What is Discord and who can use it?

DISCORD allows you to create your very own platform for either a public or private chat with others for any number of reasons.

Whether it is for chat, sharing information or streaming content it allows you to even create your own server to communicate with others.

The app has hit the headlines due to a data leak the platform was used for

What is Discord?

Discord is an app aimed at gamers, allowing them to chat with each other online.

Users can speak to a group of friends through text chat and Skype-style voice calls while they are playing computer games.

Discord was launched in May 2015 and by December 2017 had grown to around 87million users worldwide.

It is especially popular in multiplayer sports and role-play games in which players join up as teams or compete against one another.

The app maker says: “It is perfect for chatting with team members, seeing who is playing online, and catching up on text conversations you may have missed.”

Discord also hosts thousands of Reddit-style message boards covering a range of subjects, many not related to gaming such as sport, politics and religion.

The app has been plagued by problems of trolls abusing other users and bombarding them with vile insults and child abuse images.

Groups of trolls also organise “raids” on other communities in which they flood the group with hateful messages or spam.

Discord was reportedly used by neo-Nazis to plan the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.

How do you use the Discord app?

To use Discord, you’ll want to sign up for an account first.

Then you can opt to use Discord as an app (on your computer or phone) – or in a web browser.

Discord works Slack – or even a live-chat version of Reddit – in that it’s split up into servers.

These servers are hosted by individuals, and can be used to talk about work, a game, as a hangout for a friendship, or anything else.

And servers can have sub-channels that are used for more specific discussion.

Each server can also host group voice and video calls, as well as game-streaming.

Some servers require invites to join, and some channels will be private and inaccessible to you.

You choose how your own server is set up, and you can run (or join) multiple servers.

Is Microsoft taking over Discord?

In March 2021, the business world was set ablaze with rumours of a major acquisition.

Microsoft was said to be in talks with Discord about a buy-out.

The value of the acquisition is estimated to be as high as $12billion (£9.6bn), according to Bloomberg.

However, Discord is said to be in talks with multiple buyers.

Importantly, a deal hasn’t been finalised – and it’s possible that the Microsoft talks could collapse.

Discord is reportedly interested in potentially going public on the stock market, which means it wouldn’t need a buyer like Microsoft.

The tech platform ended up turning down the advances of Microsoft as it spoke to multiple parties.

What documents were leaked on Discord?

A user on the site started to leak documents on the platform via chat servers with information found on at least two of the servers, one of which was focused on the popular game Minecraft.

The individual positioned the leaks as an act to keep his fellow gamers informed about the world.

It is believed that data that was shared included everything from troop movements in the war between Russia and Ukraine to CIA assessments of geopolitical adversaries like Iran and North Korea.

Experts have said it is the worst such leak since the infamous Edward Snowden leaks that saw the former NSA contractor provide files to reporters back in 2013.