Discord has officially updated its hateful conduct policy to add behaviors that don’t reflect its “goal to promote acceptance and inclusivity.” These newly added bannable behaviors include “deadnaming or misgendering a transgender person.” According to TechCrunch, Discord started internally implementing its expanded policy in 2022, but the chat app has just only made it public in an effort to provide more transparency.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure Discord remains a safe and fun place for people to hang out with friends, we continually evaluate potential harms and update our policies,” a spokesperson told the publication. “We often work with organization and subject matter experts to ensure our policies accurately encompass a holistic view of how these issues manifest across the internet and society.”
In addition to misgendering and deadnaming trans people, Discord also considers expressing contempt or disgust towards members of protected groups, perpetuating negative stereotypes about them, repeatedly using slurs to degrade them, threatening or promoting violence against them, as well as calling for their segregation and exclusion as hateful behaviors. LGBT organization GLAAD has praised Discord in its call for social networks to update their policies to recognize deadnaming and targeted or deliberate misgendering as hate speech.
GLAAD also points out that among the biggest social networks today, TikTok is the only one that explicitly prohibits intentional misgendering and deadnaming. Notably, X implemented a rule against the behavior in 2018 when it was still called Twitter, but it quietly removed that section in its hateful conduct policy under Elon Musk’s leadership.
Discord won’t be banning users who violate its hateful conduct policy after just one infraction, though. Under its warning system, users who go against its rules will receive a direct message detailing their offense, with the platform weighing each violation differently based on the “severity of harm.” Users can see their account standing in their settings page. If they have one or more violation, their accounts will be marked “at risk,” while they could be permanently suspended if they’re marked as having “severe or repeated” violations.