Update: Steam chat was censoring any mention of one torrent website but it's fixed now

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Like an assassin in the dark, Steam chat is automatically whisking away and deleting any mention of illegal downloads website KickassTorrents. If you link to the website in any message you send, the recipient simply won’t receive the message at all. 

Update: And it seems that someone at Valve has pulled the plug on the censor sweep. You can now message about Kickass.to as much as you like.

PCGamesN experimented with Steam chat and found the evidence conclusive and compelling: Steam does indeed refuse to send any message containing a link to KickassTorrents. In figure A, please see the Steam chat window as viewed by a person attempting to send a link.

Steam chat censorship

In figure B, you’ll be able to witness the received messages, which are notably missing section 3 of the conversation. 

Steam chat censorship

Whilst the evidence is irrefutable - Steam is indeed censoring our messages - the reason behind this is unclear. Attempt to link to other hubs of piracy go almost entirely unhindered (some websites have their links marked as malicious and Steam will show a warning when attempting to open them).

KickassTorrents is being blocked in the UK. It could be that Valve have been pressured into blocking attempts to share access to the website, but quite honestly we really don’t know. What we do know though is that some kind of all-seeing artificial intelligence is reading all our Steam chats, and is probably harbouring logs of what terrible game recommendations we’ve made to our friends. 

Thanks, Torrent Freak.

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Shriven avatarCrimsoner avatarRowan the Roman avatarsomebody336 avatarMatt Purslow avatarjon_hill987 avatar+2
Rowan the Roman Avatar
67
1 Year ago

Er, in what way is it blocked in the UK? I had never heard of the site before not but being in the UK I thought it worth checking if it were blocked. No errors getting to it and it certainly looks like it is the right site.

Would you please clarify in what way the site is "blocked in the UK".

1
Matt Purslow Avatar
79
1 Year ago

For about a year now UK ISPs have been blocking access to various torrent sites, and Kickass Torrents was blocked last week. Various proxy sites may be live, but the main Kickass Torrents website has been blocked.

2
Flappers Avatar
287
1 Year ago

Yeah, I went back to the UK for a couple of weeks in Janurary, and seeing those blocks was insane.

But, using free VPN's, was an easy solution to get around it.

Saying that though. With the Kickass website. When I tried to visit kat.ph, it blocked it. But typing kickass.to directly, it allowed me in.

Seems that they don't have all the domains blocked for the specific website.

1
Rowan the Roman Avatar
67
1 Year ago

Interesting, but as I don't actually use proxies it seems odd that if it were blocked I'd be able to see it. Sounds like the blocking is rather sporadic.

1
jon_hill987 Avatar
138
1 Year ago

Just tried it myself, while the website is blocked by my ISP the URL is not censored in Steam chat.

1
MrAptronym Avatar
356
1 Year ago

I always wonder to what extent valve monitors records and uses our chat logs, this just makes me more curious.

1
Shriven Avatar
3322
1 Year ago

UK governments new laws in action..

This is what happens when you dont pay attention to politics!

0
Crimsoner Avatar
31
1 Year ago

Literally nothing to do with any government laws, UK or otherwise.

3
Shriven Avatar
3322
1 Year ago

Shh, im trying to get a job as a journalist in the UK. It seems the best way to do it is lie and sensationalise stories and promote yourself on social networks with dummy accounts.

Right? :D

1
Shriven Avatar
3322
1 Year ago

Shrivens so good, he should totally be a writer.

Edit: Forgot to change accounts.

1
Rowan the Roman Avatar
67
1 Year ago

Wow, you've even got the corruption thing down, you should definitely be a journalist! :P

1