In an effort to rid its platform of hate speech, Discord has shut down a handful of alt-right servers, including Nordic Resistance Movement, Iron March, and Atomwaffen Division.
Explaining the massive cleanup effort, Discord brought up its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines that communities are required to follow and adhere to at all times. Within them are policies that specifically prohibit harassment, threats, or instigations of violence.
Discord Purges Alt-Right Servers
Exactly when the purge began remains unclear, but over the past few days some users have noticed that several servers, notable because of their alt-right principles, have been disappearing without explanation. All the servers discord shut down are known for spreading content that endorses hateful ideologies and pro-Nazism.
In fact, Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes Atomwaffen Division as a "designated hate group." YouTube has now also banned the Atomwaffen Division channel following reports confirming the group being directly or indirectly associated with five murders.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Discord are working together to locate more servers and promptly shut them down, according to a representative. Discord's mass shutdown of alt-right groups is a notable moment in that white supremacists in the United States are increasingly coming out of the woodwork. The clearest example of this was the "Unite the Right" protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year in August, where white supremacists marched and advocated for the importance of white lives.
Discord's Stance On Alt-Right Groups
For Discord, it's not the first time this has happened. After the rallies in Virginia, Discord said it "unequivocally condemn[s]" white supremacy and neo-Nazism, saying that people who identify as members of these groups are "not welcome on Discord." It also promptly shut down alt-right accounts and users for spreading hateful content on the platform.
As of this writing, however, The Right Server, another alt-right group, remains live, renamed as The Right Goys — Yiddish for "non-Jew." Centipede Central, a pro-Donald Trump server, is also still live, but Discord said last year that it was aware of the Centipede Central group and will shut it down if it finds that the group is in violation of its rules or community guidelines. Discord's policies and guidelines is available on its website.
Discord also makes clear that its platform has no space for hate:
"We love playing games with our friends. That is and will continue to be Discord's driving motivation."
Thoughts about Discord's shutdown of alt-right servers? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!