Discord to ban health and Covid-19 misinformation
Discord has announced that it is updating its Community Guidelines to restrict health and Covid-19 misinformation. The social platform intends to prevent social and physical harm that may lead to damage and impede public health. Moreover, the company hopes to maintain authentic information about the pandemic and deter distortions about health and Covid-19.
Discord argues that fallacies about health and Covid-19 can affect how people make decisions and their adherence to health regulations. The company will cease users from posting content that may lead to harm such as misrepresentations about a disease, harmful and medically unsupported treatments for disease, anti-vaccination posts and information that may obstruct emergency resolution.
The platform also stresses that ‘attempts to sway opinion through the use of sensationalised, alarmist, or hyperbolic language, or any content that repeats widely-debunked health claims, unsubstantiated rumours, or conspiratorial narratives’ are banned.
These new guidelines will not bar individuals from speaking about their own experiences or opinions if these expressions do not result in harm and are truthful. Furthermore, ‘good-faith’ conversations regarding research and satire or content that ridicule or criticise health misinformation are allowed.
Users who infringe upon these new rules will be reprimanded based on the severity of the offence. Factors will be taken into consideration such as the user’s intention to persuade others about health falsehoods, the potential harm due to the content and repeated offences.