Discord, the Instant messaging and social platform, has banned the use of deadnaming and misgendering on its platform as competing social apps become breeding grounds for hate speech.
Though it may not be as popular as Instagram or X, as of 2023 Discord has around 153 million users who use the free application to share voice, video, and text messages, and develop communities for shared interests,
According to Them, the platform updated its hate speech policy in April 2022, but only recently went public with their LGBTQ+ friendly changes. Their policy currently prohibits “‘repeatedly using slurs to degrade and demean individuals or groups,’ which ‘includes deadnaming or misgendering a transgender person.”
Deadnaming involves referring to a transgender or nonbinary person by the name they were given at birth instead of the name they have chosen as a part of their transition or identity. This disrespectful and disillusioning act can be damaging for those who have transitioned. Misgendering involves the use of incorrect pronouns when referring to a nonbinary or transgender person.
Should Discord’s users violate these terms, the app uses a warning system in which users can report each other for offensive or inappropriate speech. Once a user is reported they will receive a message from Discord notifying them of the violation. From there, whether or not the offending user will face penalization depends on “the severity of the harm, the type of user content (i.e. text, image, behavior), and the user’s history of past violations,” according to Discord’s Warning System support posting.
“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 for Discord told the Advocate. “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.”