Discord updates their ToS, Community Guidelines and Privacy Policy - What does that mean for you?

Discord updates their ToS, Community Guidelines and Privacy Policy - What does that mean for you?

Documents like a platform’s Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy are usually ever-evolving, and generally, you hear about changes, but let’s be honest, how many people actually look through them. You may have heard more than once… I personally got 3 emails about it (just on my main email too) that Discord, the popular chat app is revising all of its governing documents. Now, what does that mean for users and server owners? Well, we read through them here are will tell you all about it!

Before I begin, I wanted to quickly answer a very common question I hear, which is, what is the difference between the three? Generally speaking

  • The Community guidelines control what YOU can do
  • The Terms of Service are the guidelines that control the legal aspect of everything
  • The Privacy Policy is how they claim to process data collected

Community Guidelines

These are the meatiest of the changes and the community guidelines document itself is generally where most of the rules on the platform come from. I’m going to try to keep this brief, we know you have better things to be doing!

Do not use Discord to spam, manipulate engagement, or disrupt other people’s experience, including trying to to influence or disrupt conversations using bots, fake accounts, multiple accounts, or other automation. This includes purchasing or selling methods of artificially increasing membership, such as via advertisements or botting.

Finally! Anyone who has used Discord even close to extensively has seen or gotten DMs from spam bots, while it was always “prohibited” it is now officially and clearly stated that it is off-limits on the Discord platform. We are hopeful that this is a sign of increased enforcement on this activity, as we now see that Discord recognizes the issues these bots bring, and the pure annoyance they bring.

Do not share false or misleading information (otherwise known as misinformation). Content that is false, misleading, and can lead to significant risk of physical or societal harm may not be shared on Discord. We may remove content if we reasonably believe its spread could result in damage to physical infrastructure, injury of others, obstruction of participation in civic processes, or the endangerment of public health.

Age-restricted. We will stop using the term “NSFW (Not Safe For Work)” as it is confusing, overloaded with different meanings, and not easy to translate for Discord users around the world. We will instead refer to content that requires a verified age of 18 or older as “age-restricted.”

This is not a direct quote from the Community Guidelines, however, is a statement from Discord in regards to the changes in the guidelines. Overall, this really doesn’t affect much, but within the next few weeks (months?) we will likely see some changes in-app so be ready for those!

Terms of Service

Now the Terms of Service got the least drastic changes, I read through them and really didn’t see anything of major note, I will however pull a few brief excerpts from some sections that are more relevant to users (and server owners). Don’t click away! I promise its not that bad.

If you are old enough to access our services in your country, but not old enough to have authority to consent to our terms, your parent or guardian must agree to our terms on your behalf. Please ask your parent or guardian to read these terms with you. If you’re a parent or legal guardian, and you allow your teenager to use the services, then these terms also apply to you and you’re responsible for your teenager’s activity on the services.

You agree not to license, sell, or transfer your account without our prior written approval.

Selling your account has been, and remains a violation of Discord Terms of Service. Generally, we never recommend doing this as accounts are free to create and generally, account sales, never end well.

Your content is yours, but you give us a license to it when you use Discord. Your content may be protected by certain intellectual property rights. We don’t own those. But by using our services, you grant us a license—which is a form of permission—to do the following with your content, in accordance with applicable legal requirements, in connection with operating, developing, and improving our services:
- Use, copy, store, distribute, and communicate your content in manners consistent with your use of the services. (For example, so we can store and display your content.)
- Publish, publicly perform, or publicly display your content if you’ve chosen to make it visible to others. (For example, so we can display your messages if you post them in public servers.)
- Monitor, modify, translate, and reformat your content. (For example, so we can resize an image you post to fit on a mobile device.)
- Sublicense your content, to allow our services to work as intended. (For example, so we can store your content with our cloud service providers.)

This license is worldwide, non-exclusive (which means you can still license your content to others), royalty-free (which means there are no fees for this license), transferable, and perpetual.

Really, this is likely not anything unexpected, however, if you are a content creator of any sort, it may be a good idea to look through this and make sure you are all good with it.

If you are using the services on behalf of a business or legal entity and not in an individual capacity, then you will indemnify and hold Discord and its officers, directors, employees and agents harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, and costs (including reasonable legal and accounting fees) related to (a) your access to or use of our services, (b) your content, or (c) your violation of these terms.

If you have a registered business, make sure you understand the indemnity you agree to by operating on the platform.