Discord has updated their Terms of Service.
This change adds a clause with the revocation of your legal rights. Discord has revoked your right to sue (you must go through an arbitrator) and to congregate as a class action lawsuit.
There is an opt-out for the clause, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org, but you must do it within 30 days or you can no longer opt-out even if you delete your account.
Should I worry?
A member of the Discord staff team has come out to say their intentions behind this and it's been put in place to protect both the company and the consumer.
Whether or not you believe in this being true, you can still opt out if you're worried.
Should I still opt out?
To quote the official message:
If you want to opt-out, you absolutely should, and you can send us one of the several templates in this
thread. You won't be penalized in any way if you do so - you're exercising a right that you absolutely have the
right to exercise.
What should I email?
There are a number of templates available, here's a formal opt out email which you can send to Discord:
Send an email to email@example.com
To whom it may concern, As stated in the Discord Terms of Service, You have the right to opt out and not be bound by the provisions requiring arbitration by sending written notice of your decision to opt out to Discord by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The notice must be sent within 30 days of this Terms of Service taking effect, or your account creation on the Service. I hereby exercise the aforementioned right to opt out and not be bound by the provisions requiring arbitration. This email is a written notice of said decision. Name: [Your IRL Name] Discriminator: [Your User ID (with #)] Email: [Email Associated With Account] Phone no.: [(Optional) Phone No. Associated With Account]
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Discord's Informal Response (source)
Hey everyone - I just had a conversation in the DAPI server where this was posted, which was pretty good,
but I'm going to put this here as well, to explain some of the reasoning behind this change. I want to generally
say that this isn't a planned statement so it's a bit conversational in tone (edited for some clarity, apologies
for the length):
First things first: We're pretty dedicated to things like user privacy, not selling your data, and trying to be
make money in a not-being-big-brother-and-knowing-where-you-sleep way. So a lot of the questions in this thread
are things like, what is this then? Why is it legal? What are you trying to do?
As with most things legal, this is to protect the company. Yes, you probably rolled your eyes at that, but bear
with me while we go through a slightly long journey through the law.
In general, I think the American legal system is pretty great. It allows for Justice when someone wrongs you, and
we have both criminal and civil courts that operate separately but share a lot of values. It's a pretty integral
part of why America is awesome.
In the United States, in the 1960s, the modern class action lawsuit was born. The class action lawsuit was seen
as a way to expedite a lot of really onerous legal processes, streamline the system, allow everyone to easily
obtain justice, and it was really helpful for things like environmental rights and civil rights. It's still
helpful, but the problem is that with a system like this, people have started to take advantage of the system.
I want to be clear that we're not doing this to dodge responsibility for anything. We believe in doing right by
you, and we take feedback into account (see the recent Nitro Classic changes). The reason that there's a
arbitration agreement in our Terms of Service is that there have been a continuously increasing raft of class
actions and firms that look for companies that are susceptible to class actions. When class actions are
successful, the lawyers get millions, and each user gets, on average... anywhere from ten cents to a couple
dollars. Sometimes tens of dollars! Maybe a free rideshare (I don't remember this case, but I think I got one of
I genuinely believe that if we messed up, we would do more for you than give you ten cents (and some law firm X
million dollars). There's a bunch of articles online, if you search 'frivolous class actions', you'll find some
of them. But instead of taking my word for it (sorry, reading rainbow reference), I'd actually suggest you follow
someone that I think fights for user rights always, Mike Masnick of Techdirt: "For years, we've been pointing out
that our class action lawsuit system is broken. It makes sense, in theory, that if a large group of people are
wronged, they can team up to right that wrong—but in practice it has morphed into a system where a bunch of
bottom-feeder lawyers sue just about any company at every opportunity... and then those lawyers end up taking the
bulk of the money." -
Law firms file class actions over pokemon go’s teenagers knocking on doors (yup). Law firms file class actions
over really, really dumb stuff
... and they get rich off of it. This is not to say that all class actions are inherently bad - but the way
they're used today is really damaging to companies who are trying to do the right thing. If they changed the
barrier for class action lawsuits and made it less about enriching lawyers looking for money and more about
fixing things, we wouldn’t be here. And, in fact, part of the post notes that arbitration clauses aren't
enforceable in some countries - countries that don’t have the same culture don't have this issue. And yet, they
still hold companies accountable - European DPAs fight for users, and we believe in that fight. Here in the US,
the FTC fights for users, and we believe in them too (and think they do a pretty good job holding companies
Again, not all class actions are in bad faith. But a lot of them are, and they cost a lot of money to defend
against, money that could be better spent on pushing new updates and getting better games that you can play. At
the end of the day, what we want to do is make Discord the best place for games and gamers (and along the way,
keep churning out a million memes, keep updating the client every day), and not spend money on lawsuits that
aren't actually benefiting the users.
Final note - this isn't to persuade you not to opt-out. Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not
arbitration is good, or whether or not the class action system is one that is beneficial. If you want to opt-out,
you absolutely should, and you can send us one of the several templates in this thread. You won't be penalized in
any way if you do so - you're exercising a right that you absolutely have the right to exercise.