Wumpus Profile picture
20 Jul, 20 tweets, 4 min read
cw// grooming

1/20 The last few days have compounded onto an already large disillusionment I’ve had with Discord in the last few months. I’m not going to touch on the most recent event involving a former employee in this, although this has greatly impacted upon the view I hold.
2/20 Instead, I’m focusing on the case of two Moderators, who for the sake of this I will refer to as Moderator A and B, both of whom were involved in the Discord Moderator Program (DMP) in some capacity: one as an /r/discordapp mod and server mod, the other only a server mod.
3/20 Before I get into these cases, some background context on programs and what these people did, so things make a bit more sense. DMP has been around four years, with the Reddit team operating within the same server, being closely related to each other but not the same team.
4/20 Moderator A had moderated for Discord for multiple years, being high up within an official server, and also moderating various other projects for Discord, but were not involved in the subreddit.
5/20 Moderator A was terminated in May 2021, with no communication from Discord at all. Normally with horrific things committed, like with Moderator B’s case, you would expect an email with no reason given for the disable. But they did not get that.
6/20 Moderator A’s attempt at reaching out on an alt in one public server was met with the account being disabled. Future accounts made were too, including an account in no public servers for talking with irl friends, showing Discord were tracking them creating accounts.
7/20 Moderator B had been a Reddit mod since mid-2018, as well as moderating servers as part of the DMP. This included official servers, as well as a few verified servers which fell under the program, as some verified server can request DMP assistance in moderating.
8/20 In June 2021, accusations came out against Moderator B by an underaged person alleging that they had been groomed by Moderator B during 2019 and 2020, whilst they were 18/19. Another underaged person also came forward with similar claims.
9/20 Discord promptly disabled the account, and Moderator B confirmed the allegations on their Twitter shorter afterwards. They rebranded themselves in the following weeks, and starting using an alt account from the day their original account was terminated.
10/20 Their personal Discord server was claimed by a Discord employee after the account was terminated. This employee still owns the server. Moderator B is admin again on the server on their alt, and now uses their original Discord username.
11/20 Either Moderator A has committed something much worse than grooming multiple children and encouraging them to send nudes, or there was favouritism towards Moderator B.
12/20 After the cub controversy a few years ago, I know many people don’t have faith in Discord T&S, but I still did after it had been banned. However, knowing there’s a groomer on the platform who Discord allow to be there, shown by Moderator A’s repeated removal, disgusts me.
13/20 If this is a case of selective enforcement of the rules due to Moderator B being friends with the right people, then this is appalling. There is a known large risk to children from this particular individual, based on the allegations that they themselves confirmed.
14/20 If, however, this is not a case of selective enforcement, that comes across even worse. That would mean that Discord allows people that they know to be groomers to come back to the platform after being banned, potentially allowing them to hurt more people.
15/20 While Discord cannot give a clear policy on people making new accounts after being terminated, due to it being easily abusable, there should be red lines internally where you are not welcome back; a treatment given to Moderator A, but should be extended to groomers.
16/20 Having 2 out of 50-100, excluding the most recent batch of DMP, be disabled for terrible things reflects awfully on the program, and suggests that Discord should be doing much greater vetting for their moderators before adding them to the program.
17/20 In an ideal world, I’d like to see consistency by Discord in their enforcement of things of this magnitude, see greater vetting for DMP, who are the public face for Discord on Discord and Reddit, and see what happened to Moderator A be used for situations like Moderator B.
18/20 I’m sadly unoptimistic in this regard though, as DMP had it’s largest increase of members yet, with ~30 new entrants. Having them all be well vetted retroactively is something hard to ask from a small but already incredibly busy team.
19/20 This is nothing against the community moderation team, who from what I gather are all now great people, and I understand that it would be unrealistic to have this level of vetting towards every current and new DMP member.
20/20 As a result, the most I can hope to see from this is situations like Moderator B being given the same outcomes as Moderator A, and a future effort for consistency of enforcement, particularly in who can make new accounts.

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