Discord, a free chat service (voice and text) primarily used by gamers, took swift action Monday to ban servers linked to AltRight.com and other groups after reports of the chat service being used to promote Nazi ideology or, in some cases, to promote more white supremacist violence in the wake of the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer. In one of the now-banned chat groups, journalist Laura Loomer spotted a member named “Kombat-Unit” threatening to bring weapons to Heyer’s funeral.
Discord’s first brief statement on Twitter promised to “take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate.”
The response is long overdue, as Discord’s platform has allegedly been used to coordinate abusive behavior for the past several months without repercussions for users violating the terms of service and/or breaking the law. (Thankfully, the service didn’t exist during Gamergate.) Discord dropped their banhammer on the same day both Go Daddy and Google refused hosting service to Daily Stormer’s website, so at least some companies are ready to stop pretending white supremacy doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, the White House is still catching up.
A few hours after tweeting about the ban, Discord CEO Eros Resmini sent a full statement to Kotaku:
“We unequivocally condemn white supremacy, neonazism, 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… 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.”
One of the banned groups, AltRight.com, responded by characterizing the ban as “the war against free speech” (Discord isn’t a government forum, you pigsh*t-ignorant poltroons). They also called Discord “pathetic nerd cucks” who are part of the “Globo-Corpo-Homo-Judeo establishment.” Wait, is “Globo-Corpo-Homo-Judeo” supposed to be an insult? Because it sounds fun. It’s almost a Daft Punk lyric.