I don't think I can use Discord anymore

I’ve just finished watching the video. Pretty concerning stuff.

I see some people have commented on twitter to say ‘well that’s just what a lot of these social media companies are doing’ and that’s only half right.

Data usage not only of the app but wider device usage without user knowledge and consent and presumably not in line with GDPR or other data usage laws is concerning.

The lack of end-to-end encryptions and user data security is also concerning.

The part ownership of Discord by a company controlled by a hostile government who are therefore likely the recipient of device location and all device usage of all Discord users is most concerning. This goes beyond what we’ve seen with FB for example.

This is like the Aggregate IQ and Cambridge Analytica story but rather than simply partially selling/influencing some user data in exchange for hijacking and distorting at least two western democratic processes, this is about all user data actively being in the hands of a hostile state.

I know the pioneers of the web like to be free to do what they like, but that’s spectacularly naive. We need national legislation and international legal agreements on how we keep user data safe and ensure users have the right to privacy and the right to free speech. That’s how serious this is.


Do you have references to ‘security concerns’?

I’m partly conscious that whilst I still have concerns, the video is also a bit dramatic. It might be useful to gather references.

This article runs down some of the issues with hacking. It’s a major issue for anyone doing anything with crypto/NFTs because the amount of scam projects is just crazy, and during the period when unsophisticated Discord users were joining they were falling prey to a lot of scams coming in via DMs.

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Not a fan of discord and have stopped signing up to communities on that platform. In general, the interface is too busy as well.

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I have never been a fan of Discord. Starting a community is easier on there, and so is leaving it, or starting a competing community.

The ‘fast and free’ model tends to churn out low value communities with little planning or thought into their execution.

On ethics: it’s challenging because almost all of the products we use are built on underpaid workers in poor conditions and if you examine any supply chain, there are ethical problems in multiple layers. That said, everyone has their own threshold and it’s easier to switch community platform than it is to find a laptop that doesn’t use chips from a factory where multiple workers committed suicide.


@rosiesherry I saw this video as well when it first released. Very eye opening! It goes against my ethos of community building.

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Rosie, that’s a terrifying video. But it’s not terribly surprising.

Tencent and all of the companies that it has acquired or invested in are deeply problematic, and the West is increasingly divesting itself of these companies. It is focusing on CCP-operated hardware at the moment (see: Huawei), but TikTok’s increasing bans across various countries will soon be amplified later this year and next and we should start seeing major investment pressure for U.S., U.K., and E.U. firms to split off from CCP-controlled parent companies.

We as community leaders should be making moral choices about the systems we use, and the content that we allow. I put this sort of security risk right on par with allowing pornography into communities: it objectifies vulnerable people and, on sites that cater to underage minors, poses major ethical and legal risks. We should have a zero-tolerance approach to systems - technical and institutional - that introduce these sorts of risks to our member populations.

It also diminishes the value of “real” communities who glom on to “fast and free” models by trivializing the meaningful stickiness and retained long-tail value of people who have contributed substantially over time. But considering how much of the old hobbyist model was being co-opted by this sort of casual content, its migration to fast-and-free models is starting to showcase just how little value a lot of user generated content genuinely provides.


Monthly Slack workspace / channel cull, FTW!!

Tell me more! How are you using Slack instead of Discord for your community?

I moved off Discord (for Indiependent a couple of months ago).

This is how it looks, the lowest dip is when we switched to Slack. This graph is the number of conversations happening within the community.

Honestly, these kind of conversations always end up pointing out why each one is much better. My choice of moving was the Discord business ethics in addition to people within my community being more ‘Slack kind of people’.

It works for us.

Since on Discord the channels are in a public setting, meaning - your data is already out there - where do you think it makes sense for them to use E2E encryption?

  1. Direct messages
  2. Strip media from metadata (so they don’t get your location)
  3. Don’t track device location

What else?

Why do they need DMs on Discord? I found out that, other than connecting to moderators, people barely reach out to less than 1% of the other people in a community, through DMs.

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DMs in Slacks are huge, every community I’ve started or been involved in managing has had a huge percentage of DMs happening behind the scenes.


Between you as a moderator, and people, but I’d be surprised if it’s more than 1% between people who are not moderators. If you can do a poll and find out, it would be great to speak real numbers.

Also Slacks for communities, not companies - where employees have to talk to one another unless they’re that guy Joe who’s quit introvert and doesn’t like people. :slight_smile:

I started a new thread - Can you share your stats for your Slack DMs vs Channels?


So, out of curiosity, why Slack (owned now by Salesforce) rather than something a bit more decentralized and ownable-by-you, like Internet Relay Chat (IRC)? There are even a few indie-friendly bots that integrate Slack with IRC.

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Mostly because of the ux and lack of familiarity of signing up to and using other software. I just don’t believe people will end up using it out of lack of habit and lack of willingness to give it a try.

I know I wouldn’t, lol. And often I make decisions by asking myself how I think I would feel about things.

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There is an OSS slack clone you can host on your own servers: https://mattermost.com

I know the PM: https://twitter.com/zef


I agree with this. There’s a network effect with Slack and Discord that reduces the friction of joining and staying engaged with the groups you’re in.

When you have informal community groups on screen next to your company Slack, there’s less context switching in clicking over. Ditto for Discord. If you’re in one server, it’s easy to jump into another one that’s just a click/tap away.

It’s the same reason that emails are so important for, say, a community hosted on Khoros or Discourse. Unless a member has a habit of checking in, you need a forcing function – that email in the inbox – to bring them back.

RE: Issues with Discord – Bit of a tangent here, but it’s funny that so many of the web3 adherents pay lip service to decentralization and anonymity while building everything on Discord, Telegram and Medium. :sweat_smile:


The owner of Slack isn’t ideal, but at least I feel that there is user/data protection for them.

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