Discord removed more than 2,000 servers due to extremism and violence

Chat platform Discord removed 2,212 servers in the second half of last year due to the presence of extremist or violent content. 1,504 servers with violent extremist content were proactively removed.

In the first half of the year, Discord proactively removed 778 servers due to violent extremist content. In half a year, the number of proactively removed servers of this category has therefore almost doubled. Discord says it has invested more in proactively seeking out servers that go against the platform’s policies. Discord doesn’t report how many violent extremist servers it removed based on user reports in the second half of last year. In the first half of 2020, the platform reactively removed 447 such servers.

In total, Discord removed 27,410 servers from the platform in the second half of 2020. The majority of the removed servers shared cybercrime messages. Discord removed 5,875 cybercrime servers, nearly 140 percent more than in the first half of the year. Only the number of servers removed due to hacks and cheats fell, to 3207 removed servers in the second half of 2020.

Discord also removed 3.5 million accounts from the chat platform in the last six months of the year. In the first six months, the service removed a lot more users, but that’s mainly because of the number of spam accounts the platform removed. Discord deleted 4.1 million spam accounts in the first six months, and ‘only’ 3.3 million spam accounts were deleted in the last six months. The service says that in the second half of the year it mainly focused on preventing such accounts from registering, which should explain the reduced number.

Besides spam, accounts that share exploitative messages are the largest category of deleted accounts. This includes sexually exploitative content or other inappropriate behavior. Discord removed nearly one hundred and thirty thousand of the exploiting accounts.

Discord not only proactively searches for accounts and servers to remove, but also relies on user notifications. In the second half of the year, with 355,633 reports, fifty percent more reports were made than in the first year. This growth may paint the wrong picture; the number of reports rose the most at the beginning of the year. In January there were still about 27,000 reports, in June there were almost 50,000. Discord ended the year with 65,103 reports in December.

Discord also announced that it had received 3,662 legal requests from the US government, of which 261 were denied. The platform also received 325 emergency requests, with police authorities asking for user information if they believe someone’s life is in danger or could be seriously injured. In 122 of those requests, Discord provided the requested information.