May 12, 2022

Discord's commitment to a safe and trusted experience

Our Approach to Delivering a Positive User Experience 

The core of our mission is to give everyone the power to find and create belonging in their lives. Creating a safe environment on Discord is essential to achieve this, and is one of the ways we prevent misuse of our platform. Safety is at the core of everything we do and a primary area of investment as a business: 

  1. We invest talent and resources towards safety efforts. From Safety and Policy to Engineering, Data, and Product teams, about 15 percent of all Discord employees are dedicated to working on safety. Creating a safer internet is at the heart of our collective mission. 
  1. We continue to innovate how we scale safety mechanisms, with a focus on proactive detection. Millions of people around the world use Discord every day, the vast majority are engaged in positive ways, but we take action on multiple fronts to address bad behavior and harmful content. For example, we use PhotoDNA image hashing to identify inappropriate images; we use advanced technology like machine learning models to identify and remedy offending content; and we empower and equip community moderators with tools and training to uphold our policies in their communities. You can read more about our safety initiatives and priorities below.
  1. Our ongoing work to protect users is conducted in collaboration and partnership with experts who share our mission to create a safer internet. We partner with a number of organizations to jointly confront challenges impacting internet users at large. For example, we partner with the Family Online Safety Institute, an international non-profit that endeavors to make the online world safer for children and families. We also cooperate with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Tech Coalition, and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The fight against bad actors on communications platforms is unlikely to end soon, and our approach to safety is guided by the following principles:

  • Design for Safety: We make our products safe spaces by design and by default. Safety is and will remain part of the core product experience at Discord.
  • Prioritize the Highest Harms: We prioritize issues that present the highest harm to our platform and our users. This includes harm to our users and society (e.g. sexual exploitation, violence, sharing of illegal content) and platform integrity harm (e.g. spam, account take-over, malware). 
  • Design for Privacy: We carefully balance privacy and safety on the platform. We believe that users should be able to tailor their Discord experience to their preferences, including privacy.
  • Embrace Transparency & Knowledge Sharing: We continue to educate users, join coalitions, build relationships with experts, and publish our safety learnings including our Transparency Reports.

Underpinning all of this are two important considerations: our overall approach towards content moderation and our investments in technology solutions to keep our users safe. 

Our Technology Solutions 

We believe that in the long term, machine learning will be an essential component of safety solutions. In 2021, we acquired Sentropy, a leader in AI-powered moderation systems, to advance our work in this domain. We will continue to balance technology with the judgment and contextual assessment of highly trained employees, as well as continuing to maintain our strong stance on user privacy.

Here is an overview of some of our key investments in technology:

  • Safety Rules Engine: The rules engine allows our teams to evaluate user activities such as registrations, server joins, and other metadata. We can then analyze patterns of problematic behavior to make informed decisions and take uniform actions like user challenges or bans.
  • AutoMod: AutoMod allows community moderators to block messages with certain keywords, automatically block dangerous links, and identify harmful messages using machine learning. This technology empowers community moderators to keep their communities safe. 
  • Visual Safety Platform: This is a service that can identify hashes of objectionable images such as child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and check all image uploads to Discord against databases of known objectionable images. 

Our Partnerships

In the field of online safety, we are inspired by the spirit of cooperation across companies and civil society groups. We are proud to engage and learn from a wide range of companies and organizations including:

  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
  • Family Online Safety Institute
  • Tech Coalition
  • Crisis Text Line
  • Digital Trust & Safety Partnership
  • Trust & Safety Professionals Association 
  • Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

This cooperation extends to our work with law enforcement agencies. When appropriate, Discord complies with information requests from law enforcement agencies while respecting the privacy and rights of our users. Discord also may disclose information to authorities in emergency situations when we possess a good faith belief that there is imminent risk of serious physical injury or death. You can read more about how Discord works with law enforcement here.

Our Policy and Safety Resources

If you would like to learn more about our approach to Safety, we welcome you to visit the links below. 

Parents and Teens
User Safety

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