Valve has quietly changed the way the Steam Workshop handles new content and updates to existing content. Maps, weapons and other user-created items will now need to go through moderation and get approved before they can be downloaded by other players.
Update: Valve has told PC Gamer that approvals will only be required for Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO workshop items, rather than all games with Steam Workshop support.
This was first spotted on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive subreddit by PCGN. User TanookiSuit3 shared some screenshots showing the change in policy. The messages state that users will need to wait for a verification email from Valve and moderator approval before content will be visible to others in the Workshop.
According to an updated Steam Support post, players will need to have their content approved by moderators. Updates to old and already approved content will also need to be checked by moderators before other players can download that updated content. Players already using the older, non-updated content can still use it while the update waits for approval.
On that same support post, Valve says the process should take less than a day.
As of now, Valve has yet to release an official statement or comment about this new policy. However, it seems very likely this is in response to numerous problems CS:GO players have had with fake and spam content on the Workshop.
Popular CSGO YouTuber 3kliksphilip has covered this issue extensively and explains that many creators were frustrated by how actual content, like user-made maps, would constantly be pushed off the front page and replaced with ads for free weapon skins. Many believed these were getting upvoted via bots, showing evidence that these bots might also be downvoting popular content to keep the fake content at the top.
Of course, we don’t know for sure if this new policy change is a direct result of these issues or if this policy change will apply to all games on Steam that have Workshop support. We also don’t know who is actually moderating this content and how that process works.