Discord Shuts Down Alt-Right Server, Accounts Amid Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally, Says Hate Groups Are ‘Not Welcome’
The company formally announced on Twitter that it shut down the altright.com server, quite known for its hateful content, and also banned a number of accounts active on the said server.
In its statement, Discord reiterated the company's mission to bring people together with gaming.
Discord Makes It Clear: 'Hate Groups Not Welcome'
"We're about positivity and inclusivity. Not hate. Not violence," Discord said. Some of the banned accounts were associated with the Charlottesville protests, the company explained. Amid the heated media coverage surrounding the highly sensitive topic, Discord has chosen to affirm its stance, saying it will continue to "take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate."
Discord's shutdown of the server and several accounts follows GoDaddy's recent move to remove The Daily Stormer, a blog with ties to Nazis, from its domain hosting services. GoDaddy's decision was met with differing reactions, with some claiming that its move is a form of censorship.
Discord is one of the top messaging and social platforms for gamers with more than 45 million users. But like anything on the internet, Discord has a fair amount of servers and accounts associated with hate speech and bigotry.
"Discord was built to bring people together through a love of gaming and our mission is to connect positive communities who share this appreciation," a company spokesperson said, noting that Discord condemns any individual who believes in white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and any other group who holds ideologies based on such beliefs.
"They are not welcome on Discord."
Looking at the spate of replies Discord received with regard to the shutdown, some are already crying censorship. As TechCrunch notes, however, one could easily claim that Discord supports Nazi and white supremacy ideologies if it didn't do anything in light of the situation.
Some other users offered a different perspective: They regard Discord as a private service — hence, it's free to do whatever it sees fit to please its customers, and it's similarly free to uphold its terms of service and terminate users who violate it. Some say it isn't a form of censorship, because those banned accounts may opt for other messaging platforms, like, say, Twitch. However, it's hard to imagine why Twitch would invite that kind of controversy given the current circumstances.