Discord has recently shut down several notable alt-right, white nationalist servers as it attempts to purge toxic content, as reported by Polygon. The affected servers include the neo-Nazi terrorist group Atomwaffen Division, Nordic Resistance Movement, Iron March, and European Domas.
“Discord has a Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Guidelines that we ask all of our communities and users to adhere to,” a Discord representative told Polygon. “These specifically prohibit harassment, threatening messages, or calls to violence. Though we do not read people’s private messages, we do investigate and take immediate appropriate action against any reported ToS violation by a server or user. There were a handful of servers that violated these ToS recently and were swiftly removed from the platform.”
Although Discord didn’t divulge the exact timeline of the shutdowns, a user posted on Reddit yesterday noting that these servers and others like Pagan Pathway and Uncensored Politics had also been deleted. The user then updated the post saying that owners and admin accounts were also being banned.
Since Discord is a private chat platform, its approach toward monitoring hate speech has been different and arguably more lax than more public-facing platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
The guidelines list several ways to get permanently banned and deleted, and the number one way is “to share content that is directly threatening to someone’s physical or financial state.” The terms of service are more direct; users are not allowed to “defame, libel, ridicule, mock, stalk, threaten, harass, intimidate or abuse anyone,” but there aren’t definite and immediate punishments prescribed for violating those terms.
Last August, Discord had banned several servers that promoted Nazi ideology, as members of those groups reported messages in the chats and drew the company’s attention. The bans followed a violent rally organized by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Centipede Central was one of the pro-Trump, conservative servers that was reported to Discord at the time.
At the time of writing, The Right Server, which was also named in the Reddit post as a deleted server, is actually still live, now renamed as The Right Goys, which is Yiddish for non-Jew. Centipede Central also remains online. Discord told Polygon last August that it was aware of Centipede Central and “will take action if they find CC is in violation of their terms of service and / or community guidelines.”
YouTube also banned Atomwaffen’s channel today, after reports confirmed that the group is directly or indirectly linked to five murders.