Since 2015, Discord’s core policy, the Community Guidelines, has been used to govern the platform with consistent rules to keep your communities an inclusive and safe place to hang out. In 2020, we formalized a dedicated Policy team to develop the Community Guidelines further, work with product teams to build safe and inclusive features, and advocate on public policy issues that impact Discord and our users.

To help give some perspective into how we enforce these policies, we’re launching a new blog series to share what our Policy team is working on, listen to any feedback you may have, and use this knowledge to improve our approach to Policy.

Let’s talk more about what we mean by Policy — it’s more than just what is and isn’t allowed on Discord.

Policy reflects our company’s values and the norms of our platform. As more people are spending time on their computers, smartphones, and tablets, we imagine a place where that time makes us truly connected, not divided. We envision a future where Discord becomes the first place you think of when wanting to talk and hang out. Whether you’re playing the latest online game together, attending a virtual comedy club, collaborating on a project, or just talking late into the night, we want to be a place where you can find belonging and community. To do all of this, we use policy as a foundation for our values and to safeguard your experience.

Policy explores all facets of an issue in order to take a holistic approach to how we address it. The spectrum of issues that online users and their communities face are widespread, and often deeply complex and multi-layered. Discord is no exception. Policy lets us ensure we understand the nuances of an issue and allows us to effectively tackle any situation.

Policy ensures our Trust & Safety Team takes consistent, proportionate enforcement actions. Our T&S team continues to safeguard Discord and enforce the Community Guidelines through proactive measures and responses to user reports. We use our policies to assess the harm of content and behavior by individuals and servers and give a resulting enforcement action proportionate to its severity.

Policy empowers Moderators to govern their communities on firm grounding and to know when to escalate issues to Discord. Moderators are always the leaders of their space, (thanks, mods!) and our Community Guidelines are a foundation for moderators to develop their own rules and govern their server. We’re here to help educate and support our moderators through initiatives such as the Discord Moderator Academy.

Policy makes sure product features are designed intentionally and mitigate any potential vectors for abuse or misuse. Policy and Trust & Safety work collaboratively with Product and Engineering teams early in the development process to assess any potential abuse, bias, or other risks in the newest features, and work to build mitigation into the product design itself. Accessibility of our features, especially for folks using assistive technologies, is a key focus during our assessment.

Policy is a continuous refinement. Discord is growing, and our Policy team is here to keep our users and communities safe and inclusive. We believe the team’s work will contribute to our bigger commitment to make the Internet as a whole a better place, and we’d like you to join our journey.

To kickstart our Policy series, today we’re releasing a post about the ongoing issue of violent extremism in the United States and our approach to identifying belief systems, recruitment tactics, and organizing patterns of violent extremist groups. You can check it out here.

If you would like to report dangerous or harmful activity to the Trust & Safety team, please do so using our report form. If you’re unsure how to report a user or server, take a look at dis.gd/HowToReport.