Discord Bans "Anti-Vaccination" And "Misleading" Covid-19 Content

Discord has updated its community guidelines, targetting the spread of "harmful" misinformation. This especially pertains to "misleading health information that is likely to result in harm", or more specifically, misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccinations.

These new guidelines will bring Discord in line with other social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. It also comes amid increased scrutiny on the tech industry surrounding information on Covid-19, as Spotify refused to end its contract with Joe Rogan after his podcast hosted misleading claims about the virus and vaccinations.

These new guidelines will be effective as of March 28 (thanks, PC Gamer), so servers dedicated to anti-vax propaganda won't be removed immediately. However, from that date, it will limit what can be spread on the service.

Under the rule of "Be Honest", users are asked not to "share false or misleading information".

"Content that is false, misleading, and can lead to significant risk of physical or societal harm may not be shared on Discord", the guidelines read. "We may remove content if we reasonably believe its spread could result in damage to physical infrastructure, injury of others, obstruction of participation in civic processes, or the endangerment of public health."

Discord's Alex Anderson elaborated on this rule change, making it clear that this will be implemented specifically to combat Covid-19 misinformation.

"We consider health information "false or misleading" if it directly and unequivocally contradicts the most recent consensus reached by the medical community", Anderson elaborates. "Our standard for actioning requires that the content be likely to cause some form of harm."

Anderson goes on to give specific examples of misinformation that will be removed from the site as of next month. This includes misleading claims about the "safety, side effects, or efficacy of vaccines", "alternative, unapproved treatments for disease", and "the existence or prevalence of a disease". It's notable that these are all areas in which Spotify has been criticized, as Joe Rogan was a proponent of treating Covid-19 with ivermectin, and suggested young people are healthy enough to not need the vaccine.

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