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WHAT IS DISCORD AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Paula Hingley February 6, 2019 General, OSINT, Social Media Monitoring

Discord is a voiceover IP and messaging program, particularly used by members of the popular game streaming platform, Twitch.

Discord’s user interface looks like a cross between Skype and Slack. It’s completely free to use, and is available as a web, mobile, and desktop application.

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Within Discord, users can create their own servers and host private, password protected, or public channels within those servers. Channel moderators then send invitations to users in order for them to join a channel. Echosec accesses Discord’s public channel API.

Is Discord Just for Gamers?

Although it was originally built for the gaming community, its versatile chat, video, and voice capabilities have drawn in a diverse mix of 200 million users since Dec 2018.

Discord is now used as a method of communication between groups of like minded people with varied interests. Discord users can join “servers” which can be public or private, and tend to focus on a single topic such as DIY or anime.

Discord App

Privacy and security

Discord has been criticized for being vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals, and the privacy and security of the platform has often been called to question. Discord has been forthcoming in their educational content, encouraging their users to take extra security measures with their accounts.

Beyond security issues, the conversations taking place on Discord have evolved to include adult, narcotic, or NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. Although some chat rooms advertise as an “18+ Community, all that is necessary to join these communities is to click “Join Server”.

Much like any other online forum, there is also a risk of cyberbullying on Discord. Server administrators have the ability to remove individuals who are initiating unsavoury language or behaviour.

What is Discord

A Controversial History

In 2016 and early 2017, Discord became popular with the alt-right movement, due to the ability for groups to remain anonymous and private. During the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville, VA in Aug 2017, it was discovered that Discord had been used as a planning tool for rally organizers. Discord has since shut down several servers that appeared to be supporting this movement and banned these groups from the service.

Why is Discord Data Important?

People sharing on public channels in Discord are often using these channels to discuss illegal activity, and more specifically narcotic use. Contrary to the Darknet, the content is less focused on buying and selling, and more focused on information that provides social and cultural innuendos about usage.

Many Discord users openly discuss certain drugs, inquire about others experiences, and instruct each other on how to make specific drug cocktails. In the event of a public health or emergency such as an overdose, it is extremely valuable for emergency responders to access this open data. It is an important place to gather clues about what substances and other factors may have been involved.

Discord’s public channel data has recently been introduced into the Echosec platform.

Echosec clients can now view open Discord data in Echosec, alongside data from providers such as Youtube, VKontakte, Reddit, and many others.

Echosec supports keyword and username searches within Discord. Echosec also gathers Discord data that has been cross-posted with Reddit.

To learn more about Discord data in Echosec, and for any other inquires, please book a consultation with our team.

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