31 votes

Subpoena for app called ‘Discord’ could unmask identities of Charlottesville white supremacists

25 comments

  1. [19]
    NubWizard
    Link
    The people at Discord have a tough job. Between content like this and various other rooms that promote illegal content, their moderation is probably working at a negative capacity. I feel the only...

    The people at Discord have a tough job.

    Between content like this and various other rooms that promote illegal content, their moderation is probably working at a negative capacity. I feel the only way to curb illegal content is to have people register with real, identifiable information.

    21 votes
    1. [16]
      EggplantEmoji
      Link Parent
      While I agree that's probably one of the only ways to combat this I also feel like a big part of the appeal of discord is its anonymity. I'm curious how they'll go about trying to solve this...

      While I agree that's probably one of the only ways to combat this I also feel like a big part of the appeal of discord is its anonymity. I'm curious how they'll go about trying to solve this problem because I suspect they'd lose a lot of their user base if they tried to implement a system that required identifiable information.

      16 votes
      1. [10]
        NubWizard
        Link Parent
        The appeal of anonymity is great but I think the cons of it outweigh the pros. Of course, Discord makes it's own decisions for it's software and the anonymity aspect of it is very important to...

        The appeal of anonymity is great but I think the cons of it outweigh the pros. Of course, Discord makes it's own decisions for it's software and the anonymity aspect of it is very important to them as well apparently.

        But bad servers I have seen and reported:

        • White supremacists
        • Revenge porn for trading/selling
        • Piracy

        There are awesome uses for the servers too outside of games:

        • Grassroots organizing
        • Bot ran servers with games
        • Music discovery through sharing
        • Sports talk

        I guess the issue with forcing to use person info is where someone can take a semi-anonymous action outside of the server in real life that would have consequences.

        I guess the overall solution that I can think of is IP bans from Discord.

        9 votes
        1. [8]
          annadane
          Link Parent
          Piracy is not bad. Now, if they were pirating it and selling it, different story

          Piracy is not bad. Now, if they were pirating it and selling it, different story

          7 votes
          1. [5]
            meghan
            Link Parent
            Piracy is bad, illegal in fact

            Piracy is bad, illegal in fact

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              Eva
              Link Parent
              Your position, prior to '03: Being homosexual is bad, illegal in fact Your position, prior to '15: Gay people adopting children is bad, illegal in fact

              Your position, prior to '03:

              Being homosexual is bad, illegal in fact

              Your position, prior to '15:

              Gay people adopting children is bad, illegal in fact

              5 votes
              1. [3]
                meghan
                Link Parent
                go1dfish made a very good point

                go1dfish made a very good point

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  Eva
                  Link Parent
                  To expand on his last sentence, did you know that the EU did a study on piracy and found that - in the case of games - it actually increased sales? For everything else, no correlation between...

                  To expand on his last sentence, did you know that the EU did a study on piracy and found that - in the case of games - it actually increased sales? For everything else, no correlation between declining digital sales and piracy.

                  https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2017/09/21/european-commission-accused-of-burying-controversial-piracy-report/#75d9193d7e1d

                  7 votes
          2. [2]
            NubWizard
            Link Parent
            I think a channel dedicated to pirating and sharing brand new games is definitely bad. This wasn't some 3rd world country where gamers likely couldn't afford the games, the one I saw was 99%...

            I think a channel dedicated to pirating and sharing brand new games is definitely bad.

            This wasn't some 3rd world country where gamers likely couldn't afford the games, the one I saw was 99% American.

            Sure, it's not causing physical harm but it causes me annoyances a year or two down the line with intrusive DRM.

            3 votes
            1. annadane
              Link Parent
              It's a fair enough point. I'm definitely not pro piracy to the extent of "fuck yeah, steal everything! artists don't deserve to get paid!" which I think is what some people take it as.

              It's a fair enough point. I'm definitely not pro piracy to the extent of "fuck yeah, steal everything! artists don't deserve to get paid!" which I think is what some people take it as.

              1 vote
        2. EggplantEmoji
          Link Parent
          Yeah I think it's a tough issue. Any steps taken to combat bad servers and users will also probably affect the user base as a whole. But I think that might be a price you have to pay for a...

          Yeah I think it's a tough issue. Any steps taken to combat bad servers and users will also probably affect the user base as a whole. But I think that might be a price you have to pay for a community free of toxic groups.

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. clerical_terrors
          Link Parent
          What's Wire? Is it another chat application like Discord?

          What's Wire? Is it another chat application like Discord?

      3. [3]
        clerical_terrors
        Link Parent
        How anonymous is Discord, really? It still gathers data on it's users.

        How anonymous is Discord, really? It still gathers data on it's users.

        1 vote
        1. NessY
          Link Parent
          I wouldn't trust anything that wasn't e2e. Even then I would probably only log onto questionable accounts through a VPN.

          I wouldn't trust anything that wasn't e2e. Even then I would probably only log onto questionable accounts through a VPN.

          2 votes
        2. EggplantEmoji
          Link Parent
          Sure, but there's a pretty big difference between gathering user data and requiring personal information to sign up for a service. I don't think Discord is entirely anonymous but I do think part...

          Sure, but there's a pretty big difference between gathering user data and requiring personal information to sign up for a service. I don't think Discord is entirely anonymous but I do think part of its appeal is how easy it is to sign up.

      4. KyloCommunist1917
        Link Parent
        Yeah, on the one hand I know that those white supremacists who beat innocent people up should be arrested and thrown in the slammer but to break people's privacy just to try and get some evidence...

        Yeah, on the one hand I know that those white supremacists who beat innocent people up should be arrested and thrown in the slammer but to break people's privacy just to try and get some evidence to convict them off it seems a step too far for me, IMHO. If people want to remain anonymous on the Internet they should be able to do so, and for the government to be able to spy on every little thing you do infringes on one's personal rights way too much

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      clerical_terrors
      Link Parent
      I mean that is the problem with being a common carrier and giving the ability to create servers without any sort of application process. Not unlike what Reddit had to deal with.

      I mean that is the problem with being a common carrier and giving the ability to create servers without any sort of application process. Not unlike what Reddit had to deal with.

      5 votes
      1. EscReality
        Link Parent
        I find it interesting you phrased that in that way. It's not what Reddit "had to deal with" its what Reddit was built for. The site was originally for any and all content, illegal or otherwise, a...

        Not unlike what Reddit had to deal with.

        I find it interesting you phrased that in that way. It's not what Reddit "had to deal with" its what Reddit was built for. The site was originally for any and all content, illegal or otherwise, a platform for unadulterated freedom on the internet. It was a major part of the site wide belief system and its the reason a lot of people are currently frustrated with them.

        It's only in the last few years that they started censoring content and only when that content came under public scrutiny. Then, in the last year or so they redid their ToS and went on a banning/censoring spree. All of this building up to the redesin and their "new" public image.

        Make no mistake, having crazy fringe groups and "a sub for everything" was not an accidental byproduct of the website, it is why we created it.

        3 votes
  2. [4]
    Vadsamoht
    Link
    Gotta love the scare quotes around 'Discord'.

    Gotta love the scare quotes around 'Discord'.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      EscReality
      Link Parent
      Yes, that weird app that none of us have heard of...

      Yes, that weird app that none of us have heard of...

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        The_Blackthorn
        Link Parent
        Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the Washington Post's readership has no idea what Discord is.

        Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the Washington Post's readership has no idea what Discord is.

        6 votes
        1. Vadsamoht
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I was going to reply with this myself. The average person on the street, presented with this headline, will probably think it's some hoodie-wearing darkweb hackerapp for neo-nazis to secretly meet...

          I was going to reply with this myself. The average person on the street, presented with this headline, will probably think it's some hoodie-wearing darkweb hackerapp for neo-nazis to secretly meet and 'sow discord' among the general population.

          2 votes
  3. [2]
    dubteedub
    Link
    ... All of these people should absolutely be brought in for a trial. They conspired to commit violence at this rally that directly lead to several violent attacks and the death of one woman. I do...

    The Discord messages have been cited in a federal lawsuit filed against the Unite the Right’s alleged organizers by counterprotesters who were injured during the rally, including two people hit by a car that rammed into a crowd, leaving one person dead. Attorneys for the counterprotesters have argued that these Discord messages and hundreds of others are central to proving that Unite the Right organizers “conspired to commit acts of violence, intimidation and harassment” against people in Charlottesville that weekend. The attorneys filed a subpoena for Discord, seeking to obtain the messages and account information of more than 30 anonymous users who appear to have participated in the Unite the Right rally.

    ...

    U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero declined to fully quash the Discord subpoena, finding that the plaintiffs’ interest in discovering her identity as a possible witness or co-conspirator behind the Unite the Right rally outweighed her right to speak anonymously on the Internet. Any identifying information discovered within her Discord account will be classified as “highly confidential,” the judge said, restricting it to a select amount of people.

    All of these people should absolutely be brought in for a trial. They conspired to commit violence at this rally that directly lead to several violent attacks and the death of one woman. I do not feel one ounce of sympathy for them and hope they get the book thrown at them.

    5 votes
    1. NessY
      Link Parent
      While I definitely condemn the actions this is not unique in any way to Discord. Any place online that allows for anonymous and un-moderated spaces for people to connect, you're going to see...

      While I definitely condemn the actions this is not unique in any way to Discord.

      Any place online that allows for anonymous and un-moderated spaces for people to connect, you're going to see things like this.

      4 votes