There are many different reasons why one community may want to partner with another. The most common reason is that communities that are similar may want to share their user-base with one another. In theory, this strengthens both communities, but it can have negative consequences, which will be discussed later.
Another reason for partnering may be for growth purposes. For instance, community A may want others to know about them, and thus partners with community B. In this scenario community A gets promoted in community B, and community B also gets promoted in community A. This is mutually beneficial, but can have negative consequences if not done properly that will be touched upon shortly.
Communities may also want to partner up if they share a common interest. For example, LGBTQ+ communities may partner together because they share a common goal and have overlapping user bases. This kind of partnership not only helps to promote both communities, but also helps the users that are in both communities find spaces for them. For example, a user may join a general purpose LGBTQ+ community, but they may want to also be in a more specific community that is also LGBTQ+ focused, such as one based around an LGBTQ+ book club for those who are readers.
Usually when partnering with another community you will want to include a few basic details in any partnership announcements including a description of the community you’re partnering with, a reminder to follow rules/guidelines of the community, a way to join the community in question, and possibly some information of what the community entails such as their unique emotes or the interesting events they run.
These details will help show users that you aren't partnering with another server to simply promote, but that you are instead invested in the community itself and think that this partnership will strengthen your community. Sharing these details allows you to be transparent with your community, but also gives users a reason to join the community you’re partnered with.
There are a few different ways communities can show off a partnership with another community.
For communities with multiple partner servers, creating a channel specifically to share information about partners is likely ideal. These are often simply called #partners or #community-partners.
A more direct way to share news would be to make an announcement that lets your community know that a partnership is in effect.
A third option for sharing news of partnership is by utilizing “Invasive Advertising” which is a method of advertising that is invasive by design. From the name, it is easy to understand why this method is often discouraged due to its widespread dislike by users and tendency to hurt partnerships. Usually this kind of partnership takes place in the DM’s of users.
For example, a user may join a community and at the instant they join, a bot will DM them with information about a particular partnership. This is regarded as spammy and is disliked by most on Discord, and it may be against the Terms of Service since it can be investigated as a form of spam, platform abuse, or general inauthentic behavior that undermines the way Discord was intended to be used. For this reason, we recommend not utilizing this form of partnership because it can be a hindrance in cultivating trust in new members and a healthy partnership program. This form of promotion is useful for large and ever-growing community networks, so an option to consider could be to allow users to opt-in to a bot who can share news of similar communities in DMs as opposed to forcing it onto everyone. Otherwise, we recommend that it is better to keep news of partnerships in announcement based channels in your server and not in DMs.
Sometimes partnerships can turn sour. This can include not seeing many users join from the partnered community, the partnered community no longer upholding similar standards to what you hold your own community to, or toxic users joining from a partnered community. It is important to consider all of these things before starting a partnership and keeping them in mind as your partnership continues.
So, what happens if you don’t see many users joining from a partnered community? There are a few ways to gauge how many people are joining from the community.
The first is word of mouth - ask new users where they came from. The second and probably most prevalent is creating unique invite links or other such tracking methods to see where users are coming from. This is seen as the best way to gauge new user traffic as it is something that does not require direct input and it is something that can be looked at in a graph or data analysis tool if you are so inclined.
Unrelated to data analysis, but just as important, are the users that are coming from a partnered community. If the users coming from a partnered community are rude, rule-breaking, or otherwise toxic, then there may be a problem. The best way to prevent this is to watch the community that you want to partner with before partnering with it. You may also want to talk with the staff of the community and see what they tolerate and do not tolerate. This is the best way to familiarize yourself with the community before partnering, though it isn’t foolproof and of course issues may still arise. If the user base does turn out to be toxic, it may be best to terminate the partnership and go your separate ways.
It’s also important to ensure that the communities you are partnered with are maintaining environments that align with how you maintain your own server. Should that change, it may not make sense for you to continue a partnership. For example, it does not make sense for a family friendly space to partner with a server that isn’t family friendly.
In another instance, if you see the staff of a partnered community not adhering to rules you hold your own staff to that can be harmful, you can also break a partnership as it can begin to affect their users negatively as well. Let’s say you are cultivating a positive environment, but you see the staff of a partnered community actively participating in negative discussion of other communities with their users- you have every right to end a partnership to avoid being associated with that and to show you do not endorse it.
*Unless you are using the channel description for verification instructions rather than an automatic greeter message.
If you want to use the remove unverified role method, you will need a bot that can automatically assign a role to a user when they join.
Once you decide whether you want to add or remove a role, you need to decide how you want that action to take place. Generally, this is done by typing a bot command in a channel, typing a bot command in a DM, or clicking on a reaction. The differences between these methods are shown below.
In order to use the command in channel method, you will need to instruct your users to remove the Unverified role or to add the Verified role to themselves.
A more niche type of partnership is the kind of partnership that is private and solely related to moderation between communities. This is where the staff teams of both communities will pool their resources and use them together to make sure that bad actors stay out of their respective communities. This is usually a mutually beneficial partnership, as both communities will gain knowledge and resources. For instance, Community A may have spammers joining daily and spamming their community, so they will give the relevant information to the community they are partnered with (Community B).With this preemptive data, Community B will be able to ban or otherwise deal with the spammers before they start becoming an issue. This benefits Community B and shows that Community A is interested in helping Community B, which builds trust between the communities.
Bots are a unique benefit to this kind of partnership. Bots are typically used to help communities pool things like ban lists or information centered around problematic users. A shared moderation bot can allow certain actions, such as spam related bans to be logged in both communities.
Likewise, if one community has cultivated a list of toxic or otherwise problematic users that are in their community, this list would be available for both communities to share and reference.
Something important to keep in mind in this type of partnership is that the moderators of any server should have the final say before a user (or group of users) are banned or otherwise reprimanded. This allows the moderators to look at all the information and ask for more info if needed, but nothing is acted on without knowledge being shared.
Markdown is also supported in an embed. Here is an image to showcase an example of these properties:
Example image to showcase the elements of an embed
An important thing to note is that embeds also have their limitations, which are set by the API. Here are some of the most important ones you need to know:
An important thing to note is that embeds also have their limitations, which are set by the API. Here are some of the most important ones you need to know:
If you feel like experimenting even further you should take a look at the full list of limitations provided by Discord here.
It’s very important to keep in mind that when you are writing an embed, it should be in JSON format. Some bots even provide an embed visualizer within their dashboards. You can also use this embed visualizer tool which provides visualization for bot and webhook embeds.
Community partnerships can be wonderful tools to enrich multiple communities. Partnerships can be used for the purpose of creating a network of communities, or even for private moderation-related matters. If done correctly, communities working together can get a lot done and create a better experience for their respective users.
Even though this comparison is important for better understanding of both bots and webhooks, it does not mean you should limit yourself to only picking one or the other. Sometimes, bots and webhooks work their best when working together. It’s not uncommon for bots to use webhooks for logging purposes or to distinguish notable messages with a custom avatar and name for that message. Both tools are essential for a server to function properly and make for a powerful combination.
*Unconfigurable filters, these will catch all instances of the trigger, regardless of whether they’re spammed or a single instance
**Gaius also offers an additional NSFW filter as well as standard image spam filtering
***YAGPDB offers link verification via google, anything flagged as unsafe can be removed
****Giselle combines Fast Messages and Repeated Text into one filter
Anti-Spam is integral to running a large private server, or a public server. Spam, by definition, is irrelevant or unsolicited messages. This covers a wide base of things on Discord, there are multiple types of spam a user can engage in. The common forms are listed in the table above. The most common forms of spam are also very typical of raids, those being Fast Messages and Repeated Text. The nature of spam can vary greatly but the vast majority of instances involve a user or users sending lots of messages with the same contents with the intent of disrupting your server.
There are subsets of this spam that many anti-spam filters will be able to catch. If any of the following: Mentions, Links, Invites, Emoji, and Newline Text are spammed repeatedly in one message or spammed repeatedly across several messages, they will provoke most Repeated Text and Fast Messages filters appropriately. Subset filters are still a good thing for your anti-spam filter to contain as you may wish to punish more or less harshly depending on the spam. Namely, Emoji and Links 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 X in Y fashion where if a user sends, for example, 10 links in 5 seconds, they will be punished to some degree. This could be 10 links in one message, or 1 link in 10 messages. In this respect, some anti-spam filters can act simultaneously as Fast Messages and Repeated Text filters.
Sometimes, spam may happen too quickly for a bot to catch up. There are rate limits in place to stop bots from harming servers that can prevent deletion of individual messages if those messages are being sent too quickly. This can often happen in raids. As such, Fast Messages filters should prevent offenders from sending messages; this can be done via a mute, kick or ban. If you want to protect your server from raids, please read on to the Anti-Raid section of this article.
Text filters allow you to control the types of words and/or links that people are allowed to put in your server. Different bots will provide various ways to filter these things, keeping your chat nice and clean.
*Defaults to banning ALL links
**YAGPDB offers link verification via google, anything flagged as unsafe can be removed
***Setting a catch-all filter with carl will prevent link-specific spam detection
A text filter is integral to a well moderated server. It’s strongly, strongly recommended you use a bot that can filter text based on a blacklist. A Banned words filter can catch links and invites provided http:// and https:// are added to the word blacklist (for all links) or specific full site URLs to block individual websites. In addition, discord.gg can be added to a blacklist to block ALL Discord invites.
A Banned Words filter is integral to running a public server, especially if it’s a Partnered, Community or Verified server, as this level of auto moderation is highly recommended for the server to adhere to the additional guidelines attached to it. Before configuring a filter, it’s a good idea to work out what is and isn’t ok to say in your server, regardless of context. For example, racial slurs are generally unacceptable in almost all servers, regardless of context. Banned word filters often won’t account for context, with an explicit blacklist. For this reason, it’s also important a robust filter also contains whitelisting options. For example, if you add the slur ‘nig’ to your filter and someone mentions the country ‘Nigeria’ they could get in trouble for using an otherwise acceptable word.
Filter immunity may also be important to your server, as there may be individuals who need to discuss the use of banned words, namely members of a moderation team. There may also be channels that allow the usage of otherwise banned words. For example, a serious channel dedicated to discussion of real world issues may require discussions about slurs or other demeaning language, in this exception channel based Immunity is integral to allowing those conversations.
Link filtering is important to servers where sharing links in ‘general’ chats isn’t allowed, or where there are specific channels for sharing such things. This can allow a server to remove links with an appropriate reprimand without treating a transgression with the same severity as they would a user sending a racial slur.
Whitelisting/Blacklisting and templates for links are also a good idea to have. While many servers will use catch-all filters to make sure links stay in specific channels, some links will always be malicious. As such, being able to filter specific links is a good feature, with preset filters (Like the google filter provided by YAGPDB) coming in very handy for protecting your user base without intricate setup however, it is recommended you do configure a custom filter to ensure specific slurs, words etc. that break the rules of your server, aren’t being said.
Invite filtering is equally important in large or public servers where users will attempt to raid, scam or otherwise assault your server with links with the intention of manipulating your user base to join or where unsolicited self-promotion is potentially fruitful. Filtering allows these invites to be recognized, and dealt with more harshly. Some bots may also allow by-server white/blacklisting allowing you to control which servers are ok to share invites to, and which aren’t. A good example of invite filtering usage would be something like a partners channel, where invites to other, closely linked, servers are shared. These servers should be added to an invite whitelist to prevent their deletion.
Raids, as defined earlier in this article, are mass-joins of users (often selfbots) with the intent of damaging your server. There are a few methods available to you in order for you to protect your community from this behavior. One method involves gating your server with verification appropriately, as discussed in DMA 301.You can also supplement or supplant the need for verification by using a bot that can detect and/or prevent damage from raids.
*Unconfigurable, triggers raid prevention based on user joins & damage prevention based on humanly impossible user activity. Will not automatically trigger on the free version of the bot.
Raid detection means a bot can detect the large number of users joining that’s typical of a raid, usually in an X in Y format. This feature is usually chained with Raid Prevention or Damage Prevention to prevent the detected raid from being effective, wherein raiding users will typically spam channels with unsavoury messages.
Raid-user detection 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.
Raid prevention stops a raid from happening, either by Raid detection or Raid-user detection. These countermeasures stop participants of a raid specifically from harming your server by preventing raiding users from accessing your server in the first place, such as through kicks, bans, or mutes of the users that triggered the detection.
Damage prevention stops raiding users from causing any disruption via spam to your server 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 Raid Prevention as it doesn’t specifically target or remove new users on the server.
Raid anti-spam 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.
Raid cleanup 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’.It should be noted that Discord features built-in raid and user bot detection, which is rather effective at preventing raids as or before they happen. If you are logging member joins and leaves, you can infer that Discord has taken action against shady accounts if the time difference between the join and the leave times is extremely small (such as between 0-5 seconds). However, you shouldn’t rely solely on these systems if you run a large or public server.
Messages aren’t the only way potential evildoers can present unsavoury content to your server. They can also manipulate their Discord username or Nickname to cause trouble. There are a few different ways a username can be abusive and different bots offer different filters to prevent this.
*Gaius can apply same blacklist/whitelist to names as messages or only filter based on items in the blacklist tagged %name
**YAGPDB can use configured word-list filters OR a regex filter
Username filtering is less important than other forms of auto moderation, when choosing which bot(s) to use for your auto moderation needs, this should typically be considered last, since users with unsavory usernames can just be nicknamed in order to hide their actual username.
One additional component not included in the table is the effects of implementing a verification gate. The ramifications of a verification gate are difficult to quantify and not easily summarized. Verification gates make it harder for people to join in the conversation of your server, but in exchange help protect your community from trolls, spam bots, those unable to read your server’s language, or other low intent users. This can make administration and moderation of your server much easier. You’ll also see that the percent of people that visit more than 3 channels increases as they explore the server and follow verification instructions, and that percent talked may increase if people need to type a verification command.
However, in exchange you can expect to see server leaves increase. In addition, total engagement on your other channels may grow at a slower pace. User retention will decrease as well. Furthermore, this will complicate the interpretation of your welcome screen metrics, as the welcome screen will need to be used to help people primarily follow the verification process as opposed to visiting many channels in your server. There is also no guarantee that people who send a message after clicking to read the verification instructions successfully verified. In order to measure the efficacy of your verification system, you may need to use a custom solution to measure the proportion of people that pass or fail verification.
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