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The Danger of a Long English Word on Your Steam Account
The Associated URL on Steam Accounts
If you have a Steam account, you will surely have noticed that the latter is associated with a personalized URL which links to your page. All Steam users have one, and it’s created with the account. Certain words are obviously prohibited so it is logically not possible to use them, and employing devious means to use them can have serious consequences. But there is a word that can completely block an account and even make it disappear from the registers from Steam.
The Bug Involving Antidisestablishmentarianism
Spotted by The Spiffing Brit, an English-speaking YouTuber, this bug in the system would also be so badly bugged that immediately after modifying the account, one would meet face to a black screen. The word triggering this very important and visibly irreversible bug is one of the longest in the English language, “antidisestablishmentarianism”. This term does not exist in French, as it specifically designates opposition to the eventual dismantling of the Anglican Church.
For those who don’t know, it is a branch of Christianity founded by Henry VIII of England who takes advantage of the tensions with Rome to break away from the papacy in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. The English king therefore broke with Rome in 1531, before officially founding the Church of England in 1534. It is therefore a word in connection with this schism that causes the problems. Yet, if the existence of the word is linked to religion, it is difficult to see how it is offensive and what Steam is doing in this story.
What Causes the Bug?
If the word is not officially part of the prohibited terms and nothing in its meaning does not allow us to explain a blockage, we must look elsewhere. We can therefore look at its length and a particular sequence of characters which could trigger the bug but again, it’s difficult to have a clear understanding. The only thing known is that it is not directly Steam that triggers the blocking, but Akamai, the server host, cache.
However, Akamai is an important actor which works with Smilegate, Roblox, Riot Games, and Ubisoft, but also Facebook, TF1, Microsoft, Apple, or even Reuters and AirBnB and various universities. In other words, the use of the word “antidisestablishmentarianism” could very well trigger big problems on a whole bunch of platforms. However, this bug has so far only occurred on Steam, and on still don’t know the reason. Until then, be extremely careful and do not let yourself be influenced by someone who is aware of the situation and who might wish to play a very bad trick on you.