Dealing with hate speech and extreme views on the internet is one of the defining issues of our time, but games-focused chat service Discord is being rather aggressive in dealing with this treat.
As reported by Polygon, the games communication app has just shut down a number of alt-right and Nazi-themed servers including *ahem* Atomwaffen Division, The Right Server, Nordic Resistance Movement, Iron March and European Domas.
Discord has declined to say when the clear out began, but users have noticed said servers disappearing over the last few days.
“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 said.
“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.”
The chief of Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project also told Polygon: Discord’s decision to condemn and ban far-right servers in the wake of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a welcome example of the commitment required to combat hate in the technology space. Other tech companies who struggle with these same issues should know it’s always the right policy decision to reject organised hatred.”
This isn't the first time that Discord has given extremist views the finger. Following the rallies organised in Charlottesville, Virginia last year - which were in part organised on Discord - the platform chucked a number of servers.
“We unequivocally condemn white supremacy, neonazism, or any other group, term, ideology that is based on these beliefs,” the company said at the time.
“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.”
Now, if Twitter, YouTube or, well, any social media company could maybe consider not allowing Nazis on their platform, that'd be, well, smashing.