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Discord is no longer banning r/WallStreetBets — it’s helping them

Discord is no longer banning r/WallStreetBets — it’s helping them


A surprising change of events

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Discord is now helping the r/WallStreetBets team moderate its new server. The company originally banned the group yesterday due to “hateful and discriminatory content” and revealed it had sent repeated warnings to the team managing the community.

Those warnings, for whatever reason, were ignored, but now the r/WallStreetBets team and Discord are working together. Discord staff are actively working with the server’s team to help with moderation. At least one Discord staffer, who is now in the new WallStreetBets server, is also helping with infrastructure problems related to the rapid growth the community is experiencing.

“WallStreetBets members have set up a new server and we are working with them,” says a Discord spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We will welcome the group back so long as they improve their moderation practices and follow our Community Guidelines. We have reached out to the moderators to provide them with support and advice, like we do for many of our large communities.”

Discord was left in an awkward position yesterday, after the largely unmoderated server suddenly grew in size and got out of control. It could either let hate speech continue in a community it wouldn’t normally ban or act to shut it down after repeated warnings. The ban appears to have worked to get the r/WallStreetBets moderators to respond.

Hours after the ban, the moderators of the subreddit criticized Discord publicly. “We blocked all bad words with a bot, which should be enough, but apparently if someone can say a bad word with weird unicode icelandic characters and someone can screenshot it you don’t get to hang out with your friends anymore,” said the r/WallStreetBets subreddit moderators.

The new WallStreetBets Discord server currently has 296,000 members, and it continues to grow every second. It has played a central role in the subreddit’s ongoing mission to drive up the price of GameStop and AMC stock. We’ve been following the Discord server growth over the past few days, and while it was full of profanity and racial slurs yesterday, whatever work Discord is doing behind the scenes appears to be working to reduce that content today.

There are now fewer people screaming in calls, using racial slurs, or blasting music to the hundreds listening in. The memes are now mainly emoji and text, rather than images that often included offensive material.

We’ve asked Discord exactly what is being done to improve moderation for text-, image-, and audio-based communications and how the company was able to resolve its differences with the WallStreetBets. The company wasn’t able to provide details at the time of publication.