Discord, a red-hot chat app for video game players, announced via Twitter that it was taking action to ban the alt-right from its platform following a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly this past weekend.
“Today, we’ve shut down the altright.com server and a number of accounts associated with the events in Charlottesville. We will continue to take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate,” read the statement, in part.
Love. Not hate. pic.twitter.com/5xFpvHTuI2
— Discord (@discordapp) August 14, 2017
Discord is a venture-backed service providing voice- and text-chat services to over 45 million monthly active users. It’s been called “Skype for gamers,” though it’s found a certain measure of popularity with other groups, as well. Altright.com, a popular news source for the alt-right, maintained a server on Discord for its community to chat. Altright.com and its community were involved in planning the Charlottesville rally.
“When hatred like this violates our community standards we act swiftly to take servers down and ban individual users,” said Discord CMO Eros Resmini in a statement. Citron’s full statement can be found below.
The move to ban the alt-right from Discord comes as other social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, come under scrutiny for allegedly allowing violent political ideologies to grow unchecked.
The immediate reaction from Discord users on Twitter was mixed: Some were grateful to Discord for taking a stand, while others voiced concerns that this move was tantamount to censorship.
Free speech is officially over on Discord, a large portion of your userbase will be moving to another platform. Shame. ????????????
— TheBigKK (@TheBigKK_) August 14, 2017
You guys are WONDERFUL. I am so glad to see you standing up to hate & standing instead for love. Thank you.
— Nasty Woman Pharanzu (@dreadravenanzu) August 14, 2017
Resmini’s full statement is below:
Discord was built to bring people together through a love of gaming and our mission is to connect positive communities who share this appreciation. We unequivocally condemn white supremacy, neo-nazism, or any other group, term, ideology that is based on these beliefs. They are not welcome on Discord. While we don’t read people’s private servers our Terms of Service explicitly forbid harassment, threatening messages, or calls to violence.
When hatred like this violates our community standards we act swiftly to take servers down and ban individual users. The public server linked to AltRight.com that violated those terms was shut down along with several other public groups and accounts fostering bad actors on Discord. We will continue to be aggressive to ensure that Discord exists for the community we set out to support – gamers.