Discord bans harmful Covid-19 misinformation on its platform

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vannvicente

Posts: 12   +0
In a nutshell: Following other digital platforms like Reddit and YouTube, Discord has updated its community guidelines with new rules on dangerous medical misinformation. The instant messaging service will prohibit users from posting "misleading health information that is likely to cause physical or societal harm."

The policy change was announced on Friday in a blog post by Discord's senior platform policy specialist Alex Anderson. The rules are explicitly targeted at Covid-19 misinformation, which has become increasingly prevalent across the web.

"Ensuring the accuracy of online health information has never been as important as during the Covid-19 pandemic," it reads.

In the blog, Discord cited specific types of content that would fall under the new rules, including anti-vaccination rhetoric, dangerous cures for diseases, and anything that "could hinder the resolution of a public health emergency." They stated that health information is misleading if it "directly and unequivocally contradicts the most recent consensus by the medical community."

The company intends to crack down on Covid-19 conspiracy theories, with these guidelines restricting unsubstantiated rumors and widely-debunked health claims. However, the post also clarified that they do not intend to be "punitive of polarizing or controversial viewpoints," with non-misleading personal health experiences, commentary, and satire being excluded from the rules.

These guidelines apply to both individual accounts and organized servers. Discord specified that enforcement actions would be doled out based on the severity and potential harm of the misinformation, with punishments ranging from warnings to permanent suspensions of an account or server.

In an interview with The Verge, Discord's chief legal officer Clint Smith explained that "if someone posts on Discord drink four ounces of bleach and your body will be rid of coronavirus, that's actionable." He also cited that low-risk misinformation will likely not be actionable.

"If someone posts about holding crystals against your chest for 5 minutes and your lung capacity will improve, that's not something Discord is going to take action against," Smith said

The community messaging platform is the latest in a line of technology companies that have attempted to combat health-related misinformation. After massive public pressure, YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook have all made policy changes intended to dampen growing anti-vax rhetoric on their platforms. Conversely, streaming giant Spotify has refused to remove prominent creators such as Joe Rogan over accusations of misleading Covid-19 claims.

This isn't the first time the company has made significant moves to curb the spread of harmful content, with operations in place that combat exploitative content, violent extremism, and illegal activity. In its transparency report covering the first half of 2021, Discord stated that it removed over 43,000 servers and banned 470,000 accounts for violating guidelines.

Only time will tell if Discord can effectively enforce this new policy across its over 150 million active users and nearly 6 million servers. In the meantime, the company has posted instructions on reporting harmful misinformation to their team.

Image credit: Alexander Shatov

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
Considering all the stuff I've posted on Discord that would have earned me decades in Facebook Gulag, I'm shocked they are so worried about Covid mis-information.

This is how free-speech dies.

A bunch of technocrats controlling what we can and can't say - making it impossible to even dislike a post for what's being said - or see the true numbers of people agreeing/ disagreeing.

Being censored constantly for expressing "contrarian" opinions or views - even backed by fact.

Someday, I hope they all get destroyed and TRUTH reigns supreme.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 327   +587
A reminder that much of the things labeled misinformation 6-12 months ago are now "the most recent consensus by the medical community."

Science especially new areas of study change rapidly as evidenced by their own policy which holds "most recent consensus" as the standard. Having hourly workers and algorithms police such topics does far more harm than good. How else does the consensus change other than questioning it as demanded by the scientific method.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,491   +1,040
Staff member
A reminder that much of the things labeled misinformation 6-12 months ago are now "the most recent consensus by the medical community."

Science especially new areas of study change rapidly as evidenced by their own policy which holds "most recent consensus" as the standard. Having hourly workers and algorithms police such topics does far more harm than good. How else does the consensus change other than questioning it as demanded by the scientific method.
^^THIS^^
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,239

How do you suppose private platforms like Discord would go about combating the massive campaigns of political misinformation that are intentionally disseminated by right wing pundits under the ridiculously wide appeals to "Free Speech"?

Yelling "FIRE!" on a movie theater just shouldn't be allowed just because 20 minutes later there was an electrical short near the carpet and the movie theater really caught on fire: it was impossible for someone to predict that and their intention wasn't to be overly cautious it was just being irresponsible and trying to intentionally cause a panic.

Sorry but since there is absolutely no way to stop intentional spread of misinformation private companies have no other recourse but to just stick to widely accepted, responsible course of actions that at least have some form of consensus as to their reasoning and effectiveness even if they later turn out to be not entirely correct, to do otherwise is just saying "You should be allowed to start panics on our platforms because there is no scientific certainty yet"
 

KaitouX

Posts: 21   +29
A reminder that much of the things labeled misinformation 6-12 months ago are now "the most recent consensus by the medical community."

Science especially new areas of study change rapidly as evidenced by their own policy which holds "most recent consensus" as the standard. Having hourly workers and algorithms police such topics does far more harm than good. How else does the consensus change other than questioning it as demanded by the scientific method.
Questioning it without any scientific basis does nothing either, people that say that it's no worse than the flu, that vaccines killed more than the virus itself, people saying the vaccines contain microchips, that Bill Gates is trying to control everyone using the vaccine, etc.. don't help anything and only increase the amount of false information on the topic.
Also I don't think the first part is true either, the consensus on most things about the virus have been mostly unchanged for quite some time, so I really doubt that "much of the things labeled misinformation 6-12 months ago are now "the most recent consensus by the medical community."" is accurate, at the very least the "much" there is greatly exaggerated.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,491   +1,040
Staff member
How do you suppose private platforms like Discord would go about combating the massive campaigns of political misinformation that are intentionally disseminated by right wing pundits under the ridiculously wide appeals to "Free Speech"?

Yelling "FIRE!" on a movie theater just shouldn't be allowed just because 20 minutes later there was an electrical short near the carpet and the movie theater really caught on fire: it was impossible for someone to predict that and their intention wasn't to be overly cautious it was just being irresponsible and trying to intentionally cause a panic.

Sorry but since there is absolutely no way to stop intentional spread of misinformation private companies have no other recourse but to just stick to widely accepted, responsible course of actions that at least have some form of consensus as to their reasoning and effectiveness even if they later turn out to be not entirely correct, to do otherwise is just saying "You should be allowed to start panics on our platforms because there is no scientific certainty yet"
Nobody here is talking about starting panics. Reasonable and rational discussion should be encouraged, but that is not what we have seen for the most part. Instead what we see is any and all views, that are even the slightest bit contrary to the popular narrative are getting shut down, even when they are later proven to be valid. An example would be the effectiveness of remdesivir. Discussion on that were shutdown by Facebook post-haste, but now it is an FDA approved treatment for covid.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Nobody here is talking about starting panics. Reasonable and rational discussion should be encouraged, but that is not what we have seen for the most part. Instead what we see is any and all views, that are even the slightest bit contrary to the popular narrative are getting shut down, even when they are later proven to be valid. An example would be the effectiveness of remdesivir. Discussion on that were shutdown by Facebook post-haste, but now it is an FDA approved treatment for covid.
Very few people were shutting down talks about Remdesivir though - they simply stated it needed to be approved and tested before use.
It was drugs like Ivermectin that people were shutting down talks on - because they were not, are not and will NEVER be approved for use to treat Covid.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 694   +1,089
Very few people were shutting down talks about Remdesivir though - they simply stated it needed to be approved and tested before use.
It was drugs like Ivermectin that people were shutting down talks on - because they were not, are not and will NEVER be approved for use to treat Covid.
According to Discord’s new rules, these won’t probably be shut down because Ivermectin’s side-effects are uncommon and mild. It sounds like it would fall in the non-actionable category as low-risk misinformation/non-dangerous cures for diseases.

While I don’t like the fact that you could be disciplined on a platform level for sharing different viewpoints about Covid (even if they might be wrong), at least it seems that Discord is relying on users to report people. Discord’s reporting function seems to not be well-known.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,694   +6,633
Considering all the stuff I've posted on Discord that would have earned me decades in Facebook Gulag, I'm shocked they are so worried about Covid mis-information.
I guess you did not read the article?

However, the post also clarified that they do not intend to be "punitive of polarizing or controversial viewpoints," with non-misleading personal health experiences, commentary, and satire being excluded from the rules.
This is how free-speech dies.
Free speech dies when people spout pure BS because they think they are exercising free speech. That's called irresponsibility in my book, not "free speech".
A bunch of technocrats controlling what we can and can't say - making it impossible to even dislike a post for what's being said - or see the true numbers of people agreeing/ disagreeing.
So the numbers of people agreeing or disagreeing represent what is truth?
Being censored constantly for expressing "contrarian" opinions or views - even backed by fact.

Someday, I hope they all get destroyed and TRUTH reigns supreme.
And another quote from the article
In the blog, Discord cited specific types of content that would fall under the new rules, including anti-vaccination rhetoric, dangerous cures for diseases, and anything that "could hinder the resolution of a public health emergency." They stated that health information is misleading if it "directly and unequivocally contradicts the most recent consensus by the medical community."
The key words there are "the most recent consensus by the medical community". It does not matter if that consensus changes in time to reflect the opinion that was spouted back then. That's how science works.

If you are expecting perfection from doctors, then you must come from another planet where medical practice has reached perfection. Sorry, its not that way here on Earth.

Medically speaking, and according to the law, if anything someone posted can be interpreted as diagnosing or prescribing and that someone is not licensed to practice medicine, and as well, if what they are spouting is not an approved treatment for a particular condition, that someone can be arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license - or perhaps even if they are a doctor and what they are posting is not an approved treatment, malpractice.
Nobody here is talking about starting panics. Reasonable and rational discussion should be encouraged, but that is not what we have seen for the most part. Instead what we see is any and all views, that are even the slightest bit contrary to the popular narrative are getting shut down, even when they are later proven to be valid. An example would be the effectiveness of remdesivir. Discussion on that were shutdown by Facebook post-haste, but now it is an FDA approved treatment for covid.
See above. Its the way science works - like it or not.
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,239
Nobody here is talking about starting panics. Reasonable and rational discussion should be encouraged, but that is not what we have seen for the most part. Instead what we see is any and all views, that are even the slightest bit contrary to the popular narrative are getting shut down, even when they are later proven to be valid. An example would be the effectiveness of remdesivir. Discussion on that were shutdown by Facebook post-haste, but now it is an FDA approved treatment for covid.
Do you honestly, really think the people talking about putting microchips on the vaccines and taking that rhetoric to its logical end blocking all traffic through Ontario really aren't panicking?

People like you trying to play scientist trying to say "Why shouldn't we try remdesivir" open the door for people that follow your exact same logic and end up taking horse dewormer or drinking bleach.

Functionally and morally, there is no difference between uneducated people like you trying to cloak under this centrist arguments of "Gotta listen to all sides of the debate!" and people using the same default to override scientific consensus, which by the way it's in the name, consensus so no we shouldn't have approved remdesivir before a consensus was formed once proper evidence and studies were sufficient.

Discussions about science done by non-scientists and non-experts on the field should be shut down because you are literally seeing the results of anti-science thinking in real time.
 
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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 832   +1,445
I find it odd that I know more people that have gotten sicker or died from getting these big pharm money earning shots than those that contracted covid.

I know 1 person that died from covid and this was because they outright refused any help and by the end it was too late.
I know 3 people that have died within 36 hours of getting a full round of shots or the booster shot.
I know 1 person that was hospitalized due to covid, they didn't get any shots, and has made a full recovery.
I know half a dozen people that were hospitalized after getting a full round of shots due to health complications - 2 of them developed myocarditis and have to get routine checkups over the next 6-12 months to see if the damage repairs or not. The others were so sick from fever, diarrhea, dehydration and chest pains they spent 4-5 days in the hospital before being released

I won't tell people not to get the shot if they want it, but from what I've seen they're not effective and tend to cause more harm than good.

I know many people that still got covid after the shots, even after boosters - one person still died from covid and others got just as sick as those that didn't get a shot.

To each their own, but this whole cancel culture and mis-information crap needs to stop.
 

Ultraman1966

Posts: 179   +97
I find it odd that I know more people that have gotten sicker or died from getting these big pharm money earning shots than those that contracted covid.

I know 1 person that died from covid and this was because they outright refused any help and by the end it was too late.
I know 3 people that have died within 36 hours of getting a full round of shots or the booster shot.
I know 1 person that was hospitalized due to covid, they didn't get any shots, and has made a full recovery.
I know half a dozen people that were hospitalized after getting a full round of shots due to health complications - 2 of them developed myocarditis and have to get routine checkups over the next 6-12 months to see if the damage repairs or not. The others were so sick from fever, diarrhea, dehydration and chest pains they spent 4-5 days in the hospital before being released

I won't tell people not to get the shot if they want it, but from what I've seen they're not effective and tend to cause more harm than good.

I know many people that still got covid after the shots, even after boosters - one person still died from covid and others got just as sick as those that didn't get a shot.

To each their own, but this whole cancel culture and mis-information crap needs to stop.
Gonna have to call bullshit unless you happen to have most friends who are over 90s in care homes. The chance of Covid vaccine directly causing death is ridiculously low. However, I will never say it is impossible because all drugs and therapeutics CAN and DO have adverse effects on very small numbers of the population.
 

nodfor

Posts: 236   +432
A reminder that much of the things labeled misinformation 6-12 months ago are now "the most recent consensus by the medical community."

Science especially new areas of study change rapidly as evidenced by their own policy which holds "most recent consensus" as the standard. Having hourly workers and algorithms police such topics does far more harm than good. How else does the consensus change other than questioning it as demanded by the scientific method.
Give the FDA the time it requested (75 years) to release vax approval data. Yes, that is totally normal, to request 75 years to release data that was reviewed in a few months.

No questioning is needed. Believe in "I am science" Fauci.

Otherwise you are a conspiracy theorist.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 206   +499
The lab origin theory was widely censored, then 18 months later the powers that be finally said, "It could have come from a lab. We don't know". We're now 2+ years into this, and there has been no official progress on the origin of the virus, other than the "wet market" story being abandoned because it was bullshit.

Discussion, debate, and research lead to solutions. Suddenly with COVID, debate is verboten and any discussion or research that questions the "current medical consensus" is silenced.
 

nodfor

Posts: 236   +432
The lab origin theory was widely censored, then 18 months later the powers that be finally said, "It could have come from a lab. We don't know". We're now 2+ years into this, and there has been no official progress on the origin of the virus, other than the "wet market" story being abandoned because it was bullshit.

Discussion, debate, and research lead to solutions. Suddenly with COVID, debate is verboten and any discussion or research that questions the "current medical consensus" is silenced.
There is no room for debate when obedience and blind faith are required.
Believe in the official story
Obey and wear your mask
Obey and get your jab
Obey and get your booster jab
And when ordered again, obey again and get the new jab and its boosters.

When everything fails, blame those that weren't jabbed. And when those are locked out from society, blame those that didn't get enough boosters.
And then blame those that got their boosters but didn't do so fast enough.
And demand more boosters.
When you are "science", and you have the power of the gov and the voice of the media, the data doesn't matter, the facts don't matter, you can keep blaming others for your failures. And delete their posts from social media.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,430   +2,409
Nobody here is talking about starting panics. Reasonable and rational discussion should be encouraged, but that is not what we have seen for the most part. Instead what we see is any and all views, that are even the slightest bit contrary to the popular narrative are getting shut down, even when they are later proven to be valid. An example would be the effectiveness of remdesivir. Discussion on that were shutdown by Facebook post-haste, but now it is an FDA approved treatment for covid.
Remdesivir was the first COVID treatment to get FDA approval for EUA back in 2020.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,770
Very few people were shutting down talks about Remdesivir though - they simply stated it needed to be approved and tested before use.
It was drugs like Ivermectin that people were shutting down talks on - because they were not, are not and will NEVER be approved for use to treat Covid.

Ivermectin is being used in several counties to effectively treat COVID-19 just as its been use to treat similar infections FOR DECADES. Supporting fascism and lies doesn't help anyone but billionaire oligarchs.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Ivermectin is being used in several counties to effectively treat COVID-19 just as its been use to treat similar infections FOR DECADES. Supporting fascism and lies doesn't help anyone but billionaire oligarchs.
Except it ISN'T!!

It is meant for INFECTIONS and PARASITES - not for VIRUSES!!!


And the use of it for treating Covid (ineffectively) has meant that there are extreme shortages of it for hospitals who need it for its intended use!

Despite this being a tech site, and computers and their binary system rule supreme... the real world doesn't always present us with 2 options for every decision... sometimes there are more than 2... and sometimes there is only 1.

When it comes to a global pandemic, there is really only room for ONE... having dissenting viewpoints (especially uneducated ones) simply leads to more confusion, infections and DEATHS.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,770
Except it ISN'T!!

It is meant for INFECTIONS and PARASITES - not for VIRUSES!!!

And the use of it for treating Covid (ineffectively) has meant that there are extreme shortages of it for hospitals who need it for its intended use!

This is directly from the NIH, the agency that Facui's wife works for. Every test has proven its effectiveness. And this is just one positive endorsement. There is not and has never been a shortage of Ivermectin. How about you stop spreading COVID disinformation, or do we need to report you?

 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
This is directly from the NIH, the agency that Facui's wife works for. Every test has proven its effectiveness. And this is just one positive endorsement. There is not and has never been a shortage of Ivermectin. How about you stop spreading COVID disinformation, or do we need to report you?

Hmmm.... maybe do a little MORE research....


There's a reason the FDA says NOT to use it...


Yes, it's the Guardian... but HORSE OWNERS couldn't get their hands on it because of the mor0ns using it for Covid... Makes you wonder WHY we would want something horse owners use for their horses as a cure for Covid...
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,752   +7,668
It's simply a pity that free speech comes under attack because of the high level of ignorance in this country. An educated person (simple common sense doesn't require an advance degree) can make these determinations but those that trust every source they hear, or every self serving lieing politician, without checking the facts can't blame anyone but themselves. The only exception are those that knowingly spread lies for personal or financial gain. THAT is not free speech, it is intentional misrepresentation and there are laws to protect against it. The real crime here is the unwillingness for law enforcement and our judicial system to do their jobs and convict & punish the offenders.
 
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