Discord Dishonestly Responds to How it Handles Child Sexual Abuse Material After Being Named to 2023 Dirty Dozen List

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (May 3, 2023) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said that Discord’s response to a news report on how it handles child sexual abuse material is dishonest. Discord was named to NCOSE’s 2023 Dirty Dozen List.

A Discord spokesperson said: “Child-harm content is appalling, unacceptable, and has no place on Discord or in society. We work relentlessly to keep this content off our service and take immediate action when we become aware of it, including banning users, shutting down servers, and when appropriate, engaging with the proper authorities and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).”

Discord’s claims to remove child sexual abuse materials ‘immediately’ when they ‘become aware of it’ are far from credible. Discord is on the slow end of companies to remove or respond to child sexual abuse materials (at an average of 4.7 days), as evidenced by a recent NCMEC report,” said Lina Nealon, Vice President and Director of Corporate Advocacy for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Furthermore, a report released by Parents Together just a few weeks ago found that Discord was the #2 parent-reported social media platform where child sex abuse material-sharing happens.”

Additionally, on April 14, a NCOSE researcher reported to Discord that links indicating CSAM were found, but those links are still active in the same server over two weeks later.

“Discord’s statement illustrates a major failure in their response to these issues: they are far too passive, failing to proactively search for and remove exploitation. We are past the point of accepting corporate spin platitudes. Discord PR can claim to have ‘no place’ for exploitation but its practices foster a safe haven for exploiters,” Nealon added.

Discord is a messaging platform popular with predators who want to groom children, as well as obtain and trade child sexual abuse material and adult image-based sexual abuse content. More: www.endsexualexploitation.org/Discord  

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.   

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