Discord's Moderation Academy

Created time
Dec 31, 2024 08:47 PM
If you filter by “moderation” you can get a lot of good common-sense articles on moderation that aren’t only specific to Discord.
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If you’re a well established community, you’ll likely have a moderation team in place. You may wonder, why should I use auto moderation? I already have moderators! Your moderation team can continue to make informed decisions within your community while auto moderation serves to make that process easier for them by responding to common issues at any time more quickly than a real-life moderator can.
Setting up AutoMod is very straightforward. First, make sure your server has Communities enabled. Then, navigate to your server’s settings and click the AutoMod tab. From there, you’ll find AutoMod and can start setting up keyword and spam filters.
When inserting keywords, you should separate each word with a comma like so: Matches for keywords are exact and aware of whitespace. For example, the keyword “Test Filter” will be triggered by “test filter” but not “testfilter” or “test”. Do note that keywords also ignore capitalisation.
  • - flags “bob” or “copy”.
  • - flags “ching” or “erpillar”.
  • flags “shing” or “loe”
AutoMod’s Commonly Flagged Words keyword filter comes equipped with three predefined wordlists that provide communities with convenient protection against commonly flagged words. There are three predefined categories of words available: , . These wordlists will all share one rule, meaning they’ll all have the same response configured. These lists are maintained by Discord and can help keep conversations in your Community consistent with Discord's Community Guidelines. This can be particularly helpful for Partnered and Verified communities.
Both AutoMod’s commonly flagged word filters and custom filters allow for exemptions in the form of roles and channels, with the commonly flagged word filter also allowing for the exemption of words from Discord’s predefined wordlists. Anyone with these defined roles, or sending messages within defined channels or containing keywords from Discord’s wordlists, will not trigger responses from AutoMod.
This is notably useful for allowing moderators to bypass filters, allowing higher trusted users to send more unrestricted messages, and tailoring the commonly flagged wordlists to your community’s needs. As an example, you could prevent new users from sending Discord invites with a keyword filter of: and then give an exemption to moderators or users who have a certain role, allowing them to send Discord invites. This could also be used to only allow sharing Discord invites in a specific channel. There’s a lot of potential use cases for exemptions! Members with the Manage Server and Administrator permissions will always be exempt from all AutoMod filters. Bots and webhooks are also exempt.

This filter flags spammy text content that has been widely reported by other users as spam, such as unsolicited messages, free Nitro scams and advertisements, and invite spam.

This message will preview what the full caught message would’ve looked like, including the full content. It also shows a pair of buttons at the bottom of the message, ⛨ and . Thes action buttons will bring up a user context menu, allowing you to use any permissions you have to kick, ban or time out the member. The message also displays the channel the message was attempted to be sent in and the filter that was triggered by the message. In the future, some auto-moderation bots may be able to detect these messages and action users accordingly.
  • This turns off verification for your community, meaning anyone can join and immediately interact with your community. This is typically not recommended for public communities as anyone with malicious intent can immediately join and wreak havoc.
  • This requires people joining your community to have a verified email which can help protect your community from the laziest of malicious users while keeping everything simple for well-meaning users. This would be a good setting for a small, private community.
  • This requires the user to have a verified email address for their account to be at least 5 minutes old. This further protects your community by introducing a blocker for people creating accounts solely to cause problems. This would be a good setting for a moderately sized community or small public community.
  • This includes the same protections as both medium and low verification levels but also adds a 10 minute barrier between someone joining your community and being able to interact. This can give you and anyone else responsible for keeping things clean in your community time to respond to ‘raids’, or large numbers of malicious users joining at once. For legitimate users, you can encourage them to do something with this 10 minute time period such as read the rules and familiarize themselves with informational channels to pass the time until the waiting period is over. This would be a good setting for a large public community.
  • This requires a joining user to have a verified phone number in addition to the above requirements. This setting can be bypassed by robust ‘raiders’, but it takes additional effort. This would be a good setting for a private community where security is tantamount, or a public community with custom verification. This requirement is one many normal Discord users won’t fill, by choice or inability. It’s worth noting that Discord’s phone verification disallows VoIP numbers to be abused.
  • Nothing sent in your community will go through Discord’s automagical image filter. This would be a good setting for a small, private community where only people you trust can post images, videos etc.
  • Self explanatory, this works well to stop new users from filling your community with unsavoury imagery. When combined with the proper verification methods, this would be a good setting for a moderately sized private or public community.
  • This setting makes sure everyone, regardless of their roles, isn’t posting unsavoury things in your community. In general, we recommend this setting for ALL public facing communities.
Anti-spam is integral to running a large private community, or a public community. There are multiple types of spam a user can engage in, with some of the most common forms listed in the table above. These types of spam messages are also very typical of raids, especially and . While spam can largely be defined as irrelevant or unsolicited messages, the nature of spam can vary greatly. However, the vast majority of instances involve a user or users sending lots of messages with the same content with the intent of disrupting your community.
There are subsets of this spam that many anti-spam filters will be able to catch. For example, if any of the following: are spammed repeatedly in one message, or spammed repeatedly across several messages, they will provoke most and filters appropriately. Subset filters are still a good thing for your anti-spam filter to have as you may wish to punish more or less harshly depending on the spam. Notably, and may warrant separate punishments. Spamming 10 links in a single message is inherently worse than having 10 emoji in a message.
Anti-spam will only act on these things contextually, usually in an fashion where if a user sends, for example, ten links in five seconds, they will be punished to some degree. This could be ten links in one message, or one link in ten messages. In this respect, some anti-spam filters can act simultaneously as and filters.
Sometimes, spam may happen too quickly and a bot can fall behind. There are rate limits in place to stop bots from harming communities that can prevent deletion of individual messages if those messages are being sent too quickly. This can often happen in raids. As such, filters should prevent offenders from sending messages; this can be done via a mute, kick or ban. If you want to protect your community from raids, please read on to the Anti-Raid section of this article.
means a bot can detect the large number of users joining that’s typical of a raid, usually in an format. This feature is usually chained with or to prevent the detected raid from being effective, wherein raiding users will typically spam channels with unsavory messages.
is a system designed to detect users who are likely to be participating in a raid independently of the quantity of frequency of new user joins. These systems typically look for users that were created recently or have no profile picture, among other triggers depending on how elaborate the system is.
stops a raid from happening, either by or . These countermeasures stop participants of a raid specifically from harming your community by preventing raiding users from accessing your community in the first place, such as through kicks, bans, or mutes of the users that triggered the detection.
stops raiding users from causing any disruption via spam to your community by closing off certain aspects of it either from all new users, or from everyone. These functions usually prevent messages from being sent or read in public channels that new users will have access to. This differs from as it doesn’t specifically target or remove new users in the community.
is an anti-spam system robust enough to prevent raiding users’ messages from disrupting channels via the typical spam found in a raid. For an anti-spam system to fit this dynamic, it should be able to prevent Fast Messages and Repeated Text. This is a subset of Damage Prevention.
commands are typically mass-message removal commands to clean up channels affected by spam as part of a raid, often aliased to ‘Purge’ or ‘Prune’.
When choosing a bot for auto moderation you should ensure it has an infraction/punishment system you and your mod team are comfortable with as well as its features being what’s best suited for your community. Consider testing out several bots and their compatibility with Discord’s built-in auto moderation features to find what works best for your server’s needs. You should also keep in mind that the list of bots in this article is comprehensive - you can consider bots not listed here. The world of Discord moderation bots is vast and fascinating, and we encourage you to do your own research!
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