A few days ago, I was contacted on Twitter by a small streamer I know who runs a couple of discord servers. He asked me to send him an invite link to a server that he runs, which is a pretty unusual request. It turned out that his account had been disabled, and the impression we both formed was that someone had falsely reported him. (He has a tendency to tell people off when they behave badly on a server, and is a moderator in several places. It seemed likely that he’d annoyed a group of trolls.)
I commiserated with his predicament, and he filed an appeal. We both assumed that his account would be reinstated once someone looked into it, especially since he had only just started using a year of prepaid Nitro. But this was not the case. After receiving a form letter in response (basically telling him that the issue was closed and there was nothing he could do), he went to the Discord forums. His is not an isolated case.
It’s one thing to be locked out of posting on Facebook for a couple of days because the algorithm thinks you were being mean. (It seems like if you ever disagree with someone on Facebook, then you’ll get a slap on the wrist sooner or later.) It’s another thing to lose access to a service you’ve paid money for, and to be completely ignored when you attempt to find out what happened.
Well, not completely ignored. When he asked what was going on, he received this reply:
Your account was disabled for violating our Terms of Service or Community Guidelines. We will not reinstate the account.
Discord Trust & Safety
MGN reached out to Discord to see if we could understand more about what other users might expect if a complaint is made about them. (The conversation below has been edited for brevity and confidentiality.)
MGN: I think it’s reasonable to describe [Discord’s] response as ‘uninformative and unhelpful’. Is [Discord’s] response typical of the service that Discord provides to paying customers whose accounts have been disabled? Are you able to share any information about the number of accounts that get disabled in a typical month? Can you refer me to an official policy statement that explains how Discord aims to treat these issues?
Discord: Sadly, I am unable to share any information about the number of accounts that get disabled in a typical month nor can you refer you to an official policy statement that explains how Discord aims to treat these issues.
So there you have it: the person we dealt with at Discord was very polite, very gracious, and absolutely unable to provide any information that might reassure people who might be at risk of being targeted with false complaints. If you don’t have a partner agreement or some other inside contact within Discord, then it’s likely that you’ll face a blank silent wall as you scramble to re-establish your presence.
The future of your Discord account is uncertain
The extent of the problem is not clear at this time. It seems likely that some of the people who claim they were falsely accused have actually violated the terms of service. At the same time, the lack of information from the Discord end makes it impossible to respond meaningfully if you’ve been targeted maliciously. Having Nitro active on your account does not mean they’ll tell you what you’re alleged to have done, let alone consider an appeal against their decision. I strongly encourage anyone who runs a Discord server to have another account they can use that has admin rights to that server.