- Individuals can block and report other users
- There are tiered mod levels
- Per-community pseudonyms, but a single account makes it easier to track bad actors
Markdown support, including syntax highlighting, is actually better in Discord than Slack already, too.
If you haven't checked out an OSS community on Discord yet here are a few:
I run three Discord servers:
- A tiny one for my company, which we use much like one would use Slack within a company, including voice and video chats.
- A medium-size one for the open source community around the company. It includes project-specific channels (three-way mirrored between Gitter and IRC thanks to the wonderful Matterbridge: https://github.com/42wim/matterbridge/), general channels, voice channels etc.
- A large (20k users) one for our company's (gaming-centric) userbase.
Discord is a fantastic tool that adapts to all three situations very well, scales really well from 4 people to 100k people. Its DM/friendslist system scales a lot less well, but is still very usable with 100+ DM channels. I have even created a personal (private) Discord server where I'm keeping a journal of what I work on, inspired by a HN post the other day (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15823599).
Discord is scalable messaging UX done right. I'm a huge believer in what they do. (Yeah, if only it were open source etc, I get it; different problem, different story)
I much prefer it over Gitter for open source chat (Gitter's only real advantage is how well it integrates with Github). And IRC is... well, not in a good state today. IRCCloud.com does wondeful work but they're small and it's just not enough.
I just wish Discord would get phonecall support, but that part is probably not going to happen. It's doable with a bot though. PhoneCord (https://www.reddit.com/r/discordapp/comments/6hlesz/anyone_e...) used to do it, they were shut down because of the obvious abuse implications but I'd really like to hook up Twilio with Discord in a bot for my company, internally, so we can do phone conferencing from it.
Would love to hear more about the reasoning behind this. IRC might not be as flashy as Slack, but for my daily work and communication, it works fine (I use IRCCloud) even though I would love for IRCCloud to offer a bouncer so I can use my own client.
AFAIK, the only way Gitter "integrates" with Github is sending repository updates to the channel, something which Github has a webhook for doing with IRC as well.
Re IRC: I absolutely hate Slack, but IRC holds no candle to Discord. Scrollback, search, highlight management, moderation tools, usable permission system, voice support, video support, low barrier of entry, online permanence, excellent file upload/image support, account-based identities, role customization and role-based permissions, support for profiles, drop-in group chat, markdown support with syntax highlight, multiline messages... am I done yet?
As far as I know, Slack won’t implement that because it’s a team chat app and if team members need to block people, there’s larger problems: https://mobile.twitter.com/stewart/status/624239660529684481
As we speak, I have five slack communities open in my messenger. All but one of them are open to the public.
I'd wager there are more public Slack communities than there are private (i.e. "team chat") ones. But much like Twitter, Slack has a fundamentally different vision for their platform than their users apparently have.
To me this was first made clear when Reactiflux (a massive community around React, Flux and related web technologies and topics) had to switch from Slack to Discord because they had hit a hard limit of members and Slack said they wouldn't increase it because their software and infra wasn't build to handle these scenarios.
Nevertheless open source projects and community builders keep flocking to Slack and Slack doesn't seem to have any intention to clear up this misalignment. They're benefiting from the free advertisement small public communities create but don't want to spend any extra energy providing their services to them as they grow.
Anyone know how they gained traction in the gaming community? Their wikipedia entry  says they had a game development studio which developed games that were not successful, then they start developing Discord and successfully launch on reddit. How did they promote on reddit given reddit's aversion to self promotion? Maybe ads? Would love to learn more about their early days.
It's a window, an fft, a filter around a primary frequency range, an integration, and an N second timer since the last time the audio crosses the threshold.
Discord's current implementation drops in the middle for words! It's crazy.
also as a phoenix dev (just released my first big site), you picked the right stack :)
Edit: I've adjusted the thresholds to try and tune it, but it's been very hit or miss.
It's usually specific users whose words get dropped, maybe their activation threshold is just low enough. But still, seems to me like this should not happen, especially in the middle of sentences, since the beginning of the sentence is recorded just fine.
(Windows 10 Pro)
Last time I tried it the browser app was especially prone to this, to the point of rendering push-to-talk completely unusable.
Skype, Google Hangouts, teamspeak, ventrillo, mumble, and tox all support my microphone and voice activation correctly.
Its even more useful in competitive gaming and/or streaming where many want to chose what to say to their team/friends and themselves/the stream.
(can you tell I’ve played Overwatch?)
That said, I use a for-realsies dynamic microphone with tons of off-axis rejection and a wall-mounted arm (I play games in my office/recording space, that's the engineer station mic). So I probably could use voice detection and be fine. But habits die hard.
The rise of mechanical keyboards has made PTT practically the only option. Otherwise you just hear little clicking all the time.
You can even video chat if you make a group call outside of your channel though
Would recommend for other small companies in same boat
Discord really hit it off with gamers giving them the chat application they want (such as Steam, Battle.NET; formally Xfire) with the VOIP they used in conjunction. It's really an amazing product (who says Electron doesn't work?!) — I'm hoping they can stay around for a long time.
Also, I can't be the only one who can single out Electron/CEF apps just from how bad the input delay is. It gives me the feeling of it being made of cheap plastic.
Being able to click a link and simply join a channel without all the fudging it can take when using TeamSpeak or even IRC is great, not to mention how easy it makes setting up your own "server".
I don't understand what the problem is if someone who supports something I don't like (be it alt-right, liberal, whatever) uses the platform, as long as he doesn't bother me personally :/
(My account was just banned by sctb for this ;P)
Also the bad people never stay confined to their private hate club. See the linked article here about "raids" on other channels or literally the entire history of Internet social media.
When you run a carrier you're expected to be neutral. What people do with your service is not your responsibility. If the service is being used illegally then law enforcement can intervene.
When you run a community you have an obligation to pick and choose who participates. You can strive to be inclusive, but when you start to include those that seek to exclude you'll find your community being hijacked and perverted into someting that reflects the wants and needs of a tiny, dedicated, often highly motivated minority.
It's the responsibility of anyone running a community to police and weed out bad actors. I they don't the good citizens will leave and your community will be worthless. That's probably a bad thing if you've got shareholders to answer to.
Tell me how that helps a company like Discord stay financially viable.
Then again, I know pretty much everybody on that server. Perhaps you're dealing with a much larger community attached to a website or game? I don't see how that's a problem specific to Discord then.
Discord needs ways of mitigating this, of going into lockdown mode, to deal with exceptional situations. As their platform grows in scale the liability increases exponentially. Without counter-measures they expose themselves and their users to ever increasing risk.
GitHub has had to make a few radical alterations in their core features to deal with rampant, malicious abuse. Discord will have to do the same or they will fail.
People can't start showing up because they need invitations to join your channel. If you don't want a radical group there, don't invite them. It's that simple.
There is no "turning the platform into a toy". Everybody on your Discord channel is somebody for which you gave consent to be there. There is no possible way for trolls or abusers to arrive on your Discord channel without first being invited. It really is that simple.
What people talk about in Discord's independent chatrooms is their own business. I don't believe that most people advocating for strict ideological moderation on large platforms like facebook or discord understand the implications and dangers of allowing private companies such power.
Today they're booting off "neo-nazis", tomorrow they'll be booting off you.
Disruptive elements like that destroy platforms. If I'm a disruptive element for different reasons I deserve to be booted.
Please do us all a favor and look into what a slippery slope is.
"There's a historical precedence for people drinking water and dying because of it, so I'm not going to drink water anymore."
The reasons you here about them is because they are so exceptional. People got banned from forums for being irreverent dicks before and no one batted an eye. Now because they got legitimized by gullible people, everyone screams about their lack of freedom on private platforms.
you're poorly versed in internet culture and history. many internet subcultures have axiomatically rejected moderation because, surprise, giving power to anonymous and unaccountable peers frequently results in abuses. you're confusing your own lack of concern and love of arbitrary authority with the opinions of others.
I've seen this dynamic play out first on tiny communities like MUDs where you'd have, at most, a thousand people. Later the pattern repeated over and over at larger and larger scales, where more recently you see entire platforms like Reddit suffering from the same issues. Each order of magnitude increase in user base makes the threats grow far more exponentially in scale.
Soon the whole internet will become rotten, culturally speaking.
Hm, I looked at your account and you posted another comment which looks for all the world like an attempt to imply by dogwhistle that the Jews are planning on replacing you: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15870471
Are you sure you were not banned for being a Nazi, hiding behind the label "alt-right"? People dissatisfied with mainstream right-wing politics are one thing. Nazis are another entirely, and they have no place on this forum or in our industry.
(Can the decent people in the alt-right -- assuming any exist -- denounce dogwhistle anti-Semitism as having no part in the movement?)
- a comment about "Silicon Valleetards"
- a lot of non-killed comments, mostly (apparently) high quality
- one comment with what looks like casual racism, a handful of comments with extreme condescension towards other users, all killed
- a comment by 'dang saying part of his moderation activity includes personally looking at your comments and manually un-killing the vast majority of them
This seems entirely commendable on the moderators' part, and the only question it raises is how they have so much time. I have had the misfortune of being in multiple communities (a club in college, a job, a programming language, a church) where there was a skilled contributor who provided genuinely valuable and helpful work 80% of the time and hurtful behavior 20% of the time, and the community could never admit to itself that the harm they were causing to other skilled members was causing them to be net negative for the community.
"We will shadowban you and manually review and approve the 80% of your comments that build up the community" is a great approach if you can implement it, and I'm pleasantly surprised the mods think it's sustainable.
Also, in your specific case it seems more like 98% than 80%. I would really encourage you to take 'dang's advice in one of the threads where he responded, and 'sctb's advice in the thread where he banned you - agree to be civil. There's a difference between snark and insult. As someone who used to get a kick out of gratuitous public confrontation (as long as it was online and not in person!) and still needs to consciously suppress the occasional instinct to make technical disagreements personal (and doesn't always succeed), I totally get it. It feels super hypocritical for me to tell you not to do a thing that I do. But I hope this comes off as friendly advice from someone who's been there before, not hypocrisy. The comment that got you shadowbanned genuinely did not contribute to the community, and also genuinely is nowhere near your usual standards, so I'm surprised you're standing by it. (Two concrete suggestions: first, don't be afraid to type the comment you want to write and then close the tab, or submit it and then delete it 5 seconds later once you think better of it. I do that a lot. Second, if you're coming here to blow off steam, think hard about the thing in your life that's building up steam and whether you can get rid of it.)
I hope that, given that this is a thread about the merits of active moderation in online communities, a digression about active moderation in this online community is not too far off-topic.
I see https://blog.discordapp.com/scaling-elixir-f9b8e1e7c29b and https://blog.discordapp.com/how-discord-handles-push-request... ... Interesting.
We've been able to handle millions of concurrent HTTP(!) connections on a single machine for years; it feels like a pretty solved problem. Although, a lot of that involved userspace TCP stacks and really high-end networking hardware, so if you want to stay within saner territories you can scale that number back a bit.
> Have we really regressed to the point where simply relaying data with reasonable performance is considered impressive?
Sure but it's like saying Facebook is just a silly PHP app to share posts with friends and family, and Tesla is just an electric car those have been around for 100 years.
If you read their page, they do more than just serve static pages to users. It is a distributed systems problem, solving that in a performant and cost-effective way is not as easy.
Their blog (the part GP was referring to anyways), which I'll admit I've only read a portion of, seems to mostly talk about the message-shuffling portion of it though, and a lot of it is just discusses working around their architecture being utterly ridiculous. Once you've figured out where the messages actually need to go though, chucking them out (or the fanout, if you want to call it that) is pretty clearly a trivial operation. And, at least in theory, the routing would only change when a user/node joins/leaves, so the volumes involved there aren't quite as heroic as the message volumes. Handling a few thousand join/leaves per second doesn't sound quite as... scaling, though. I don't think they even bother trying to keep them in perfect order.
Again though, I'm not trying to say that it's not impressive that they got it to work, I just wanted to point out how we seem to have gone backwards / forgotten in terms of handling large volumes of traffic.
E: You're definitely right that HTTP connections are a pretty poor choice of comparison for messaging though.
That becomes an even more difficult problem with deployments that in any other environment would disconnect and reconnect everyone from the nodes in the middle of active conversations.
Elixir/Erlang give you the ability to solve both of those problems in this domain. No central relay point and hot upgrades to live servers without any disruption to the millions of existing connections, in progress messages or in route audio conversations.
Doing all that while being able to dedicate a process to each one of those millions of users that both maintains their state between messages and handles monitoring their connection on reconnect attempts is also non-trivial. This is possible with Elixir and Erlang because those processes cost 0.5kb of RAM and the BEAM ensures responsiveness to all of them in the face of a piece of heavier/runaway code that would otherwise monopolize resources on the machine.
Go is the next closest option at 2kb / RAM per goroutine but Go also doesn't provide any type of ID mechanism for those routines so the closest equivalent that you'd get to be able to send a message from one to the other would be creating a channel for each routine to listen on.
Beyond code, OS level threads start at about 1mb, so the entire architecture has to change in order to even attempt to accomplish the same thing.
Please try again, and stop spouting obviously false facts.
I really like it a lot and I was always wondering why it is not used more in business setting or for coordination in teams, because it could totally do that and it is ligher solution then slack or god forbid hipchat.
Granted, I don’t think we’ve got more than a couple of hundred users on our Discord server, but it has been serving the core group of contributors well.
Fyi, it is gated by Discord and (for instance) I'm unable to create an account under this psuedonym.
So, I (personally) will never use Discord as they locked my account when I attempted to create one.
We definitely don't have any rules that hard auto disable accounts.
Ah, you've changed it to say its an invalid email when I tried using the same service again. ;)
Also the original account is gone now so yay I guess? Someone went back and deleted instead of disabling them.
I'm guessing someone discovered the email service I used originally and disabled the account before I ever bothered to actually use it.
> We definitely don't have any rules that hard auto disable accounts.
You actively oppose privacy and block registration now instead of disabling them. I guess there was a policy change but (honestly) I don't care.
Y'all actively created rules in attempt to block average users from having some privacy on your platform.
It's a bit like being concerned about gmail requiring your real name to sign up. I mean, yeah, but, what?
FWIW I signed up years ago and never received a single email from them outside of the initial signup one and any I requested.
A) Its the principle of the thing.
B) I can get around the disposable email block with a disposable email quite easily. Its more the fact they got rid of the original account that pissed me off.
C) I change online screen names somewhat frequently to cut off the occasional mentally unstable person who tries to work around a service's block feature.
D) Discord makes a ton of privacy claims that are dishonest in the sense that they are actively trying to block anonymity which would allow those claims to be true.
But Discord isn't blocking "anonymity", they're blocking disposable email addresses (low-hanging fruit spam). They don't ask for your name and, whatever email you give it, doesn't have to be tied to your name.
It's a bit like blocking Tor. Websites don't block Tor because they hate privacy, they block Tor because it's a spammer's tool of choice.
> It's a bit like blocking Tor. Websites don't block Tor because they hate privacy, they block Tor because it's a spammer's tool of choice.
And yet, I somehow can do it without either of these measures. So can Reddit and Matrix and a bunch of other services.
We must some sort of amazing super genius. /s
This falls under "beliefs you have", not facts.
It's not a belief, it's an area I'm interested in, and I've talked to a lot of people about it. I've never found anyone block cloudflare (or disposable emails) because they "hate privacy".
Its a false argument whose only real value is admitting "Well, we are unwilling to hire the people with the technical knowledge to be effective at anti-spam without such measures."
> It's not a belief, it's an area I'm interested in, and I've talked to a lot of people about it. I've never found anyone block cloudflare (or disposable emails) because they "hate privacy".
Yup. I must be so high on drugs I'm hallucinating every place I've ever worked at and every hobby project that has allowed UGC. (Hint: Literally all of them involved UGC with attempts to defraud and spam.)
It is a _belief_ that such measures are technically necessary and effective.
I mean, if you really think you are right, it is impossible to do this thing, and I get around to building a site for the sole purpose of proving you wrong...how much would you pay me?
Honest feedback: You need to take a look at how this conversation went down and if you're happy with projecting this attitude you have onto the world.
The fact you persisted this long without making that claim makes me question the veracity of that statement.
> All I said is that when websites block cloudflare, it's usually because of spam and attackers.
I'm just quoting that out of incredulity at the statement.
I never said anything about Discord blocking Cloudflare.
> Honest feedback: You need to take a look at how this conversation went down and if you're happy with projecting this attitude you have onto the world.
I am happy.
People who try to argue about how terribly misunderstood corporations are never enjoy talking to me. The same is true for people who attempt to correct me on the basis of their opinions that aren't rooted in factual necessity.
I don't need to have a positive interaction with someone who tries to starts an argument with me over how my worldview is wrong because of their personal opinion on how the world should work.
My beliefs aren't going to change just because you feel your opinion is validated by niche popularity. Niche popularity got Trump elected lol. That isn't the sort of thing you want to base your views on if you have the self-confidence to realize that _sometimes_ the majority view is wrong and something needs to be said.
> I never said anything about Discord blocking Cloudflare.
It's the same thing wrt blocking disposable emails.
You know why I told you to review that conversation? Because you are so dead set on viewing me as someone who is wrong that you haven't even considered that I agree with you. All I tried to do was give you some perspective but that's apparently as futile as talking to a 2D plane.
I literally cannot have a Discord account 'cause it'll just get disabled immediately.
Some people consider this a positive.
I see several reasons.
1. It's impossible to not be in a public channel. Yes, you can mute it, but you can't ever leave it. In a large company with thousands of channels, this creates cognitive overhead.
2. You can create private channels, but this requires the ability to assign permissions. This has two problems - one, if you have a lot of teams that need to have private rooms you're going to spend a lot of time juggling permissions, and two, if you need a quick ad-hoc room that you don't want littering the general list, you need to be able to assign permissions.
Services like Ventrilo, Teamspeak etc required a lot of setup/ self hosting and were only really strong for voice. Skype didn't organise well around how people game.
When I come back to WoW a few years ago a lot of people were trying to run groups on Skype which was a horrible experience of adding randoms and joining group calls, in additional to all the other downsides of Skype. Discord is a perfect replacement for that.
>... business setting ...
These two things don't seem to go together, maybe that's why it is not used more in business?
Why is this still not a solved problem ? Why is there no free open source Skype alternatives !?
As much as I'd love to say otherwise, IRC is not a viable Discord alternative.
The onboarding on Discord is as smooth as IRC would be if the standard web clients had actually decent UX.
Unlike Discord, however, people can't seem to figure out banning on IRC.
There's no realistic way to CAPTCHA on IRC connection.
You could work around that on very modern IRCds with something like requiring SASL for authentication and having a web-based registration that does CAPTCHA, but mandatory registration breaks the onboarding process again.
People these days have a hard expectation that they can just drag and drop files and have it work, rather than navigating to imgur/some other site.
They want server-side logs to catch up on conversations they weren't online for -- rather than setting up a bouncer (which I'd argue is a privacy nightmare rather than a feature, but YMMV if you've got nothing to hype).
Some even want voice chat and avatars.
In some rare cases, people even have to call their ISP about unblocking 6667/6697 because of old cases with botnets.
Web applications would be much more popular, but then other IRC people want ways to ban the web clients reliably.
And let's not get into the historical cruft of the ident field that's not entirely historical cruft because it's actually used by shared providers to enable banning in the first place.
But that requires, again, knowledge of how to ban properly.
Which is a lost skill.
tl;dr: Discord UX is so much better than IRC UX to the a lot of people in a lot of ways.
And I would also require that people could join over links with similar capabilities like Discord (require Account Age, registered with Telephone numbers, automatic joining into specific room, room visibility and access based on roles, prevent embedding of media based on roles, proxying of any previews in the chat via the server... etc)
You can use it to push alerts and charts from monitoring. It's straightforward.
In Slack, a comparable integration requires a bit more footwork with file uploads being a separate part of the API.
Discord is proprietary software, meaning users have no practical capability, or legal right, to study, modify, or share the code, and it is a centralized service. Thus Discord can be used for censorship and surveillance at a moments notice, and the only power people have is to not use it.
Such large software systems take a lot of time and effort to create. Network effects and motivated complacency make it unrealistic to simply wait until something bad happens before switching to a freedom respecting software.
Discord should be rejected outright simply for being proprietary, but software that is used for communications and forming communities have even stronger reasons not to be locked down and controlled by any one entity.
for whatever reason, people have these shield-walls up against criticism of the software they use every day. it points to a double-think that allows people to engage in ethical practices (meditation) while blissfully continuing to neglect the activity of living ethics (which is the only true meditation). if one doesn't inform the other, you're doing it wrong.
it's deeply troubling.
And this doesn’t even touch on the attention cost... it gets stupidly demanding of your attention with all the @ mention options. If you’re part of more than one community, you had best prepare to be quite liberal with the mute feature.
If you prefer a more classical voice chat use mumble.
Its proprietary nature has always concerned me too, as well as what they're doing with the data (i.e. assume they're reading & listening to everything).
What they mustn't do is forget how quickly they grew and the underlying concept that enabled it: people will flock to different messaging platforms quite easily (Teamspeak to Discord is a great example) which means Discord can lose just as quickly as it won.
> “Raiding and spamming is explicitly against our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines,”
> Resmini’s statement comes just a few months after Discord took action against a number of nefarious ALT-RIGHT servers. One of the largest servers, Centipede Central, became heavily monitored by Discord administrators and in the past few months, underwent its own implosion.
And more importantly:
> “The team has confirmed that they are aware of Centipede Central and will take action IF they find CC is in violation of their terms of service and/or community guidelines”
In other words, it sounds like the politics of that group alone was probably enough to justify keeping them under close surveillance. It wasn't necessarily just responding to "raiding and spamming" once it happened.
The actual alt-right political movement is just a very small group. I don't think many outside of that small group actually hold the racist and misogynistic views that are expressed on these forums. It's often just backlash at the rapid change in culture. People want to break the new rules of discourse.
The bigger problem is genuine right wing views then get lumped in with the alt-right. Speakers like Ben Shapiro get called alt-right when their views are not racist or misogynistic. Before long people view many right wing views as hate speech. The more they do that the more people react by saying actually hateful things as a backlash. And so the divide grows.
After watching and participating in this for years, I don't think this is true anymore.
The people who found it funny to piss off people by pretending to be Nazis ended up attracting actual Nazis and were eventually replaced by them.
It's much less funny to pretend to be a white supremacist when you know half the country actually agrees with you.
Half the country are white supremacists? I think you should walk outside and interact with some actual human beings.
Either half the population are white supremacists or they’re simply too stupid to not vote for white supremacists, which isn’t any better than actually being one. It’s not like all the people who supported Hitler literally wanted to kill millions of jews, still they supported it.
Even privacy oriented people just can't use Discord because it used to ban registrations. It just blocks registration now apparently.
Fringe political views will get you permanently blocked by Discord and/or Twitter.
I'm not a right-leaning person but even the concept speech should be free and uncensored if you aren't enabling a crime is an issue.
They all use the same Opus voice codec so it's not a quality issue.
You can bet that this kind of thing will happen if they can make it happen though.