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Deleted my Discord

I started using Discord in early 2019 mainly because most of my gaming friends were already using it and quickly recognized it as a fantastic platform for collaboration. I started to write about using it for organizing a project and never finished that post. I ended up creating and maintaining a bunch of discord servers, integrated various bots for different purposes, used it to collaborate on the bookofsong and a couple other websites with other groups, but mostly used it as a real-time communication channel for family and friends and to share videos and links.

But this week Discord joined the growing list of social media sites I have abandoned.

Discord decided to roll out a new terms of service which included forced arbitration but they did so in a way that immediately broke the service unless you accepted the new terms. Since I was using the service to stay in communication with family I had no choice but to accept the new terms if I wanted to say goodbye or make arrangements to download or transfer any of the data from my servers. On mobile you could swipe it away (for now?) but in the browser you either had to click Accept or close the window. It's important to note that Discord has had an arbitration requirement in their terms for years, though the section is significantly longer than the one I accepted when I first joined. Comparing them to see what's new is more tedious a task than I care to perform but it hardly matters what changed, it was the fact that instead of announcing a coming change and giving users time to read the new terms and use the service until it goes into effect, they forced users to accept the new terms without warning. As a communications platform, this might put some users in a position where they had to accept terms without reading them to avoid losing communication with friends and family before they could make alternate arrangements. I refuse to use any service that would operate so callously.

This also infuriated me since the only reason a company does this sort of thing is when they plan to implement changes that they fear will generate lawsuits against them. Best guess is that they intend to start selling user data to AI companies for training soon, but I have no inside info about that. I was so pissed off in fact that I didn't even bother to take a bunch of screenshots like I ususally do for archiving which I wish I had for this post. I did have the presense of mind to pass off ownership of one particularly large server that I had used to collaborate on research for a club website, but sites where most of the data was my own creation I burned to the ground.

I really do think discord is a better platform than most others like it that I've used. matrix is a great open source alternative and I wish more people would look into it - I use element on that platform at: @in8sworld:matrix.org and the current plan is to create a couple public rooms on matrix for posting links of interest to share.

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