The enormous, decentralised social platform Discord publishes quarterly safety reports and adding together the ban counts for this year yields a startling result. From January to June 2022, Discord removed 68,379 servers and disabled 55,573,411 accounts. The majority of the banned accounts, which Discord refers to as “disabling,” were for “spam or spam-related offences.”
The number of accounts lowers to 1,821,721 when looking at offences other than spam. Spammy server behaviour would probably fall under more specific silos like unsolicited content, platform manipulation, or unlawful acts, thus there isn’t a similar statistic for servers as those can’t be spammers under Discord’s regulations.
Although there are many different types of non-spam server and account bans, the bulk of them is for child safety concerns, followed by exploitation and unsolicited content. There are regulations and administrators on Discord, but they aren’t always keeping an eye on your streams and reading your messages.
The previous few years have seen a rise in scrutiny of extreme and illegal conduct on Discord, with child harm and hate-promoting content taking centre stage. Following a mass massacre, the New York State Attorney General earlier this year began an inquiry into websites and apps used to disseminate hate, including Discord.
Discord believes that its bans are effective since only a very small portion of appealed account bans are overturned. just 2% in Q1 and 0.6% in Q2 were appeals. That indicates that only 3,098 of the 235,945 users who appealed a ban had their accounts restored.
Discord’s data on user-submitted reports of violations are only marginally interesting. From January to March, they responded to 24% of reports, and from April to June, 22%. Examining Discord’s spam stats is fascinating: The majority of spammers banned don’t even get reported by users. Users only reported 7,785,111 of the 27,733,948 accounts banned for spam in Q2—roughly 25%—so it appears that Discord filters out the majority of the spam before users even notice it.