will not activate them. And they try to defend themselves by writing "I didn't know I can't give it to my brother". "You can't force me to activate it".

Not only trying to write extremely detailed rules would make guidelines encyclopedia-long, it would still not prevent people from breaking the rules, and only force SG staff to add even more points when new case popps up. That's why rules are general, and open for moderator interpretation.

3 weeks ago
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Not only trying to write extremely detailed rules would make guidelines encyclopedia-long

You just proved that you are wrong:

Won gifts should be activated to the Steam account used during registration, and they should not be regifted, traded, or sold.

I think you can agree that this rule is straight to the point.

See? It's short, extremely detailed, and not encyclopedia-long. You are lying just to prove your point again?

it would still not prevent people from breaking the rules

What? Are you even serious? Then let's remove all the rules and let moderators decide, let's remove all laws and let police decide what is allowed and what is not. This argument is so wrong in any way. You want more power so much that you don't want the rules to constrain you? That's really sad.

3 weeks ago
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This one is fine.

1 month ago
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Steam Soundtrack Updates

In short: OST will no longer be treated as DLC, only separate entities. And no longer needs base game to be activated.

Only enter to win games you do not already own, and do not enter to win DLC if you are missing the required base game.

Old OST will still be treated as DLC tied to the game (unless dev decides to convert it), while new OST are separate apps. So I think OST could be excluded from this point of the guidelines.

1 month ago
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So I think OST could be excluded

donno why i've read that as should be and wondered "why??" for a half-hour...

anyhow, sounds like a great news, thank you!

also

This is an initial release of these features for partners. We're planning on launching these features in a wider way, including a sale event, on January 20th.

1 month ago
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I propose to make an amnesty after 3 years, for those who violated the rules. From my own experience I can say that if I had read them initially, I would not have violated them.

1 month ago
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What do you mean by amnesty?

That users can't be suspended for infraction if it's been already 3 years, or that suspensions that were issued 3 years ago are removed from user account?

1 month ago
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I think it must be stated that, don't give "compensation" keys to get positive feedback on invalid keys, for example if you won X game, they key is invalid and the host offers Y game for a positive feedback, itsn't okay and the winner must not mark it as received if the host do this (but hey, if the the host wants to do it so, it's okay), also at least for public giveaways to don't enforce users to aprove deletion if the key is also invalid, for the creating giveaways guideline, as it seems a lot of people is "enforcing" people to approve this to enter despite that there's already a rule about this

Please refer to ticket 522iZ for more information

1 month ago
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what's currently in FAQ

When should I mark a gift I won as "Received" or "Not Received"?
 
You should only mark a gift as "Received" when you have both (i) received the exact game described in the giveaway, and (ii) activated that game on the Steam account you used during registration. In all other instances you should mark the gift as "Not Received" one week after the giveaway has ended.

1 month ago
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I looked at FAQ and didn't find that, but still doesn't cover my point, shouldn't be allowed to offer this and to don't ask for users to misuse the feedback system, also would be good to be on the guidelines

1 month ago
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1 month ago
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Oh well let's take this as a reminder for the admin

1 month ago
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great idea though, glad you thought of it 😉
after all great minds think alike, but that means so do poor ones 😁

1 month ago
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Closed 4 days ago by cg.