Discord, a fast-growing free chat service popular among gamers, said today that it had shut down “a number of accounts” following violence instigated by white supremacists over the weekend. The service, which lets users chat with voice and text, was being used by proponents of Nazi ideology both before and after the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We will continue to take action against Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate,” the company said in a tweet.
Discord declined to state how many servers had been affected, but said it included a mix of old accounts and accounts that were created over the weekend. Among the affected servers was one used by AltRight.com, a white nationalist news site. The site’s homepage includes a prominent link to a Discord chat which is now broken.
The company said it does not read private messages exchanged on its servers. Members of those groups reported messages in the chats for violating Discord’s terms of service, the company said, and it took action. “When hatred like this violates our community standards we act swiftly to take servers down and ban individual users,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Discord has been criticized in the past for being slow to act against noxious accounts. Earlier this year, Gizmodo found the service was being used by groups that existed primarily to promote abuse and dox people.
Discord’s announcement came the same day that neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer was banned first by GoDaddy and later by Google, where it had attempted to register.