Steam, the most popular PC gaming distributor on the net, is catching a bit of heat for blocking popular torrent sites, and in the case of KickassTorrents, erasing them entirely from their users’ chatlogs. Not only are users now unable to send KickAssTorrents URLs through chat, but entire messages cannot be received at all if they include even one of the torrent site’s URLs.
While KickassTorrents seems to be the only torrent site so far whose URL is being erased from Steam private messages, some other torrent site URLs can be published but still can’t be accessed. URLs such as Torrentz.eu can be posted, but clicking the URL brings you to a page saying the link was blocked for “potentially malicious” content. Meanwhile, other torrents sites such as The Pirate Bay can be linked to without any issues.
Steam has not yet released a statement about these blocks, leaving it unknown just how much Steam is willing to censor private communication between Steam users, wrote Torrent Freak founder Ernesto.
“It is clear though, that Steam is keeping a close eye on what people talk about. That by itself is already quite concerning.”
Steam faced a different censorship controversy two months prior when the top-down shooting game Hatred – about a misanthrope who goes on a mass murdering rampage – was deleted from Steam Greenlight. The game had only been up for a matter of hours and many gamers, who were outraged over the deletion, started an internet campaign to get the game back on Steam Greenlight. A day later, it was, and the game’s makers received a personal apology from the CEO of Valve Corporation, (the company that owns Steam) Gabe Newell.
What do you think, readers? Is Steam’s censorship of torrent links on private chats something to get up in arms about? Is it just a marketing move that really doesn’t mean much? Is it a fight worth fighting? Let us know in the comments section.