Discord bans accounts that sold messages from up to 620m users

Discord bans accounts that sold messages from up to 620m users

Discord has banned an unknown number of accounts that were using bots to scrape messages from up to 620 million users and sold them to other companies.

An investigation by 404 Media (paywall), spotted by Eurogamer, found that these bots had archived over four billion public messages, including voice messages, from some of Discord’s most popular servers — including ones for video games such as Among Us and Minecraft.

The data was then sold via a website, Spy.pet, for $5 / £4, targeting companies that wanted to use these messages to train AI models or for “federal agents looking for a new source of intel.”

Discord told 404 Media that the bots only scraped messages from public servers that anyone can join, or where the accounts had easily accessed a valid invite link.

The company does not believe any private messages were taken, and that the bots could only access personal data that is already displayed on users’ profiles.

The Spy.Pet site is now defunct and Discord has banned the accounts behind this.

“Our Safety team has been diligently investigating this activity, and we identified certain accounts that we believe are affiliated with the Spy.Pet website, which we have subsequently banned,” a spokesperson told the site.

Discord is also considering legal action against the individuals responsible for this. The owner of Spy.Pet is reportedly a member of Kiwi Farms, a forum that facilitates online harassment.