Researchers Uncover Discord Message Marketplace Dealing in Billions - SEO Friendly

Journalists from the publication 404 Media have discovered the Spy Pet service, whose creator claims to track and archive billions of messages on public Discord servers. The service sells access to the data for just $5, allowing tracking of over 600 million users on more than 14,000 servers.

A search for a specific user reveals on which servers Spy Pet has spotted that person, and the client is provided with an exportable table of all user messages (including server name, timestamp, and message content); logs with information on when a person joined and left specific voice channels on the server; as well as data on linked accounts, such as on GitHub.

Example of Spy Pet operation. User nicknames, linked accounts, participation on servers, and messages collected by the service are shown

The 404 Media researchers emphasize that they personally verified the service’s functionality by “checking” several users through it and obtaining information on practically all public Discord servers that they accessed and messages they wrote.

Logs of connections to voice channels obtained by 404 Media

Notably, in addition to the mentioned 14,000 servers where Spy Pet “operates,” the site lists over 86,000 other servers without the project’s bots, but the service creators mention: “we know they exist.”

The journalists emphasize that Spy Pet does not have access to users’ private messages since the service scrapes public channels within Discord servers and then makes the collected messages available to clients.

“I like gathering information, archiving it, and challenging myself,” stated the creator of Spy Pet to journalists. “In essence, Discord is the holy grail of scraping because Discord tries to do absolutely everything possible to fight against it.”

The minimum payment amount is around $5 in cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Monero). For these funds, the client receives 500 Spy Pet credits. Based on researchers’ tests, searching for an individual user on Spy Pet consumes 10 credits (equivalent to 10 cents).

It is noted that usually messages in Discord channels are not available for search and public access, unlike posts on blogs and social networks. Discord users certainly do not expect their messages, presence on a specific server, bans, and other details to be collected by a bot, aggregated, and sold to third parties.

Interestingly, despite this, Spy Pet openly invites anyone teaching AI models, as well as “federal agents seeking new sources of information,” to contact them for collaboration.

Discord representatives informed the publication that the company is currently investigating this matter and examining whether Spy Pet violates service terms and community rules. If violations are detected, the company promises to take “appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the rules.”

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