Google Censorship of Online Gambling

We’re not sure how to feel about this new regulation for some gaming websites (or other online casinos, etc.) but a recent report shows that gaming sites that use the Steam platform are experiencing substantial problems with censorship. What this means in practice for many sites that want to host their content on Steam is that they have to either turn users away entirely or block access altogether if they try to host their sites on one of those online platforms.

These sites include sites such as GameStop (an American retail site) and GameStop Games (from Italy), as well as sites that offer games such as Pictionary.com (where you can ask people specific questions such as “What is the age of consent in Sweden?”, etc.). We’ll come back to the gaming sites in a moment.

But the latest report suggests that Steam-hosting sites are now facing a similar fate, and this means that users of these sites can no longer view or play online games with the games they currently own.

The problem seems to stem from a number of problems that arise when Steam hosting happens, namely:

When hosting, content that appears on the website has to be verified by a third party. Steam accounts are not included in verification, thus the site cannot confirm the authenticity of any user data uploaded by the user, such as account credentials or names

A lot of players of games hosted on these websites will report in an attempt to block access due to this problem, which is an understandable, even expected problem, but the problem is compounded when the site does not take into account whether anyone has an internet connection at the moment when they try to upload content or if a large portion of the users on the site have an internet connection. In the latter case, they won’t see any posts that they can view and play through the site’s interface.

This means that users who don’t have broadband can either have a site that does not have an internet connection, or they can either play the games in the Steam client (assuming they’ve got an internet connection) on the sites themselves

We’re still waiting for more information from these sites about when exactly this new regulation went into effect, and we’re curious to know more about how the website hosting providers have coped with it thus far. For the time being, it’s very unclear where Steam is headed, or how it might affect those who use the platform from time to time.