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Were we wrong to switch to Discord?

I have updated this article with a shorter run-down of why you should avoid Discord. Keep scrolling for the original post.

The year was 2015.

A new chat application had launched, named Discord. Discord was easy-to-use and offers some features that the competition lacked. People gave up on the complexity of Mumble, Skype and Teamspeak for a better alternative.

Discord was revolutionary, offering unique features meant Discord became gamers’ favourite chat app. High-quality voice chats; a polished UI and the simplicity of the interface were something other platforms didn’t offer.

But with the revelations in the past and current, are we beginning to change our minds?

Fast forward to 2020.

963,000,000 messages are sent on Discord every day.

Discord has seen a huge growth in its userbase after the initial launch. Millions of users rely on Discord for school voice chats (especially since the pandemic); game streaming and socialising with friends.

Discord has apps for iOS; Android; the web, and a native Desktop client. This is awesome!

Discord isn’t perfect though.

It’s far from it.

People are continuing to lose trust in Discord, especially when they knowingly provide a home for fascists and racists. Combined with the events that took place in November of 2019, where a ‘Trust and Safety’ moderator decided to allow sexual depictions of children on their platform (“cub porn”), this really does paint a telling picture of how the platform is governed.

Users from Discord have been unjustly banned from the platform, with no explanation or apology from Discord. Pedophiles on the platform aren’t being banned, but innocent people are.

It’s not just that.

Discord is also known for its horrendous privacy. Every Discord message, activity, connected account, and voice chat is uploaded onto Google’s servers. When Google has been exposed as battling against user freedom and privacy, giving them access to billions of unencrypted communication is asking for trouble. Discord uses Google’s Cloud Platform, which can be used to host apps.

Discord have also been the subject of a group that steals the data of everyday users and sells it on the internet. This has been operating for 2 years.

No legal reprocussions have been brought against this group. This suggests that Discord doesn’t really care about the security of its userbase.

I have publically challenged this group for betraying the privacy and security of users, but without the support of Discord, that was a fruitless endeavour. Discord did nothing to protect us. Discord users are being stalked every day.

Instead of Discord, I use matrix, a decentralised, open-source, platform that doesn’t abuse my trust, my privacy or my security.

Some reputable links

  • Why you shouldn’t trust Discord ─ Cadence
  • My views on the issues of Discord ─ Austin Huang
  • An open letter to Discord
  • Discord has a furry pedophile problem ─ ganker
  • Discord’s lax policy on furry ‘cub content’ leads to user outcry ─ Polygon