Our mission at Discord is to give people the power to create belonging in their lives. We recognize that safety enables people to find belonging, and that’s why safety is one of our most important investments and priorities.
Safety is a collaborative and cross-functional effort at Discord. Our Engineering, Data, and Product teams build products with safety principles in mind. Our Policy team takes a nuanced and sophisticated approach to developing our Community Guidelines and forms strategic partnerships with academics, civil society, industry peers, and community moderators to advance our collective understanding of online safety. Our Safety team works with cutting-edge technology to detect and respond to abuse, both proactively and from reports received from users, moderators, and trusted third party reporters.
Safety is a vital priority for our company. Around 15% of all Discord employees are dedicated to this area and every employee shares in the commitment to keeping Discord safe. These Transparency Reports provide insight into our continued investment into keeping Discord a safe place for people to find belonging.
This Transparency Report, our ninth since 2019, covers the third quarter of 2022, from July to September.
Community Guidelines Enforcement
Discord publishes and maintains a comprehensive set of Community Guidelines that explains what content and behavior is and isn’t allowed on Discord. We invest heavily in our proactive efforts to detect and remove abuse before it’s reported to us. Through advanced tooling, machine learning, specialized teams, and partnering with external experts, we work to remove high-harm abuse before it is viewed or experienced by others.
We encourage users, moderators, and trusted reporters to submit reports if they believe an account or server is violating our Community Guidelines. We analyze these reports to determine if the content or behavior violates our Guidelines. We may take a number of enforcement actions including but not limited to issuing warnings; removing content; temporarily or permanently disabling or removing the accounts and/or servers responsible; and potentially reporting them to law enforcement.
This report details the actions that Discord has taken on accounts and servers that have violated our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
Actions Taken on Accounts and Servers
Account and Server Warnings
Discord issues warnings with the goal of preventing future violations of our Community Guidelines. For some high-harm issues such as Violent Extremism or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) - a subcategory of Child Safety - we do not issue warnings but rather immediately disable the account and remove the content. In the case of CSAM, we also report the account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
We issue two types of warnings for accounts: Individual Account Warnings, which are issued to individual users, and Server Member Warnings, which target multiple members of a server and may be issued when warning or removing a server from Discord.
Individual accounts were issued 17,809 warnings, an increase of 31% when compared to the previous quarter. The number of warnings issued to servers decreased by 11% to 2,330, and warnings issued to server members decreased by 16.5% to 1,290,964 accounts warned.
We disabled 185,756 accounts between July and September 2022 for policy violations not including spam, a 74.5% decrease when compared to 726,759 accounts disabled in the previous quarter.
The Child Safety category accounted for 90% of this decrease in accounts disabled. This decline is a direct result of our ongoing improvements in our efforts to detect and proactively remove child exploitative content from Discord. Our ability to more rapidly detect networks of bad actors limits the number of accounts engaging with the content, resulting in fewer accounts disabled overall. An in-depth look at each of these categories, including Child Safety, can be found in the Enforcement Trend Analysis of this report.
Accounts disabled for spam or spam-related offenses increased to 50,510,769.This is an increase of 82% from the previous quarter when we disabled 27,733,948 spam accounts. Our proactive anti-spam efforts continue to improve and become more sophisticated, creating a better user experience on Discord for all.
We removed 30,456 servers between July and September 2022, an increase of 7% from the 28,370 servers that we removed during the previous quarter.
We continue to invest in our ability to proactively detect and remove servers before they’re reported to us, especially for high-harm categories. We’re proud to share that 92% of servers removed for Child Safety were removed proactively, with CSAM servers being removed proactively 99% of the time. Overall, 71% of removed servers were removed proactively.
Discord allows users to appeal actions taken on their accounts if they believe that the enforcement was incorrect.
We welcome appeals and take them seriously when they raise context or information that we may not have known. We review appeals and reinstate accounts if we determine that a mistake was made, or if we believe, based on the appeal, that the user has recognized the violation made for a low-harm issue and will abide by our Community Guidelines once back on Discord. We receivedappeals from 15.5% of disabled accounts, or 28,736 appeals. This was around the same percentage of appeals received during the previous quarter. From these appeals, we reinstated 1,334 accounts or 4.64% of users who submitted an appeal.
Reports Received By Category and Action Rates of Reports
Reports received during the third quarter of 2022 decreased to 134,663 when compared to 153,550 reports received during the second quarter of 2022.
Overall, 20,388 or 15% of the total reports received, identified violations of our Community Guidelines leading to action taken.
We also received 8,685,638 one-click reports for spam on 4,818,261 unique accounts during this reporting period.
Enforcement Trend Analysis
Discord has a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who endangers or sexualizes children. Child-harm content is appalling, unacceptable, and has no place on Discord or the internet at large. We work with industry peers, civil society, and law enforcement to ensure that this effort extends beyond Discord. Discord is an active supporter of cross-industry programs such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and is a member of the Technology Coalition, a group of companies together to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse. We’re also a frequent sponsor of events dedicated to increasing awareness of and action on child safety issues such as the annual Dallas Crimes Against Children Conference.
Users who upload abuse material of children to Discord are reported to NCMEC and removed from the service. We deeply value our partnership with NCMEC and their efforts to ensure that grooming and endangerment cases are quickly escalated to law enforcement.
In the third quarter of 2022, we reported 14,366 accounts to NCMEC. 14,303 of those reports were media (images or videos), of which many were flagged through PhotoDNA – a tool that uses a shared industry hash database of known CSAM. 63 high-harm grooming or endangerment reports were also delivered to NCMEC.
Discord disabled 42,458 accounts and removed 14,451 servers for Child Safety during the third quarter of 2022. This was a 92% decrease in the number of accounts disabled when compared to the previous quarter.
Our investment and prioritization in Child Safety has never been more robust. These decreases are the result of improvements in our efforts to detect and proactively remove child exploitative content from Discord. Specifically, better operating procedures and enhanced detection capabilities have enabled our team to identify these servers faster.
By targeting and proactively removing networks of bad actors from Discord before they grew in size, fewer accounts participated in these spaces, and as a result, fewer accounts were disabled.
We were able to remove servers hosting CSAM content proactively 99% of the time. Removing CSAM content is one of our top priorities, and we are proud of the cross-functional efforts that have enabled us to achieve this proactive takedown rate for CSAM.
Using Discord for the purpose of distributing malware, sharing or selling game hacks or cheats, theft of authentication tokens, or participating in identity, investment, and financial scams is a violation of our Community Guidelines.
We disabled 8,800 accounts and removed 2,137 servers for Deceptive Practices during the third quarter of 2022. This was an increase of 43% and 27% respectively.
Exploitative and Unsolicited Content
It is a violation of our Community Guidelines to share or promote sexually explicit content of other people without their consent.
We disabled 47,570 accounts and removed 1,837 serversfor Exploitative and Unsolicited Content. This represents a 55% decrease in accounts disabled and a 21% decrease in servers removed when compared to the previous quarter.
This decrease was driven by our ability to identify and remove a specific abuse pattern, resulting in a decrease of servers created to host that content, and consequently, fewer accounts disabled for engaging with that content.
Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and bullying have no place on Discord. Continuous, repetitive, or severe negative comments, circumventing bans, suggestive or overt threats, the sharing of someone’s personally identifiable information (also known as doxxing), and server raiding are violations of our Community Guidelines.
During the third quarter of 2022, 11,347 accounts were disabled for harassment-related behavior, and 555 servers were removed for this issue.
Discord doesn’t allow the organization, promotion, or participation in hate speech or hateful conduct. We define “hate speech” as any form of expression that denigrates, vilifies, or dehumanizes; promotes intense, irrational feelings of enmity or hatred; or incites harm against people on the basis of protected characteristics. You can read our latest policy blog post to learn more.
During the third quarter of 2022, 7,104 accounts and 829 servers were removed for hateful conduct. Compared to the previous quarter, this was an increase of 24% and 16%, respectively.
Identity and Authenticity
Using Discord for the purpose of coordinating and participating in malicious impersonation of individuals or organizations is a violation of our Community Guidelines.
We disabled 3,561 accounts and removed 13 servers for this issue. This was a significant increase as we continue to improve our methods for detecting and removing malicious bots.
In February 2022, we published a blog post discussing our new policy prohibiting the sharing of false or misleading information on Discord that is likely to cause physical or societal harm. This blog post discusses the new policy and our enforcement criteria in more detail.
We disabled 385 accounts and removed 52 servers for misinformation.
Spam, fake accounts, and self-bots are examples of platform manipulation that damage the experience of our users and violate our Community Guidelines.
During the third quarter of 2022, 1,197 accounts and 656 servers were removed for platform manipulation-related issues not related to spam. An additional 50,510,769 accounts were disabled for spam or spam-related offenses.
We're focused on combating spam and minimizing users’ exposure to spammers and spam content on Discord. We have a dedicated cross-functional anti-spam team building sophisticated anti-spam measures, and as a result of this work, 90% of accounts disabled for spam were disabled proactively, before we received any user report.
You can read more about how Discord fights spam here. You can also read this blog post published in September about Automod, a new safety feature that enables server owners to automatically moderate certain abuse, including spam.
Regulated or Illegal Activities
Using Discord for the purpose of engaging in regulated, illegal, or dangerous activities is strictly prohibited, including selling or facilitating the sale of prohibited or potentially dangerous goods or services.
We disabled 37,284 accounts for engaging in this behavior, an increase of 35.5% from the prior quarter. A total of 6,950 servers were removed for this category with a proactive removal rate of 63%.
Using Discord to glorify or promote suicide or self-harm is not allowed under any circumstance. We recently expanded our Self Harm Encouragement and Promotion Policy which you can read more about here.
Actions may be taken on accounts or servers encouraging people to cut themselves or embrace eating disorders, or otherwise manipulating and coercing other users to engage in acts of self-harm. These actions are only taken on accounts glorifying or promoting acts of self-harm, not on users seeking help or in need of medical attention.
In September we announced a new partnership with Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that provides 24/7 text-based mental health support and crisis intervention via trained volunteer crisis counselors. Crisis Text Line is currently available to those in the United States and is offered in both English and Spanish. You can read more about this partnership here.
We disabled 1,297 accounts and removed 610 servers for Self-Harm concerns.
Violent and Graphic Content
Real media depicting gore, excessive violence, the glorification of violence, or animal cruelty with the intent to harass or shock others is not allowed on Discord.
In the third quarter of 2022, 12,300 accountswere disabled for posting violent and graphic content. We also removed 1,313 serversfor violent and graphic content.
We consider violent extremism to be the support, encouragement, promotion, or organization of violent acts or ideologies that advocate for the destruction of society, often by blaming certain individuals or groups and calling for violence against them.
This blog post discusses our methods to address violent extremism. Through partnering and engaging in cross-industry work with Tech Against Terrorism, the Global Internet Forum To Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), the European Union Internet Forum, and other organizations, we’ve made progress in our tooling, policy, and subject matter expertise to ensure that violent extremism does not have a home on Discord.
In the third quarter of 2022, 12,489 accounts and 1,053 servers were removed for violent extremism.
When appropriate, Discord complies with information requests from law enforcement agencies while respecting the privacy and rights of our users.
Law enforcement must provide valid legal documentation for the requested information. We review each information request to ensure legal compliance.
Discord may also disclose user data to law enforcement in emergency situations when we possess a good faith belief that there is an imminent risk of serious physical injury or death. You can read more about how Discord works with law enforcement here.
Discord received 1,450 piecesof legal process during the third quarter of 2022, finding 1,342 both legally valid and specific enough for us to identify an account and produce relevant information. We work to limit disclosures of user information and content so they match the specific circumstances dictated by each request.
Discord received 213 emergency disclosure requests from law enforcement during this period. These requests originated from law enforcement agencies around the world. We disclose user data to law enforcement absent legal process only when there is imminent risk of serious physical injury or death. We were able to identify 197 accounts based on the information provided by law enforcement for these requests and disclosed basic subscriber information in response to 111 emergency disclosure requests.
Intellectual Property Removal Requests
Our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service prohibit the sharing of content that infringes third-party intellectual property rights. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Discord will remove content and/or accounts in connection with claims of copyright infringement on Discord.
We review each DMCA notice to ensure that reports are valid and complete and that they are made in good faith.
Discord received 872 facially valid DMCA takedown notifications, of which 732 provided information sufficient for content removal upon request.
Our Commitment to Safety and Transparency
Creating a place where you can talk, hang out with friends, and find belonging in a welcoming and safe environment requires collaboration and dedication from all of us at Discord.
We’re proud of the work that we do to help keep people and communities on Discord safe. We hope that as a result of this work, you’re able to find belonging in the communities on Discord that you call home.