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Russian telecom overlord placed Steam Community on the list of prohibited websites

Russian flag with the Steam logo in the middle

Gamers in Russia were on their toes on Tuesday afternoon when word spread that the local agency Roskomnadzor – or the Federal service for supervision of communications, information technology, and mass media – placed the Steam Community domain on the Unified Register of Prohibited Information, the local blacklist of banned websites.

Roskomnadzor serves as a powerful enforcer for the Kremlin’s censorship efforts, banning not only websites with inconvenient information but also whole services or companies. SteamCommunity.com was placed on the blacklist on February 22 at the request of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

However, the gamers found out only this Tuesday after the local publication Fontanka.ru bought up the issue. It turned out that the community section of the Steam gaming service was still accessible in Russia despite it being present on the list.

In response, Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported somewhere on Steam Community was a page with information about methods of manufacturing narcotic drugs.

Coincidentally – or maybe not – the Steam Community domain disappeared from the list just a few hours after the matter started to spread across news outlets and social media. Roskomnadzor said that the problematic content was removed and it was no longer necessary to keep the website on the blacklist.

The initial reports sparked positive reactions on Reddit from many gamers with negative experiences with Russian players. They described incidents of Russian gamers being rude and aggressive, or inappropriately referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

In the eyes of these Redditors, the situation would be a win-win for the gaming community. The Russians would be happy that they lost only the community aspect of the platform and not the whole access to their gaming library, while the rest of the world would enjoy being saved from unwilling interactions with misbehaving Russians.

However, that didn’t happen in the end, and now everything is back to normal – no matter how unpleasant “normal” can sometimes be…

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