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Discord says it is banning millions of accounts to combat spam


Discord banned 5.2 million accounts between April and December last year, the company revealed today in its second transparency report. The most common reasons for account bans were spam and exploitative content, which includes non-consensual pornography (called “revenge porn”), as well as child-related sexual content.

The report reveals a big difference in the types of violations that most users are likely to report, compared to the actions that are most likely to ban people and servers. The most common reports Discord receives from users are related to bullying, however, only a relatively small proportion of these reports lead to action. Discord says that in many cases it will teach people how to block the offending user without taking any further action.

On the other hand, exploitative content accounts for only 6.7 percent of reports but leads to the second-highest number of bans. Part of the reason for this is that Discord is much more likely to take action after receiving one of these reports, but the company says it is also taking a much more proactive approach to removing it. Discord scans each image and video uploaded to your service and uses PhotoDNA to compare it to known material on child sexual abuse. In most cases, this approach means that offending servers can be removed before anyone reports them, Discord says.

Spam was an area where there was a consistently high number of reports and bans. It was the third most common type of report, had the highest action rate of any report, and resulted in the most bans. Discord says that he is much more likely to take action regarding spam reports because they generally affect large numbers of users and are easy to verify.

Although 5.2 million seems like many bans to deliver, it’s only a fraction of what Facebook revealed it removed in its latest transparency report last year. The company said it removed 54 million pieces of violent or graphic content, more than 10 million posts containing hate speech, 5.7 million posts that violated its harassment or intimidation policies, and 18.5 million pieces of exploitative content. On the other hand, with over 2 billion users compared to Discord’s quarter of a billion in May last year, the disparity is not a big surprise.

Discord released its first transparency report last August, which covered the first quarter of last year. Going forward, Discord says it expects to release reports semi-annually, with its next report coming in August.

Correction: This story originally stated that Discord had 250,000 users as of May last year. It actually had 250 million. The Verge regrets this error.

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