Significant Discord Terms of Service Update
Discord updated their Terms of Service (ToS) on October 16, and changed them again on October 19. You should have noticed a little blue banner at the top of your client informing you about this.
The Terms will go into effect on November 2 — or when you sign up for a new account, Nitro subscription or you purchase/download a game from the new Discord game store — whichever is earlier.
Among other things mostly related to the new games store Discord offers, the most controversial additions to the ToS include a clause requiring binding arbitration and a class action waiver clause. With the second Terms update, both of these clauses got limited to United States residents.
This means that as a US resident, you lose your right to sue Discord in an official court and to initiate or participate in a class action lawsuit against Discord. However, Discord in return offers to e.g. in most cases cover your arbitration fees that exceed the cost of a typical lawsuit, to ensure you don’t suffer much of a disadvantage from this clause.
Discord allows you to opt out from the arbitration clause by sending an email from the address linked to your account to
[email protected] within 90 days (formerly 30 days) of these Terms taking effect or your account creation. No special email template is needed.
There also will be no penalty at all for opting out, Discord even encourages you to opt out of you wish to do so.
You can, however, not opt out from the class action waiver.
Discord explains these changes to their policy with the start of their game store, which will generate profits and make them a possible target for abusive class action lawsuits. They want to limit their risks and expenses for defending against frivolous claims, in order to be able to invest that money into the product and service instead.
It should also be noted that many United States based companies have comparable clauses in their ToS, and that Discord’s version is rather friendly as they allow you to opt-out of arbitration and offer covering some expenses, which both is rather rare. It is not their intent to lower e.g. their privacy standards or disallow you to file rightful complaints against them.
Should you opt out?
You have to decide that yourself, of course. We don’t want to influence you either way.
Fact is that they say there is no penalty linked to the opt out, so there is not really any reason not to do that. Opting out just preserves your rights, in case you ever want to sue Discord, to decide between going to court or settling for arbitration. If you don’t opt out, you will be forced to arbitration.
With the second Terms update, they explicitly limited both clauses to United States residents only. Therefore it should not make a difference whether you opt out or not if you don’t live in the US.
Some relevant links:
- Official Discord Terms of Service
- Early, inofficial response by Discord Trust&Safety on Reddit
- Discord’s official blog post about the changes and the second update
- Video of lawyer Leonard French discussing the ToS change (first version) on Reddit
We, the moderation team of this server, are not affiliated with Discord beyond normal use of their platform. We are also not lawyers, and this notice is no legal text. We are not responsible for the information provided in here and its correctness and completeness. Please read the original Terms of Service and form your own opinion.