Slack is giving the boot to users with ties to hate groups.
“The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform,” the company said in a statement.
Last week, the online media collective Unicorn Riot published leaked Slack messages that revealed white nationalist group Identity Evropa was using the platform to organize events. Slack is traditionally used by businesses as an internal messenger and file-sharing tool. However, as leaked messages show, members of Identity Evropa preferred to use Slack over alternative sources, like Discord, for its localized event planning. There was also a growing distrust of Discord as a safe space for their private communications.
In the fallout of the chat leaks, the group abandoned its name and rebranded as the “American Identity Movement."
Slack states that it took action after being “made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes.” As Unicorn Riot points out, the platform has no specific policy or terms of service in relation to hate speech.
According to a statement posted by Slack, the company is updating its terms of service to make this “more explicit.”
The company’s full statement can be found below:
Today we removed 28 accounts because of their clear affiliation with known hate groups. The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform. Slack is designed to help businesses communicate better and more collaboratively so people can do their best work. Using Slack to encourage or incite hatred and violence against groups or individuals because of who they are is antithetical to our values and the very purpose of Slack. When we are made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes, we will investigate and take appropriate action and we are updating our terms of service to make that more explicit.