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How about some good news to start your Wednesday off? It seems Discord are no longer in talks with Microsoft and instead may go with an IPO (initial public offering).

Reported again by the WSJ, this should put to rest the recent rumours and speculation on it. This is a good thing, considering Microsoft already hold a huge amount of power from gaming companies to GitHub, the last thing we need is even more consolidation of power.

Valued at around $7 billion, Discord itself holds a lot of power with 140 million active users according to backlinko. That has been doubled since 2019 so they're still growing pretty impressively. Discord also makes $130 million in annual revenue, plus they've raised $483.8 million across various funding rounds so there's a lot of interest in them. Considering all that, they will probably do quite well during an IPO so it's not surprising they decided to stay independent.

As a reminder you can join our Discord, or if you prefer more open source communication we have an IRC and Matrix too.

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Tags: Apps, Meta
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20 comments
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Quoting: vv221
Quoting: scaineI'm comfortable with the little data that I share by using Discord while they conduct their business an independent firm. (…) I won't support anything to do with Microsoft or Apple.
I do not share your point of view, but I can understand it
Secondarily, what makes the data thing important is that it all gets combined to make a surprisingly comprehensive picture. The more your data is collected by separate silos rather than conglomerates that can aggregate it all, the better.
vv221 21 Apr
Quoting: Purple Library GuyThe more your data is collected by separate silos rather than conglomerates that can aggregate it all, the better.
I tend to think that said data will not be used mostly by Discord or Microsoft themselves, but by their business customers (advertisers, insurance companies, etc.).

Of course, having it sprayed around multiple data gatherers/resellers means that the companies wanting to get full profiles will need to buy data from multiple sources, making their work harder.
scaine 22 Apr
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Like I say, I'm comfortable with the data I share - I treat Discord like a public forum, along the same lines as Twitter. Otherwise, Discord has only the usual information for such a service - Email, IP address, DeviceID, messages. They can probably glean a few other things, like the browser or O/S I use.

I don't like that it collects process information, so I don't use the full-fat app anymore.

If you're uncomfortable with the data Discord collects, you're probably uncomfortable using pretty much every messaging service out there, certainly all the social media services.

What I'm not comfortable with is supporting a company that is ethically compromised. I've stopped using plenty of services as a result of what they did, or who owns them. Everyone will find their own footing on this stuff. For me, MS and Apple are a hard no. Amazon is an avoid if possible (which is hard) and Google is an air of resignation - I'm too invested in their infrastructure now, so I accept it for convenience sake. If they ever cross a line, I'll reconsider, but it would difficult to give up... well, nearly everything - Gmail, Calendar, Android, Youtube mainly, but a host of other services too, like Calendar, some light Drive use, even DNS on my router. Google are everywhere.
vv221 22 Apr
Quoting: scaineIf you're uncomfortable with the data Discord collects, you're probably uncomfortable using pretty much every messaging service out there, certainly all the social media services.
Yes, that’s me

Outside of a couple small scale forums and IRC channels, most of my communication means are self-hosted. On a server that is physically under my full control.

---

Quoting: scaineGoogle are everywhere.
I think YouTube is the only Google service I use. And since it is only to follow a couple low-activity channels, I do not go there every day.


Last edited by vv221 on 22 April 2021 at 6:15 pm UTC
denyasis 22 Apr
Quoting: vv221Of course, having it sprayed around multiple data gatherers/resellers means that the companies wanting to get full profiles will need to buy data from multiple sources, making their work harder.

Actually, no, not exactly. What has happened is middle men companies that do that for you have taken over that part. So, in reality, it's actually easier for the end company. They just call up IBM or Lexis Nexus or someone else and get all the data they want, sometimes in already the format your need.

You might think it's more expensive since the middle company needs to make money, but not always. Sometimes they take data as payment, so it's free or discounted. Basically trading data.
Cyba.Cowboy 25 Apr
Quoting: vv221Enterprise A selling your private data is not going to join Enterprise B selling your private data. I do not understand where the good news is here.
Who do Discord currently sell your data to?

Also, I was not of the impression that Discord track all that much, which is the exact opposite of Microsoft, who infamously track virtually everything you do on "your" computer... Am I wrong?


Quoting: scaineFor me, MS and Apple are a hard no. Amazon is an avoid if possible (which is hard) and Google is an air of resignation - I'm too invested in their infrastructure now, so I accept it for convenience sake. If they ever cross a line, I'll reconsider, but it would difficult to give up... well, nearly everything - Gmail, Calendar, Android, Youtube mainly, but a host of other services too, like Calendar, some light Drive use, even DNS on my router. Google are everywhere.

Apple is a hard "no", but Google is okay?

You do realize that Google infamously harvests waaaaaaaaay more data than what Apple has ever harvested, right? And pretty much all of their (Google's) stuff can be replaced with privacy-friendly alternatives that are just as good - if not better - than what Google currently offer...


Quoting: vv221Yes, that’s me

Outside of a couple small scale forums and IRC channels, most of my communication means are self-hosted. On a server that is physically under my full control.

I'd do this if I had the money and infrastructure to do so... But I'm in Australia and we use the NBN, which is slow and unreliable at the best of times, not to mention the cost involved in such a goal.

Like you though, I have taken steps to gain more control over my stuff... Most of my online stuff is run via my own domains on shared hosting, I don't have social media accounts (I have a Discord account, but don't really use it) and there's not a whole lot of forums I use.

Someday, I'd like to move to fully self-hosting everything, though I probably wouldn't have said server located in Australia, because we're basically China of the Western World (i.e. a "surveillance state").


Quoting: vv221I think YouTube is the only Google service I use. And since it is only to follow a couple low-activity channels, I do not go there every day.

But you don't even need an account for this... I mostly use Odysee - which is fantastic, by the way - but I do use YouTube for a few channels (mostly when watching something on GamingonLinux or on the TV whilst eating dinner), without a Google account.

There's a whole lotta people making the jump to Odysee these days, too... Mostly people that cross-post (i.e. post their content to both Odysee and YouTube), but still, it's a step in the right direction.


Last edited by Cyba.Cowboy on 25 April 2021 at 1:48 am UTC
Quoting: Cyba.CowboySomeday, I'd like to move to fully self-hosting everything, though I probably wouldn't have said server located in Australia, because we're basically China of the Western World (i.e. a "surveillance state").
Ehhh, the whole Anglosphere is really. The Americans spy on everyone, the British helpfully spy on the Americans, and everyone swaps all their data so they get to effectively spy on themselves even if their laws say theoretically they can't. That's Five Eyes in a nutshell.
Matombo 25 Apr
Quoting: MisterPaytwickImagine it being Tencent or Facebook acquiring it, I'm not sure it'd be better, but I'm pretty sure it'd be a problematic.

Fun fact: Tencent is one of the six initial investors of discord. So I'm not sure how this works but I would guess they already own 1/6 of the company.
scaine 25 Apr
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Quoting: Cyba.Cowboy
Quoting: scaineFor me, MS and Apple are a hard no. Amazon is an avoid if possible (which is hard) and Google is an air of resignation - I'm too invested in their infrastructure now, so I accept it for convenience sake. If they ever cross a line, I'll reconsider, but it would difficult to give up... well, nearly everything - Gmail, Calendar, Android, Youtube mainly, but a host of other services too, like Calendar, some light Drive use, even DNS on my router. Google are everywhere.

Apple is a hard "no", but Google is okay?

You do realize that Google infamously harvests waaaaaaaaay more data than what Apple has ever harvested, right? And pretty much all of their (Google's) stuff can be replaced with privacy-friendly alternatives that are just as good - if not better - than what Google currently offer...
You don't see to have picked up on the words "air of resignation" for some reason? Of course Google sell my data. It's literally their business model. It's an air of resignation, because, as I already said, I'm too invested in their products already. That doesn't mean that I have to give up my privacy to absolutely every other company though, does it? Even if Google "sell my data" to Microsoft or Apple, that's still better than using MS or Apple, because it's not really "my data" at that point. I'm just a statistic in an aggregated model that Google sell to say "we can give you better advertising audiences than just throwing ads at random". Ironically, if I see an MS or Apple advert as a result of Google doing this, I'll actively try to sabotage that engagement, so it kind of backfires for them. This is especially easy on Twitter, where any promoted content still allows comments.

But as I mentioned earlier and in other discussions on this topic, I don't not use Microsoft and Apple because they might sell my data -it's not about data. I don't use them because (bluntly) they're absolute scum, ethically compromised and actively harm the technological landscape. They represent the antithesis of Linux and OSS.
vv221 25 Apr
Discord

Quoting: Cyba.CowboyWho do Discord currently sell your data to?
I don’t know, I’m not a Discord user so never spent time hunting for this information (that is probably not easily available anyway).

Quoting: Cyba.CowboyI was not of the impression that Discord track all that much
Feel free to give them your trust, I would not.

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Google

Quoting: Cyba.CowboyBut you don't even need an account for this...
From my messages you can easily guess that I have no Google account
Of course, Google does not need an account to accurately track what I watch on their platform.

Quoting: Cyba.CowboyThere's a whole lotta people making the jump to Odysee these days, too...
This is the first time I read about Odysee, my main alternative to YouTube currently is PeerTube.

It’s a bit of a shame that Odysee is relying on Amazon infrastructure, leaving a data giant for another one sounds like a Charybdis/Scylla situation…

---

self-hosting

Quoting: Cyba.CowboySomeday, I'd like to move to fully self-hosting everything
E-mail is a good first step, because an e-mail server does not need to be available 24/7. This is the first kind of service I learned to self-host, ~10 years ago, with no real system administration prior knowledge.
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