Most people use Discord to chat with their gaming communities. Some also use it to share anime porn. As Discord has grown in ubiquity and legitimacy, these priorities have come into conflict.
This week, the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit’s Discord had its official partner status revoked for issues stemming from its NSFW chat channel. Initially, a Discord rep pointed to “illustrated or digitally altered pornography which depicts minors,” giving the Discord’s moderators 48 hours to remove it and threatening deletion of the server. Eanae, a member of the server, said on Reddit that the content was “strictly against our server’s rules and guidelines,” and they took action against it in “minutes.” But even after that, Discord still wouldn’t reinstate the server’s partner status.
Partner status gives servers access to a number of perks including personalization options, high-performance voice chat, and additional moderation tools. Discord continued to deny it to the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit Discord because, the rep said, of frequent use of offensive terms and slurs—some of which Eanae said were taken out of context—as well as the continued existence of an NSFW channel. It should be noted that NSFW channels are an official Discord feature, but Discord doesn’t want partners, which are supposed to be “extensions and representations of the Discord brand,” to have them.
“NSFW content (such as pornography) is not allowed in partnered servers,” said another Discord rep on Reddit. “When we introduced NSFW channels a while back, this was made clear to all our existing partners (since our partner policy previous to this feature was not clear).”
That post went on to acknowledge that Discord hasn’t been as clear about that policy as it could’ve been, but said that the policy will be more clearly stated in the future.
Discord has previously tried to crack down on objectionable content on its platform, like revenge porn or an alt-right infestation, with mixed success. It’s understandable and even commendable that the company would want to go after these things, but the community isn’t exactly pleased with its handling of this particular situation. Some feel feel blindsided.
“It’s actually really disappointing,” said one user in a thread about the discrepancy between Discord’s terms of service and guidelines. “I don’t know why, but I expected more from Discord in its conduct, and with its communication with its community of users. I thought that finally someone was doing it right.”