Steam users who want to discuss the latest news about the torrent site KickassTorrents may notice that their chats are censored. The popular instant messaging service is sending all mentions of the Kickass.to domain into a black hole, while warning that other torrent sites are potentially malicious.
With millions of active users Steam is not just a game distribution platform, but also a social network and a communication tool.
Many people use Steamís instant messaging tool for chats with friends. About games of course, but also about lots of other stuff.
Interestingly, it appears that Steam doesnít want its users to talk about certain topics. When the popular torrent site KickassTorrents went offline earlier this week, one Steam user noticed that his messages on the topic were being censored.
ďThere is no warning or blocked message notification. The messages simply disappeared,Ē we were told.
After running some tests, itís clear that messages mentioning the Kickass.to domain name are not coming through. Itís not just the domain thatís censored, but the entire message.
Itís unclear why Steam is censoring these conversations.
It would be easy to conclude that the copyright infringing links on Kickass.to are the reason, but then itís strange that The Pirate Bay and all other torrent sites are not affected.
Interestingly, however, kickass.to seems to be the only one thatís affected right now. Other domains including Kickass.so and Torrentz.eu are flagged by Steam as potentially malicious, and users get a warning if they attempt to open them. These domains do show up in private chats though.
Without a comment from Valve the true reason for the awkward censorship measures remains unknown.
It is clear though, that Steam is keeping a close eye on what people talk about. That by itself is already quite concerning.