The information most immediately available about your community is available on the Audience tab of Server Insights. This does not include demographic information about all of the members on your server, but rather only members that have visited your server (i.e. viewed at least one channel) within the past 28 days. Therefore, this provides a snapshot of the nature of your actual community, including their country of origin, Discord account age, and the devices they use to access Discord. This information is useful in a variety of ways.
Once you’ve looked at your user demographics, you should start to analyze your traffic sources, especially if your user demographics are different from what you expected. The Audience insights will help you understand the composition of your community, but analyzing your member growth will help you understand how you got there.
The first thing to look at is the new members chart on the Growth & Activation tab. This illustrates your member joins over time by source, including Server Discovery, vanity URL, and regular Discord invite.
While the vanity URL for your server is easy to remember, it still functions just like a normal invite. You can find out more about the way your invites are driving traffic to your server by scrolling down to the Most Popular Invites and Most Popular Referrers tables.
The Most Popular Referrers table shows the website that your members were on just before they clicked your invite link. For websites that support this functionality, this is a great way to understand what web pages are driving traffic to your server regardless of how many invite links you have.
The Most Popular Invites table shows you which server invites are being used the most (and also includes your vanity URL, if you have one). If you are using only a single invite to your server, then this table is not informative. However, one way to make this table more useful is to generate multiple invite links to your server. Then you can use a unique invite link each place you currently use the same invite link and will better be able to see which websites are generating the most traffic.
Once you set up unique invite links, you can measure not just the number of members that come from a website but the extent to which that website’s invite link is shared. For example, if 100 people join from an invite link on Twitter, you could expect to see 100 invite uses and 100 referrals from twitter.com. However, one of those users may send that same invite link through other methods to 20 more users. In this case, the invite link will show 120 uses, but widely different referrals related to those 20 additional members. In the end though, you can still easily attribute those joins to Twitter and better understand your traffic sources as a result. However, you should remember that any adjustments you make to your invite system will take some time to reflect meaningfully in your server insights.
Now that you have detailed information about how members are arriving at your server, you can start analyzing how this is impacting your community characteristics. You can also start drawing conclusions about how users might behave in terms of contribution to discussion, adherence to server rules, and longevity as a member.
For example, members that join via an invite link found on social media, such as a Facebook group/page, subreddit, or Twitter may already have prior experience in your server’s topic. Having previously been invested in your topic/community, they may be more well behaved and more likely to stay compared to other members.
The behavior of members joining from another Discord server will vary. If the server in question is directly related to your topic, such as the official Discord server for the game that your Discord server is about, you will likely get members that are interested in staying on your server long-term. If the rules of the related server are similar to your own, then these members will probably be able to follow the rules of your server without issue. However, if your rules are very different from the other server, there may be a “culture clash” from new members that aren’t used to your rules.
The types of members that join from a third party server listing site or Server Discovery can vary wildly depending on the server listing site itself and how you advertise your server. Members that join via Server Discovery or third party server listing sites often don’t know exactly what they are looking for and may not be invested in your topic before joining. They may also just be browsing for servers that they can troll or raid, and might not be as likely to stay compared to members that have more personal interest in your topic or server.
You should also consider the way that people from these various sources will interact with each other. If an overwhelming number of your users is coming from one source, those people may create a server culture that is not welcoming to members that come from other places. As a server owner, you will have to carefully consider how to manage potential conflicts that arise.
Overall though, remember that these examples are still based on deductive reasoning and may not be applicable to your server, even if the origin of your server traffic is the same.
Having read this article, you should better understand how to connect the information from the Audience tab of your server insights with information about your traffic sources from the Growth & Activation tab.
However, any conclusions you draw from this data assume your new members and old members are similar, or that most of your visitors within the past 28 days are either longtime members or new members as seen in the relevant chart. If you have recently changed the way you advertise your server dramatically, the origin and demographics of your members may also be changing. If this is the case, you will need to consider the possibility that your community is changing, or that two or more communities are developing alongside each other. It is vitally important that you understand the nature of your members and your traffic sources before attempting to deduce the relationships between them.
When you can relate traffic sources and demographics towards user behavior, you give yourself a strong, data-driven foundation for future improvements to your community that will reflect in server insights. Measuring the demographic characteristics of your community and how they arrived at your server is the foundation towards managing your community well. For more information about this data driven approach to community improvement, check out DMA 442.
*Unless you are using the channel description for verification instructions rather than an automatic greeter message.
If you want to use the remove unverified role method, you will need a bot that can automatically assign a role to a user when they join.
Once you decide whether you want to add or remove a role, you need to decide how you want that action to take place. Generally, this is done by typing a bot command in a channel, typing a bot command in a DM, or clicking on a reaction. The differences between these methods are shown below.
In order to use the command in channel method, you will need to instruct your users to remove the Unverified role or to add the Verified role to themselves.
The following terms are key to understanding what the server insights data is showing you. Take a moment to understand what each of those terms mean before continuing with the rest of this article. For more information, check out the definitions on the Insights portal itself.
Visitors - Members that click on your server and view at least one channel are counted as “visiting” your server or channel. Any user that joins your server is automatically a visitor on the day that they joined. Members that join a voice channel are referred to as Listeners. On the table of channel activity, these people are described as Readers.
Communicators - Members that have sent at least one message in a text channel or spoken for at least one second in a voice channel. All communicators are also visitors. On the table of channel activity, these people are called Chatters.
User Activation - Discord defines a user as being ‘activated’ when they send at least one message or view at least three channels.
Retention - In general, retention refers to the continued use of a product or service over time. Members do not need to send a message in order to count as being retained as long as they view at least one channel. For example, a user that visits your server one month after joining has been “retained” for a month.
Markdown is also supported in an embed. Here is an image to showcase an example of these properties:
Example image to showcase the elements of an embed
An important thing to note is that embeds also have their limitations, which are set by the API. Here are some of the most important ones you need to know:
An important thing to note is that embeds also have their limitations, which are set by the API. Here are some of the most important ones you need to know:
If you feel like experimenting even further you should take a look at the full list of limitations provided by Discord here.
It’s very important to keep in mind that when you are writing an embed, it should be in JSON format. Some bots even provide an embed visualizer within their dashboards. You can also use this embed visualizer tool which provides visualization for bot and webhook embeds.
Even though this comparison is important for better understanding of both bots and webhooks, it does not mean you should limit yourself to only picking one or the other. Sometimes, bots and webhooks work their best when working together. It’s not uncommon for bots to use webhooks for logging purposes or to distinguish notable messages with a custom avatar and name for that message. Both tools are essential for a server to function properly and make for a powerful combination.
*Unconfigurable filters, these will catch all instances of the trigger, regardless of whether they’re spammed or a single instance
**Gaius also offers an additional NSFW filter as well as standard image spam filtering
***YAGPDB offers link verification via google, anything flagged as unsafe can be removed
****Giselle combines Fast Messages and Repeated Text into one filter
Anti-Spam is integral to running a large private server, or a public server. Spam, by definition, is irrelevant or unsolicited messages. This covers a wide base of things on Discord, there are multiple types of spam a user can engage in. The common forms are listed in the table above. The most common forms of spam are also very typical of raids, those being Fast Messages and Repeated Text. The nature of spam can vary greatly but the vast majority of instances involve a user or users sending lots of messages with the same contents with the intent of disrupting your server.
There are subsets of this spam that many anti-spam filters will be able to catch. If any of the following: Mentions, Links, Invites, Emoji, and Newline Text are spammed repeatedly in one message or spammed repeatedly across several messages, they will provoke most Repeated Text and Fast Messages filters appropriately. Subset filters are still a good thing for your anti-spam filter to contain as you may wish to punish more or less harshly depending on the spam. Namely, Emoji and Links may warrant separate punishments. Spamming 10 links in a single message is inherently worse than having 10 emoji in a message.
Anti-spam will only act on these things contextually, usually in an X in Y fashion where if a user sends, for example, 10 links in 5 seconds, they will be punished to some degree. This could be 10 links in one message, or 1 link in 10 messages. In this respect, some anti-spam filters can act simultaneously as Fast Messages and Repeated Text filters.
Sometimes, spam may happen too quickly for a bot to catch up. There are rate limits in place to stop bots from harming servers that can prevent deletion of individual messages if those messages are being sent too quickly. This can often happen in raids. As such, Fast Messages filters should prevent offenders from sending messages; this can be done via a mute, kick or ban. If you want to protect your server from raids, please read on to the Anti-Raid section of this article.
Text filters allow you to control the types of words and/or links that people are allowed to put in your server. Different bots will provide various ways to filter these things, keeping your chat nice and clean.
*Defaults to banning ALL links
**YAGPDB offers link verification via google, anything flagged as unsafe can be removed
***Setting a catch-all filter with carl will prevent link-specific spam detection
A text filter is integral to a well moderated server. It’s strongly, strongly recommended you use a bot that can filter text based on a blacklist. A Banned words filter can catch links and invites provided http:// and https:// are added to the word blacklist (for all links) or specific full site URLs to block individual websites. In addition, discord.gg can be added to a blacklist to block ALL Discord invites.
A Banned Words filter is integral to running a public server, especially if it’s a Partnered, Community or Verified server, as this level of auto moderation is highly recommended for the server to adhere to the additional guidelines attached to it. Before configuring a filter, it’s a good idea to work out what is and isn’t ok to say in your server, regardless of context. For example, racial slurs are generally unacceptable in almost all servers, regardless of context. Banned word filters often won’t account for context, with an explicit blacklist. For this reason, it’s also important a robust filter also contains whitelisting options. For example, if you add the slur ‘nig’ to your filter and someone mentions the country ‘Nigeria’ they could get in trouble for using an otherwise acceptable word.
Filter immunity may also be important to your server, as there may be individuals who need to discuss the use of banned words, namely members of a moderation team. There may also be channels that allow the usage of otherwise banned words. For example, a serious channel dedicated to discussion of real world issues may require discussions about slurs or other demeaning language, in this exception channel based Immunity is integral to allowing those conversations.
Link filtering is important to servers where sharing links in ‘general’ chats isn’t allowed, or where there are specific channels for sharing such things. This can allow a server to remove links with an appropriate reprimand without treating a transgression with the same severity as they would a user sending a racial slur.
Whitelisting/Blacklisting and templates for links are also a good idea to have. While many servers will use catch-all filters to make sure links stay in specific channels, some links will always be malicious. As such, being able to filter specific links is a good feature, with preset filters (Like the google filter provided by YAGPDB) coming in very handy for protecting your user base without intricate setup however, it is recommended you do configure a custom filter to ensure specific slurs, words etc. that break the rules of your server, aren’t being said.
Invite filtering is equally important in large or public servers where users will attempt to raid, scam or otherwise assault your server with links with the intention of manipulating your user base to join or where unsolicited self-promotion is potentially fruitful. Filtering allows these invites to be recognized, and dealt with more harshly. Some bots may also allow by-server white/blacklisting allowing you to control which servers are ok to share invites to, and which aren’t. A good example of invite filtering usage would be something like a partners channel, where invites to other, closely linked, servers are shared. These servers should be added to an invite whitelist to prevent their deletion.
Raids, as defined earlier in this article, are mass-joins of users (often selfbots) with the intent of damaging your server. There are a few methods available to you in order for you to protect your community from this behavior. One method involves gating your server with verification appropriately, as discussed in DMA 301.You can also supplement or supplant the need for verification by using a bot that can detect and/or prevent damage from raids.
*Unconfigurable, triggers raid prevention based on user joins & damage prevention based on humanly impossible user activity. Will not automatically trigger on the free version of the bot.
Raid detection means a bot can detect the large number of users joining that’s typical of a raid, usually in an X in Y format. This feature is usually chained with Raid Prevention or Damage Prevention to prevent the detected raid from being effective, wherein raiding users will typically spam channels with unsavoury messages.
Raid-user detection is a system designed to detect users who are likely to be participating in a raid independently of the quantity of frequency of new user joins. These systems typically look for users that were created recently or have no profile picture, among other triggers depending on how elaborate the system is.
Raid prevention stops a raid from happening, either by Raid detection or Raid-user detection. These countermeasures stop participants of a raid specifically from harming your server by preventing raiding users from accessing your server in the first place, such as through kicks, bans, or mutes of the users that triggered the detection.
Damage prevention stops raiding users from causing any disruption via spam to your server by closing off certain aspects of it either from all new users, or from everyone. These functions usually prevent messages from being sent or read in public channels that new users will have access to. This differs from Raid Prevention as it doesn’t specifically target or remove new users on the server.
Raid anti-spam is an anti spam system robust enough to prevent raiding users’ messages from disrupting channels via the typical spam found in a raid. For an anti-spam system to fit this dynamic, it should be able to prevent Fast Messages and Repeated Text. This is a subset of Damage Prevention.
Raid cleanup commands are typically mass-message removal commands to clean up channels affected by spam as part of a raid, often aliased to ‘Purge’ or ‘Prune’.It should be noted that Discord features built-in raid and user bot detection, which is rather effective at preventing raids as or before they happen. If you are logging member joins and leaves, you can infer that Discord has taken action against shady accounts if the time difference between the join and the leave times is extremely small (such as between 0-5 seconds). However, you shouldn’t rely solely on these systems if you run a large or public server.
Messages aren’t the only way potential evildoers can present unsavoury content to your server. They can also manipulate their Discord username or Nickname to cause trouble. There are a few different ways a username can be abusive and different bots offer different filters to prevent this.
*Gaius can apply same blacklist/whitelist to names as messages or only filter based on items in the blacklist tagged %name
**YAGPDB can use configured word-list filters OR a regex filter
Username filtering is less important than other forms of auto moderation, when choosing which bot(s) to use for your auto moderation needs, this should typically be considered last, since users with unsavory usernames can just be nicknamed in order to hide their actual username.
One additional component not included in the table is the effects of implementing a verification gate. The ramifications of a verification gate are difficult to quantify and not easily summarized. Verification gates make it harder for people to join in the conversation of your server, but in exchange help protect your community from trolls, spam bots, those unable to read your server’s language, or other low intent users. This can make administration and moderation of your server much easier. You’ll also see that the percent of people that visit more than 3 channels increases as they explore the server and follow verification instructions, and that percent talked may increase if people need to type a verification command.
However, in exchange you can expect to see server leaves increase. In addition, total engagement on your other channels may grow at a slower pace. User retention will decrease as well. Furthermore, this will complicate the interpretation of your welcome screen metrics, as the welcome screen will need to be used to help people primarily follow the verification process as opposed to visiting many channels in your server. There is also no guarantee that people who send a message after clicking to read the verification instructions successfully verified. In order to measure the efficacy of your verification system, you may need to use a custom solution to measure the proportion of people that pass or fail verification.
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