Bottom line: For those using the Discord app on iOS, it just became a little more inconvenient to access any servers designated NSFW. The app now blocks mature content, including entire communities, regardless of user age. From now on if users must access NSFW content on Discord from an iPhone or iPad, they must do so from a browser.

Update (04/13/21): Discord explained that the new guidelines were, in fact, to ensure the platform conforms to COPPA requirements. It also said that the complete banning of iOS users from NSFW servers was to comply with Apple App Store restrictions.

“To comply with Apple’s policies, servers labeled NSFW will not be accessible to iOS users,” a Discord spokesperson told TechSpot. “These changes are being rolled out over the next few days, and we will be working with server owners to ensure they are aware and understand the new requirements.”

On Monday, Discord changed some of its guidelines involving “not safe for work” (NSFW) content. As has always been the case, users are required to out an NSFW gate on any channels containing mature content. Discord clarified that just because one server has an NSFW channel does not mean the whole server must be locked down. Only if the entire community is based on mature content does the server need to be designated NSFW.

It seems a reasonable and fair guideline. The NSFW designation is there to limit the risk of users between 13 and 17 being exposed to mature content, which would violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). However, the company also revealed that it will block all iOS users from accessing any NSFW servers or channels with the Discord app regardless of age.

“Additionally, all users on the iOS platform (including those aged 18+) will be blocked from joining and accessing NSFW servers,” the new guidelines read.

It added that iOS users would still be able to access NSFW content via a web browser as long as they are 18 or older. Oddly, it made no mention of the same rule applying to the Android version of the app. It also did not explain its reasoning. However, since iOS seems to be singled out here, it is a good bet that Apple had some say in the matter.

Many Discord members who use the iOS app regularly are upset with the move thinking it will prevent them convenient access to their communities. Former Tumblr product manager and co-founder Matthew Bischoff called the move “regressive” and said the same thing happened when Apple banned Tumblr on iOS.

“When we dealt with this at Tumblr, it became my full time jobs for weeks to find incredibly complex ways to appease Apple’s censors,” Bischoff tweeted. “This happened every time they found a sexy blog they didn’t like. It’s absurd.”

TechSpot has reached out to Discord and Apple for comment but has not received replies. We will update this article if we hear back from either company.

Image credit: Rafapress