Discord gives servers a way to intercept spam and harmful content, will expand premium subscriptions

Discord introduces a native way for servers to preemptively detect and block harmful messages and spam. The tool, called AutoModis available today and will allow anyone who moderates one of Discord’s server-based communities to create a custom list of words that the new bot can search for and intercept.

When one of the target words is detected, the bot can automatically block that message so it never reaches the server, send an alert to a specific channel to notify moderators, or put a user on “timeout” by temporarily disabling his capacity. to send messages. Discord will also provide a predefined list of words and phrases that are commonly flagged by mods and can easily be activated without creating a custom keyword list.

“I think one of the big issues we’ve heard from a lot of moderators is that they spend a lot of time monitoring their servers, instead of doing the things they want to do, like running events. [and] create culture,” Jesse Wofford, Discord Group Product Marketing Manager, told TechCrunch.

Unlike existing tools, Discord’s AutoMod can preemptively scan conversations, identifying anything with the targeted keywords before it appears in chat. External tools previously lacked the permissions to see posts before they hit a server and automatically moderated them seconds after. Discord says it will give its developer community the ability to rely on AutoMod’s preemptive detection capability now that the new native tool is in the wild.

Discord AutoMod

Picture credits: Discord

“There are a lot of moderation bots on Discord and I think they’ve actually done a lot of heavy lifting so far,” Wofford said. “We took a lot of inspiration from them in terms of what works for them and talking directly with the developers and talking to our admins about what they like.”

Discord is increasingly building some of the functionality its users previously integrated through external services into its main app. Users have long relied on the app’s external ecosystem of plug-in tools to do everything from welcoming new server members and stalking to DJing music in channels and play mini games.

Wofford says Discord wants developers to “go with the ride” and stay relevant even as the company incorporates functionality that external bots previously provided to its community.

Beyond the introduction of AutoMod, Discord also announced that it will expand premium subscriptionsa Patreon-like way for active members of the community to pay for perks and additional server access.

This summer, Discord will start allowing more servers to activate premium memberships, but the company isn’t opening the feature to anyone yet. Discord will allow servers in the United States with more than 500 members to apply for the program, but will still review these communities to ensure the rollout goes smoothly and the company learns along the way.

“We want to make sure we’re very mindful of people coming in,” Wofford said. “We think we’re creating a whole new paradigm for career monetization, in terms of the idea that community is something of value that you can monetize. And I think we’re playing the long game here.”

Discord first announced a pilot program for premium memberships in December. The company started by giving a small group of communities access to the feature set, which allows servers to make some or all of their content available to paying members only. Early servers that tested premium subscriptions included a gaming tutorial community, The Trans Community Center, and Stream Professor, which offers guides for people getting started with live streaming.

The idea is both to make the work of maintaining a Discord community more “sustainable” and to bring outside payments to users for premium content on Patreon or elsewhere in Discord itself. Server admins can set their own pricing based on what works for their community and what they plan to provide.

Thanks to early feedback on its pilot program, Discord is also adding new features for premium subscriptions, including a new analytics dashboard, custom server emojis, and the ability to offer free premium trial subscriptions so that potential members can try before they buy.

Discord also introduces two new resources for mods and admins who manage communities: a community resource center filled with educational information to help servers get started and running and a special hub where community admins can interact with Discord staff, get news, and participate at events.

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