In celebration of Safer Internet Day, we want to recognize the awesome humans who are working to make Discord a more welcoming place for everyone.

Communities of all sizes benefit from the aid that Server Moderation provides. Whether it’s you and a pal managing your small friend group server or a whole team of mods helping manage a community of thousands, helping make sure things run smoothly improves the experience for everyone.

Moderation in itself isn’t the easiest thing to tackle. We’d like to spend some time on Safer Internet Day to give some insight as to what sorts of things moderators consider and handle on a day-to-day basis.

Why does moderation matter?

As a community platform, moderators are the first line of defense between any harm on the platform and protecting our users. Before an issue ever reaches our Trust & Safety colleagues, it often runs through a server’s moderator team who has to consider whether the content should be allowed in their community and whether a user should be warned, kicked, or banned.

Some of the largest communities on Discord. Without Moderators, they couldn’t have grown so well!

Moderators are community managers and leaders within Discord. They don’t just enforce our Community Guidelines — they set the tone for the types of topics and content that are allowed to shape the entire culture of a community and, collectively, Discord as a whole. Moderators are a necessary part of making Discord the special place that it is, and it is due to their hard efforts in creating amazing communities that our millions of users find places to call home.

How does moderation work on Discord?

When creating a community on Discord, the first moderator is often the owner or creator of the server. As the needs of the community grow, moderators can leverage Discord’s many features to perform everything they need.

This includes basic moderation tasks such as kicking or deleting messages, to adjusting permissions for what users can do or see in any given channel. Later on, they may even leverage the latest Community features like our new Welcome Screen, and utilize moderation bots for more complex tasks.

What are some of the things we count on Mods to do?

Moderators are essential for keeping communities running, growing, cared for, and curated around the different kinds of conversations and activities that bring people together. Your community moderators help your community stay at its best while providing leadership to the hundreds of thousands of communities across Discord.

Just a few of the many types of communities on Discord.

Some Best Practices, Directly from Moderators

We asked a few Partnered server owners for their advice after they’ve grown their servers from humble beginnings to Partner Program worthy.

Owner of the discord.gg/python server, joe#6000, says that you should shape your moderation policies around your community, rather than shaping your community around your moderation policies.

Joe explains a bit more further,

“Be careful how much you moderate, it’s a bad idea to under-moderate but it can kill a community if you over-moderate, so you need to be active in your community and understand the machine in order to moderate it.”

Just because you moderate your server, doesn’t mean you should only moderate. SpaceGhostForce, owner of the Fantasy Football Discord we talked about in a past Community Spotlight, reminds us all that we should always connect with your community as a member, not an “enforcer.”

A live AMA with the help of Moderators. You can learn more about this particular community here.

“I’m here to keep things under control, but I’m also here to talk shop even more. Don’t laud your abilities/perms, you’re there to keep folks engaged, not on their toes 24/7.”

But sometimes, you’ve gotta remember that while it’s a server that you own or help moderate, the community that comes together within your server is who you’re supporting.

DecayToDeath#7968 told us “you can’t manage an online space (or any for that matter) without molding it along with peoples’ needs and ideas, but balance that with your ability to take a stance on things like bigotry, harassment, and trolling with little tolerance.”

“I’ve genuinely considered the communities I own to be families, and the positive environments would’ve begun to decay long ago if not for my (and my staff’s) nipping those toxic elements in the bud every time they cropped up.”

If you can balance how you moderate with the needs of the community, as these three Partnered server owners helped explain, you’re on your way to running a great server.

What resources does Discord provide?

Whether you’re new to moderation or a seasoned community builder, the Discord Moderator Academy contains dozens of articles about every facet of moderation on Discord that you can use to enhance your own moderation prowess.

Start your moderation career at the Discord Moderator Academy.

Fun fact: nearly all the articles in the Moderator Academy are written by moderators, reflecting a diverse set of experiences and perspectives that have helped shape what Discord is today. The content is available for anyone and applies to moderation practices beyond Discord.

Looking for more direct conversations? In addition to the Academy, the Discord Moderator Discord server is a place where moderators can share ideas and seek wisdom from one another, and build a support system of people who can help them take on tougher moderation tasks. There are also opportunities to interact with the Trust & Safety team directly, as well as engineers who are building features specifically for community management and moderation.

It’s currently open for new members by referral, but look out for more information about how to apply in the coming weeks.