Discord, the discussion platform used by many adult content creators, has introduced more stringent rules regarding adult content. Entire servers should now be marked NSFW if the majority of the content discussed is geared towards a mature audience. Whereas the age gate in itself is only a nuisance, setting a server to NSFW also means it can’t be accessed on iOS devices. According to Discord, this move was prompted on Apple’s behalf and doesn’t affect Android devices or the desktop app.
This move might just be a tightening of the platform’s rules, though some see it as a prelude to a further crackdown on adult content. Discord is reportedly in talks with Microsoft in order for the latter to buy the popular platform for over $10 billon. Takeovers like these, or rather any move to increase the valuation of a platform, don’t always have a positive effect on the freedoms users enjoy, as demonstrated by the Tumblr purge of adult content and Discord’s earlier crackdown on the subject matter.
It remains to be seen if this recent change in policy guidelines is a signal of further restrictions to come. Discord, and the integration provided by third parties like Patreon, plays an important role in the world of adult games and the possible loss of the platform will undoubtedly be sorely felt.
UPDATE, 04-19-2021: The Verge reports that Discord has loosened its rules regarding iOS devices somewhat. The changes affect servers with just a partial NSFW designation, those will be exempt from the ban if a user opts in to access them via a computer. Discord servers that are marked entirely as NSFW will still be inaccessible on Apple’s hardware.