Chatsight gears its content moderation AI to fighting Discord scammers


  • Scams continue to plague DAOs and NFT collections, exploiting human and platform weaknesses.
  • Former content moderation service Chatsight is now applying AI to Discord servers.

As the crypto industry focuses on building the decentralized Web3 future, centralized Web2 platforms like Discord, Twitter, and Telegram are where the community lives today. As DAOs and NFT collectives continue to use these platforms, scammers are pouring in to cheat and steal. That Federal Trade Commission recently reported that over $1 billion in crypto has been lost to scams since 2021.

To combat these attacks, a new San Francisco startup called in chat sight makes security on Discord servers its core business and growing list of services to protect Discord communities.

Founded in 2021 by Marcus Naughton, Chatsight bills itself as a “safety as a service company” designed to provide an extra layer of security for social media platforms like Discord and Telegram. These platforms have become a central part of Web3 projects looking to organize and build communities around their projects.

“We provide agnostic technology,” says Naughton decrypt. “We build anti-scam AI (artificial intelligence) technology and bridge it with platforms like Discord, Telegram and others as they come together with the ultimate goal of providing security tools for on-chain networks.”

Discord is a popular place for DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) to organize and collaborate. DAOs are loosely organized communities that come together to build or support crypto projects, often funding their activities with tokens.

Already suspicious of scammers, DAOs use third-party projects like Collab.Land to act as gatekeepers to their Discord servers, verifying that members hold the DAOs token before being granted access. But while token gatekeepers can manage memberships, security remains an issue.

In May, the security company PeckShield posted a warning on Twitter said that scammers exploited the OpenSea NFT marketplace Discord server to promote a fraudulent NFT mint.

Earlier this month, the Discord server of popular NFT collective Bored Ape Yacht Club was compromised, allowing scammers to get away with NFTs worth 200 ETH ($358,962 at the time).

After the exploit, a co-founder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club hit Discord on June 4, saying the popular communications app “doesn’t work for Web3 communities.”

While Chatsight is intended for use on social media platforms, Naughton explains its focus is on scams and phishing attacks, not content moderation, adding, “The only thing everyone can agree on is [that] Cheating is bad.”

Chatsight started out as an AI content moderation platform for social networks, Naughton explains, but flipped after speaking to a crypto Telegram group owner who paid around $5,000 to have physical people monitor the channel.

“When these people are paying people to do it, it shows there’s a need that these platforms aren’t addressing,” Naughton says. “As you build your communities on these platforms, make a strong commitment to take security back into your own hands.”

Naughton says Chatsight aims to act as a managed security partner, “like an antivirus,” giving users a suite of tools to monitor their Discord servers.

According to Naughton, Chatsight uses an “air gap” Discord account that isn’t used elsewhere. Once connected to the Discord server, this account will be granted admin privileges. It can then monitor the server for scams and phishing attacks, keeping the server account owner disconnected while giving the server owner control of the Chatsight bot.

Naughton says the freemium product includes features that provide additional security, including Enterprise Cloudflare, Discord account verification, checking account reputation in Discord, and penalties ranging from a 30-minute timeout to bans for accounts that be marked repeatedly.

For Naughton, the flaw in the current version of the internet is that users are giving away the assets they own (plans, designs, missions, etc.) to third parties like Discord, Twitter, and Telegram for hosting and hopefully for security worries. Still, users have no say in that security.

“We expect you to be compromised due to the nature of the Discord product – exploits happen to everyone,” says Naughton. “So from the default position we’re assuming you’re being taken advantage of, and how do we prevent the damage being dealt from there?”

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