In the wake of violence committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, Discord has responded to user reports and shut down a server launched in June by the website AltRight.com, as well as accounts it says were "associated with the events in Charlottesville."
Counter-protester and Industrial Workers of the World member Heather Heyer was killed when a known alt-right supporter allegedly drove his car into a crowd. The attack injured 19 others. Suspect James Fields has been charged with "one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and run," according to NPR. He was denied bond today.
Several others were injured apart from the car attack, including 20-year-old counter-protester Deandre Harris who was beaten with poles and suffered a serious head injury and broken wrist. Members of the rally were seen displaying Nazi and Confederate symbols, as well as chanting Nazi slogan 'blood and soil.'
The server for the website Daily Stormer was also shut down after being reported to Discord on Twitter for violating its terms of service.
"We will continue to take action against white supremacy, nazi ideology, and all forms of hate," reads Discord's statement today.
In a subsequent pair of tweets, the company explained: "Discord does not read people's private conversations and censorship is a slippery slope. We will take action when people violate our Guidelines/ToS, and actively endorse violence against others."
The connection to PC gaming is somewhat tangential, but Discord is a platform rooted in game communities that has evolved, thanks to its utility and flexibility, into other fields. But gaming remains at its core—it still bills itself as a "free voice and text chat for gamers"—and it's heartening to see Discord draw this line in the sand so quickly and decisively.