Bri Riggio
December 5, 2022

Evolving our Policies to Keep You Safe

We built Discord to be a place that brings people together over shared experiences and gives everyone a place to belong, but not at the expense of others. Keeping Discord safe and welcoming is what allows people to find a place to belong and that’s why safety is one of our most important investments and priorities.

As a Discord user, you’re probably familiar with our Community Guidelines: they explain what kind of behavior isn’t allowed or tolerated on Discord. These guidelines operate alongside policies that are intended to prevent or mitigate harm to our users.

When we become aware of a violation of our Community Guidelines and policies, our team takes action, which can include anything from warning or banning accounts, to removing servers, and engaging with the authorities as appropriate. We encourage users to report any activity that violates our guidelines, Terms of Service, or our other policies in the Discord mobile app. Learn more about submitting a report here.

As part of our ongoing efforts to keep users safe, we regularly review and update our policies and Community Guidelines. During this process, our Policy team assesses the potential harms caused by a particular type of content or behavior. We look at the problem holistically and try to understand how it manifests not just on Discord, but also on the internet and society more broadly.

In the first half of this year, our team focused on updating policies to address the biggest issues that we saw users experiencing on Discord. For today’s post, we want to share our approach to this kind of content and behavior.

Threats, Hate Speech, and Violent Extremism

Hate or harm targeted at individuals or communities is not tolerated on Discord in any way, and combating this behavior and content is a top priority for us. We evolved our Threats Policy to address threats of harm to others. Under this policy, we will take action against direct and indirect threats, veiled threats, those who encourage this behavior, and conditional statements to cause harm.

We also refined our Hate Speech Policy with input from a group of experts who study identity and intersectionality and came from a variety of different identities and backgrounds themselves. Under this policy, 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 based on protected characteristics.

In addition, we’ve expanded our list of protected characteristics to go beyond what most hate speech laws cover to include the following: age; caste; color; disability; ethnicity; family responsibilities; gender; gender identity; housing status; national origin; race; refugee or immigration status; religious affiliation; serious illness; sex; sexual orientation; socioeconomic class and status; source of income; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; and, weight and size.  

Last year, we wrote about how we address Violent Extremism on Discord. We are deeply committed to our work in this space and have updated our Violent Extremism Policy to prohibit any kind of support, promotion, or organization of violent extremist groups or ideologies. We worked closely with a violent extremism subject-matter expert to update this policy and will continue to work with third-party organizations like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and the European Union Internet Forum to ensure it is enforced properly.

Financial Scams, Fraud Services, and Malicious Conduct

During 2022, we invested significantly in how we combat criminal activity on Discord. In February, we released two blogs to help users identify and protect themselves against scams on Discord. Alongside these, we developed a Financial Scams Policy which prohibits three types of common scams: identity scams, investment scams, and financial scams. We will take action against users who scam others or use Discord to coordinate scamming operations. In the case of users who have been the victim of fraudulent activity, we recommend they report the activity to Discord and contact law enforcement, who will be able to follow up with us for more information if it helps their investigation.

Under our new Fraud Services Policy, we've expanded our definitions of what constitutes fraudulent behavior. We will take action against users who engage in reselling stolen or ill-gotten digital goods or are involved in coordinated efforts to defraud businesses or engage in price gouging, forgery, or money laundering.

We also do not allow any kind of activity that could damage or compromise the security of an account, computer network, or system under our updated Malicious Conduct Policy. We will take action against users who use Discord to host or distribute malware, or carry out phishing attempts and denial-of-service attacks against others.

What’s Next

User safety is our top priority and we’re committed to ensuring Discord continues to be a safe and welcoming place. We regularly evaluate and assess our policies in collaboration with experts, industry-leading groups, and partner organizations. We look forward to continuing our work in this important area and plan to share further updates down the road.

User Safety

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