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Building Safe and Inclusive Communities: Discord Verification

  • Steven Yum

    Steven Yum

    Community, Common Room

At Common Room, customer-centricity is our North Star. When we started seeing an increase in the number of customers looking to migrate their communities to Discord, we set out to help them do so in a way that builds a safe and inclusive space for anyone to join.

The rise of Discord’s popularity

Chances are if you’ve looked at starting your own or joining an existing community, you’ve come across Discord. It grew especially popular amid the pandemic, with the company raising $500M at a $15B valuation in September 2021. Discord became an attractive chat platform because: it’s free to use, has no membership limits, doesn’t restrict functionality based on the number of members, and offers comprehensive moderation functionality to maintain a safe experience. They also recently released threading to better organize conversations.

Ensuring community safety and inclusivity

Community members are urging some of our customers to migrate to Discord. We’ve seen community managers hesitate to do this though, because migrating to Discord introduces anonymous and unverified identities, and this lack of visibility into who's joining a community presents potential concerns around community safety and inclusivity.

While we recognize that the anonymity is by design and can have its merits, in community terms we believe that visibility into the people who participate in your community is paramount to fostering a safe and inclusive community, and to support, collaborate, and build better products alongside them. For example, if a community member is seeking technical help or is frustrated with a feature, it's harder to build better products for them without having context around who they are, how they’re using it, and what issues they've experienced in the past. Together with a thorough code of conduct and clear enforcement protocols, you can help build a safe place anyone can join.

We believe serving our customers best means serving their communities best. We wanted to enable our customers to migrate their community to Discord, while mitigating noise and avoiding abuse at scale.

Introducing Common Room’s Discord verification bot:

Clicking through the workflow of Common Room's Discord verification process

How to meet customers and their communities where they are

Our Discord verification bot asks for identity validation as a part of the Discord authentication process. We created a simple workflow that verifies the identity of a community member in order for them to gain access to messages and the ability to post in channels. We intentionally kept the workflow as seamless as possible to minimally disrupt the user experience. The intent is to invite each member to model the behavior of a healthy community that, with better context and understanding, can listen to, support, and uplift one another. And to make sure that members know they're joining a community they want to be a part of, the Discord verification bot allows community teams to customize the workflow experience based on what their members need and prefer (e.g., a welcome and walkthrough video, specific branding, logos, or icons, etc.).

Feedback is critical to our product development process and we’ve heard numerous times the challenges associated with participating in as well as running a Discord community. We built our Discord verification bot so community members can interact in one of the spaces they're most excited about while also helping community managers serve them in that space (and keep it safe for the community to grow). If this sounds like something you need, request access and sign up for Uncommon to stay up-to-date. If it sounds like something you want to help build, we’re hiring 😉