UK Anti-Porn Filters Might Screw Up League of Legends Patches

The strict "anti-porn" filtering taking full effect in the U.K. this month might cause problems for some League of Legends users who haven't called their ISPs to opt out of the screening. It seems the patcher is trying to access a couple of URLs with the letters S and E followed by X in them, and that's enough to get a block.

Summoner Boompje noticed this a couple of days ago, posting about it on both League of Legends' official European forums and in the game's subreddit. The "offending" URLs are a couple of files—VarusExpirationTimer.luaobj and XerathMageChainsExtended.luaobj. I've helpfully bolded the objectionable word.

After a year of lobbying, the U.K.'s four largest Internet providers implemented parental controls that block a wide range of topics, most of them related to sex or porn, but also including illegal drugs and terrorism. The filter is an opt-out block (or an opt-in to view porn), meaning a customer must call his or her ISP to have it removed, so this isn't necessarily shutting down League of Legends in that country entirely. It also appears to be implemented by default on new accounts; existing users of some providers don't have the filter imposed on them.

Still, for a controversial policy that has kicked out its share of anecdotal, unintended victims, snaring a League of Legends patch shows how unsophisticated things can be. Then again, I'm reminded of how I couldn't name my NCAA Football created team's stadium "Riddick Field," nor could I edit N.C. State's roster to include "Mustafa Greene" back when he played.

We reached out to a Riot Games representative to ask if they were receiving widespread complaints about this. For anyone affected, the simplest solution is the best: just ask the ISP to turn off the filter. For kids in a household that won't remove the filter, the alternative would seem to be getting the patch as a .zip file from a friend.

Attention UK summoners! The new anti-secks law may be bugging your patcher! [League of Legends forums]