The vast, decentralized social platform that is Discord posts quarterly safety reports, and tallying up this year’s ban numbers gives a dizzying figure. Discord disabled 55,573,411 accounts and removed 68,379 servers from January to June of 2022. The accounts banned, which Discord calls “disabling,” were overwhelmingly for “spam or spam-related offenses.”
When looking at offenses other than spam, the figure for accounts drops to 1,821,721. There’s no matching figure for servers, since those can’t be spammers under Discord’s rules—spammy server behavior would presumably fall under more specific silos like unsolicited content, platform manipulation, or illegal activities.
The non-spam server and account bans are broadly categorized, but the majority of them are for Child Safety reasons, followed up by Exploitative and Unsolicited Content. If you’re confused as to how this works in the seemingly-private world of Discord, we’ve got an article for that: How private is your private Discord server? (opens in new tab) TL;DR: Discord has rules and moderators, but they’re not watching your streams and reading your chat 24/7.
Scrutiny of extremist and illegal activity on Discord has been high in the last few years, with child harm content and hate-promoting content in the spotlight. Earlier this year the New York State Attorney General announced an investigation into platforms used to spread hate, including Discord, following a mass shooting.
By Discord’s reckoning its bans are targeting the right people, as a very small percentage of appealed account bans are reinstated. A mere 2% of appeals in Q1 and 0.6% in Q2. That means of the 235,945 people who appealed a ban only 3,098 got their accounts back.
Of secondary interest are Discord’s statistics on the reports of violations that people submit. They acted on 24% of reports from January to March and 22% from April to June.
Those report action stats don’t include Discord’s one-click reports for spam—we previously wrote about Discord’s never-ending game of cat and mouse with spammers. (opens in new tab) Looking at Discord’s spam stats is fascinating: The majority of spammers banned don’t even get reported by users. Only 7,785,111 of the 27,733,948 accounts banned for spam in Q2 were reported by users—roughly 25%—so it seems like Discord’s weeding out most of the spam before users even report it.
You can read Discord’s transparency report (opens in new tab)s dating back to 2019 on its website.