Discord Policy
March 3, 2023

Clarifying our Dangerous and Regulated Goods Policy

Last week, we announced updates to our Terms of Service, Paid Services Terms, Privacy Policy, and Community Guidelines, which go into effect March 27, 2023. In the updates to our Community Guidelines, we further clarified our policy on Dangerous and Regulated Goods, and introduced a new part of the guideline that required communities to apply an age-restricted label to any channels that contain the discussion of dangerous and regulated goods.

The intention of this requirement is to ensure the safety of our users through preventing the promotion of dangerous or illegal activities, especially as it relates to teens on Discord.

However, we are further evaluating how best to support our moderators and communities in regards to any new age-restricted policies. As such, this new requirement will not go into effect until we have provided more guidance and clarity, which will happen in the coming months.

Below, we’ve gone a bit deeper into this rule to explain what is changing, what’s not, and what we classify as a Dangerous and Regulated Good.

Existing Dangerous and Regulated Goods Policy

Our guidelines state that users may not organize, promote, or engage in the buying, selling, or trading of dangerous and regulated goods. This has always been our policy and will not be changing.

We want to use this opportunity to talk a little bit more about what we consider to be a “dangerous and regulated good” and how this policy will apply:

  • We consider a good to be “dangerous” if it has reasonable potential to cause or assist in causing real-world, physical harm to individuals and “regulated” if there are laws in place that restrict the purchase, sale, trade, or ownership of the good. For a good to be covered under this policy, it must be both dangerous and regulated and have the potential to create real-world harm.
  • Our definition of “dangerous and regulated goods” includes: real firearms, ammunition, explosives, military-grade tactical gear, controlled substances, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. We may expand this list in the future if needed.

Examples and Exceptions

To help put this policy into context, here are some examples of situations we would and would not take action against under this policy:

  • Situation: A gaming server has multiple channels for users to connect with each other to talk about and buy, sell, or trade in-game weapons using in-game currencies.
  • Analysis: We consider a good to be “dangerous” if it has reasonable potential to cause real-world harm. We would not view guns that are depicted in video games as meeting this criteria, so this server would not be in violation of this policy, and we would take no action against the server.

  • Situation: A user posts a message in a server that they have a firearm for sale and includes a link to an off-platform marketplace where they have listed the firearm for sale.
  • Analysis: We consider firearms a “dangerous and regulated good” and do not allow any buying, selling, or trading of these goods on Discord. We would take action against the user under this policy and remove the link to the listing.
  • Situation: A server has a dedicated channel for users to buy and sell drug paraphernalia, such as smoking pipes and bongs, with one another.
  • Analysis: As long as users are not also using the server to buy, sell, or trade controlled substances with one another or using these sales as a means to distribute dangerous and regulated goods, we would not consider this server to be in violation of this policy and would not take action against the server.

Enforcing The Existing Policy

We may take any number of enforcement actions in response to users and servers that are attempting to buy, sell, or trade dangerous and regulated goods on Discord — including warning an account, server, or entire moderator team; removing harmful content; and permanently suspending an account or server.

Looking Ahead

After receiving feedback from our community, we are evaluating the potential for unintended consequences and negative impacts of the age-restricted requirement. Our existing guidelines on Dangerous and Regulated Goods remain as stated, however we are assessing how best to support server moderators regarding the age-restricted requirement and to ensure we are not preventing positive online engagement.

We regularly evaluate and assess our policies to ensure Discord remains a safe and welcoming place, and plan to update our Community Guidelines in the coming months. We will provide any important updates on this policy then.

The full list of content and behaviors not allowed on Discord can be found in our Community Guidelines. Our Safety Center and Policy & Safety Blog are also great resources if you would like to read more about our approach to safety and our policies.

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Policy

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