Discord uses App Store loophole to roll back iOS 'NSFW' server ban

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,959   +785
Staff member
Why it matters: One thing about human nature is that we do not take it well when something we once had is taken away. It's an innate characteristic, observable even in an infant child. So when it comes to a company removing a feature from an app, most people disapprove—regardless whether they used it or not.

Last week, Discord made some changes to its "not-safe-for-work" (NSFW) policies. As part of the guideline overhaul, its iOS app began blocking access to all NSFW communities and servers. Many users and moderators were not pleased with finding themselves locked out of their mobile communities.

The blowback was significant enough that this week Discord has dialed back the ban a bit. Users of the iOS Discord app can now opt-in to NSFW servers as long as they are 18+ years old. The only servers still banned are those "specifically focused on explicit pornographic content." While these will remain entirely locked out on the iOS app, users still have access via the desktop app or web browser.

"To comply with Apple's policies, servers labeled NSFW will not be accessible to iOS users," a Discord spokesperson told TechSpot last week. "These changes are being rolled out over the next few days, and we will be working with server owners to ensure they are aware and understand the new requirements."

Apple wants to make certain its iPhones and iPads remain family-friendly and has strict rules regarding App Store apps serving NSFW (adult) content. Unfortunately, on Discord, NSFW could be as minor as lewd jokes or language or other mildly explicit content. Gaming channels are largely given this adult designation.

Apple's rules allow for such "incidental mature 'NSFW' content" as long as the app hides it by default, and there is no mechanism within the software to unhide it. However, the developer guidelines also say users can opt-in to that milder content via a website. Discord is using this loophole to allow users to opt-in with the desktop or web app. Once users have jumped through the hoop, they can enter their NSFW designated communities via the iOS app. It's a slight inconvenience but better than being locked out entirely.

Image credit: Postmodern Studio

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Ravey

Posts: 296   +127
It's a bit of a coincidence that as soon as Microsoft announces it is considering buying Discord that Apple suddenly drops this bomb. It could potentially take a hit to Discords overall company value and playerbase making the app less appealing to buy!

nah, I'm just way too cynical I think :)
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 212   +91
Just 1 of the dozens of reasons I've never owned an apple phone. In fact I've only ever owned one Apple product at all. I'm not big on being told what to do with my tech WHILE also being overcharged and forced to pay others to fix.

The product I did own was a 80gb ipod classic I hardwired into my car audio system threw it in a glove box full of songs and never saw it again.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,249   +1,384
TechSpot Elite
What's the best way to ensure that Apple's drama remains completely irrelevant to you? Don't buy Apple.

Well, it's not completely irrelevant... All of us PC/Android people can just sit back and laugh at the monkeys as they pay more and more money to get more and more raped. Maybe Apple should call its products "legalised prostitution".