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Discord banned accounts related to a site that sold messages from more than 620 million users

Kenneth Niemeyer   

Discord banned accounts related to a site that sold messages from more than 620 million users
  • Discord banned accounts tied to Spy.Pet, a website known for mining and selling millions of users' messages.
  • Spy.Pet used bots to scrape data from 14,000 servers, affecting nearly 620 million Discord users.

Discord banned several accounts linked to a website that was scraping and selling millions of users messages.

404 Media first reported on Spy.Pet, a website that was mining millions of Discord user's messages and selling access to the information for anyone willing to pay.

Discord is a a highly popular group-chatting app. Originally designed for gamers, the app has become a platform for all kinds of communities because of its voice chat, video-chat, and other capabilities like livestreaming.

The site used bots to scrape users messages and other data from 14,000 Discord servers. Using bot accounts, the bots would enter popular public servers for games like Minecraft and then collect information in all the server members, such as what other servers they are members of, according to 404.

In all, the bots collected data from nearly 620 million Discord users, according to Kotaku.

Following the report, Discord announced that it has banned several accounts related to the site after an investigation.

"Based on our investigation, these accounts accessed Discord servers that were open and available for anyone to join or where the accounts had easy access to a valid invite link," Discord told 404 in a statement. "Once in these spaces, these accounts could only access the same information as any other user in those servers."

Spy.Pet administrators acknowledged that Discord banned some of its bots, but claimed the removal of its website was unrelated, according to PC Gamer.

Spy.Pet administrators said on Telegram that they intend to get their website domain back and continue the site, PC Gamer reported. Discord added that it's considering "appropriate legal action," according to 404.

The crackdown follows layoffs at Discord in January for more than 170 employees. In an email to staff, CEO Jason Citron blamed the layoffs on the company's fast growth during the pandemic.

"We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020," Citron said in an email obtained by The Verge. "As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated."

Discord did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment Saturday.




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