Discord buys Sentropy to Tackle Harassment and Online Abuse
Sentropy Technology’s AI will come in very useful, and it worked to monitor networks and block users that are deemed problematic
Discord has been around for around 6 years now, and throughout that time millions of users come to congregate, chat with friends, video call and create groups. As it is such as vastly popular choice for many people as it is easy to set up and use, this can prove to be a challenge when it comes to moderating chats and groups. There have been instances when a group has an innocent name, but that’s just a Red Herring to get mods to look away and is filled with racist or similar hateful comments and chat. Therefore, Sentropy has been bought by Discord, to hopefully manage and moderate a wider section, if not all of the service and the communities to prevent more cases of hate being spread and online harassment and bullying.
Previously, Discord’s trust and safety team has responded by acting like investigators and finding the sources of bullying and harassment, but as it’s a real-time issue it can be hard to track down all sources and shut it down before they move on to someone else. This is where Sentropy Technology’s AI will come in very useful, and it worked to monitor networks and block users that are deemed problematic. Moderators on Discord are often voluntary and can find it difficult to track and trace signs of online abuse, meaning an AI will help to find where these issues lie and send a report and possibly even automatically block users. Sentropy is a startup that was welcomed with wide open arms when it came out of “hiding” whilst working on projects in beta, and received a mass of funding from notable names and companies such as Twitch, OpenAI, the founder of Reddit (Alexis Ohanian) and executives from Riot Games.
On July 13th, the CEO and co-founder of Sentropy Technology announced this event in a post, saying that they are “joining Discord to continue fighting against hate and abuse on the internet”. He also stated “When we first met with Discord’s founders, Jason and Stan, we quickly recognized a shared vision of what the future of social interaction could be and we believe that together, we have a better chance of making that vision a reality,”
With over 150 million monthly users and 19 million individual communities, the servers can be a total maze. Last year there were an unbelievable amount of user reports of extremism, radicalization, harassment and exploitative content, which were removed accordingly, but due to the mass of users and communities there are still many that seep through unscathed. Some extremely toxic groups known to the internet such as The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist group, used Discord as a platform for their repugnant chats and encouraging people to join them. The Charlottesville rally in 2017 helped Discord make moves to clear the vile activities and chats from their servers. Last year, around 2,000 extremist communities were removed from the platform, and a breakdown of user reports showed that around 37% of complaints received were related to harassment.
Sentropy announced it is limiting its consumer and enterprise operations to focus the energy on working with Discord, offering its anti-abuse AI and working constantly on how to update and upgrade its software. It shut down their consumer based Protect product on July 1st. Their Detect and Defend services will run until the end of September and will provide customers support during and after the transition.
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