Discord's Privacy Terms Are Not What You Think...

Discord Nov 5, 2022

"I have read and agree to the terms" - no you haven't.... No-one has. Why? They're boring, long and frankly the language used isn't very user friendly. For ages, people have just been blindly ticking the box during signup without reading what they're actually agreeing to, but today I'm going to share what you actually agreed to when you created your Discord account.

Thumbnail by Roonie

Disclaimer: Personally, I feel the need to start off this article with a disclaimer. This article is purely focused on sharing information. This article is not meant to slander Discord in any way. Netcord is not associated with Discord in any way. This article simply aims to inform the reader about Discord's privacy terms, and what you agreed to.

A new tool has emerged that gives an online service a "grade" that represents how good their privacy terms are. This tool is tos.dr.

Frontpage -- Terms of Service; Didn’t Read
“Terms of Service; Didn’t Read” (short: ToS;DR) is a project started in June 2012 to help fix the “biggest lie on the web”: almost no one really reads the terms of service we agree to all the time.

Discord have been rated with a grade E - one of the worst. This means that, when signing up for Discord, you're agreeing to privacy terms that aren't really brilliant. Let's dissect the information this site provides today...

Terms of Service; Didn't Read (TOS;DR) colour codes the privacy terms based on the threat level they prove with Red being the most severe, followed by Amber, Green and Grey being the least severe.

For a Grade E site though, Discord only have two Red points, with their bad grade being mostly compiled from their long list of Ambers. For this article, I will only be including the most severe terms. If you're interested, however, you can check out Discord's full page of terms in your own time here:

Discord -- Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

Remember, you signed up to Discord, you agreed to these terms!

Red Grade Terms

Private Messages

Our first major issue with Discord's Privacy Terms is the fact you agree that they can read your private messages...

"Information we collect may include but not be limited to username, email address, and any messages, images, transient VOIP data (to enable communication delivery only) or other content you send via the chat feature."
Quoted from Discord's Privacy Policy.

In this specific term, Discord are saying that they can collect any data sent through their chat features. This is a right they do reserve, and for good reason too. If Discord can read your messages, they can remove bad content and moderate the platform. This brings me smoothly to our next red point...

Content Deletion

Discord can delete content at any time, without prior notice and without reason

"The Company reserves the right to remove and permanently delete Your Content from the Service with or without notice for any reason or no reason."
Quoted from Terms of Service

This means that any messages you send, servers you create, almost any user input into the platform can be deleted by Discord and at any time. They are also not obligated to tell you of the deletions (although if it's a server, you'll likely be emailed), and they don't even need to provide you with their reasons for doing so.

Yellow Grade Terms

As there are so many of these, I'll just summarise them into bullet points

  • Account Deletion: Similar to Content Deletion earlier, Discord can delete your account at any time and isn't obligated to provide a reason.
  • Personal Data Retention: Discord may retain your data for an undisclosed period of time for their own purposes.
    - Similarly, they may keep your data after you delete your account for business reasons or legal requirements
  • DNT Ignore: Discord will ignore any user-defined Do Not Track choice.
  • Censor Communications: Discord may ban you from any chat services without being obligated to share a reason

Well folks, that's probably the worst of them covered, most of the other terms just say that Discord use cookies, etc etc. If you are interested, you can head over and read all of them in your own time here

Discord -- Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

Hope you enjoyed today's article. Personally, I think TOS.dr is a great tool to learn more about all the Terms of Services of the websites you use daily! I'm sure you'll agree it's a very interesting read!

I'll be back tomorrow telling you what I promised you in my App Directory article last week (🤫 the economy bot changes)! But for now, maybe go and re-read that article below to refresh yourself, but for now, Epic out! ✌

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Scottish | 16 | He/Him. By day, High School Student. By night, Netcord Article Writer & Editor, avid gamer, and Discord Server Manager/Moderator, who occasionally dabbles into graphic design.