Misinformation that could cause ‘Physical or Societal Harm’ is prohibited on Discord

On its increasingly popular gaming-focused communications network, Discord has modified its Community Guidelines to address misinformation, particularly as it relates to COVID-19.

“Users may not share incorrect or misleading information on Discord that is likely to inflict physical or societal harm,” according to Discord, “including anything that could result in damage to physical infrastructure, injury to others, obstruction of civic procedures, or risk public health.” (Their emphasis is mine.)

The business goes on to explain how the new restrictions are related to public health issues. This includes distributing “material that attempts to persuade opinion through the use of sensationalized, alarmist, or exaggerated language, or any content that repeats widely-debunked health claims, unverified rumors, or conspiracy narratives,” according to the guidelines.

According to Discord, the following are prohibited:

  • content that is anti-vaccination;
  • Cure for sickness that is medically unfounded and potentially dangerous;
  • content that misrepresents disease facts; and,
  • any anything that could make it more difficult to resolve a public health emergency

It also lists specific conditions that can lead to enforcement actions, such as contesting widely accepted vaccine information, the existence of a specific disease, and “material that implies a malevolent health conspiracy,” among other things. However, it’s worth noting that people can still talk about personal experiences or submit plainly humorous stuff.

Discord’s Trust & Safety team will look into reports of misinformation, according to the company. “In response to violations of this policy, we may take a variety of enforcement steps, including warning an account, server, or whole moderator team; temporarily suspending an account; removing harmful content; and permanently suspending an account or server,” the business adds.

The Community Guidelines themselves provide further information. Discord’s terms of service and privacy policy have also been amended, and all of the modifications will take effect on March 28.

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