We’ve heard from moderators and admins how much effort it takes to manage your community and how important it is to more easily create and maintain a safe space for your members. In our mission to make it easier to keep your communities safe on Discord, we're introducing a new auto-moderation tool called AutoMod, for short. With AutoMod, you'll get access to different content filters that let you automatically detect - and even block - undesirable and risky content before they’re ever posted.
What does this article cover?
- What is AutoMod?
- What are Keyword Filters?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is AutoMod?
AutoMod is a system of multiple content filters designed to make content moderation easier and less work for moderators. Some filters, like Keyword Filters, are configurable so you can have AutoMod automatically detect and block messages containing specific words or phrases you find harmful to your community before they’re even posted. Other filters we’re building are powered by machine learning algorithms to detect and block harmful or dangerous messages, such as links to malware.
AutoMod prevents unwanted messages from being posted in your community across all of your #text-channels, along with other messaging surfaces like Threads and Text Chat in Voice channels. This way, you can feel more comfortable providing your community with more ways to talk and interact with each other without worrying about adding more moderation work onto your plate.
You can also choose to have AutoMod send you alerts containing who-what-where information about blocked messages to a dedicated, private channel of your choice to help you identify and act on potential bad actors and unwanted behavior within your community.
A blocked message based on Keyword Filters
The blocked message being flagged in a private channel.
We are debuting AutoMod with Keyword Filters and are working on additional filters that will be added to AutoMod when ready.
What are Keyword Filters?
AutoMod’s Keyword Filters let you set up the following rules to determine what AutoMod should look out for and how to respond when it flags a message containing certain words or phrases:
- Commonly Flagged Words Rule - Use ready-made word lists to filter commonly flagged words
- Custom Keywords Rule - Build your own list of keywords and terms to filter in your community
We understand it can be tough and time-consuming to think of all the words you’d want to filter out from scratch while also moderating a community. To get started with AutoMod, you can quickly set up a Commonly Flagged Words rule to enable ready-made word lists that protect your community from exposure to messages containing commonly flagged words at the push of a button:
Categories of Commonly Flagged Words
- Insults and Slurs - Protect members of your community from personally insulting material targeted at them, including terms that may be considered slurs or hate speech.
- Sexual Content - Keep sexually explicit language out of your server to keep your community family-friendly.
- Severe Profanity - Block the more egregious forms of profanity, while still allowing for mild forms of cursing or swearing.
Because every community has their own standards on what words are deemed acceptable, you’ll have the ability to exempt words from these lists! Exempted words will no longer be flagged and will not receive a response from AutoMod. For words that you want to allow in your community but are being filtered by our word lists, simply add them under “Add exempt words.”
How to Set Up Keyword Filters For AutoMod
In order to set up your own rules for Commonly Flagged Words or Custom Keywords, you can go to the Content Moderation tab in your Server Settings.
1. Go to Server Settings > AutoMod to see the different keyword filter options for AutoMod.
2. Under Commonly Flagged Words, click "Set Up" to select from any of the three ready-made word lists of commonly flagged words.
Create your own rules with words and phrases you want AutoMod to filter out by clicking "Set Up" under "Custom Keyword Rule" and entering keywords and phrases:
Tip: If you spot a message containing a word you want to add to your rules, you can quickly do so by highlighting the word in the message you want to add, right-clicking, and selecting "Flag Word" to add the word to an existing or new rule of your choice.
3. Choose to have AutoMod block flagged messages entirely, send you an alert, and time out users when it flags a message.
Timeout user response is only available under Custom Keyword Rules
To be alerted of flagged messages caught by AutoMod, you must select a channel for AutoMod to send alerts to. Make sure to choose a channel only accessible by admins and/or moderators.
Block Message or Send an Alert for flagged messages
Timeout user for flagged messages
4. Add roles or channels you’d like to exempt.
If you set a channel to be exempt, any messages in Threads or Text Chat in Voice Channel in that channel will also be exempt. Users with Admin and Manage Server permissions are always exempt from filter rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who has access to AutoMod at this time?
A: We are starting to roll out AutoMod to wider communities!
This means you must have Community enabled from your server’s settings to access AutoMod. Learn how to enable your community server here.
Q: Which filters are currently available under AutoMod?
A: Currently, Keyword Filters are available and ready to use. We are working on additional content filters which will be added to AutoMod when ready.
Q: What languages does AutoMod support?
A: AutoMod can detect words and phrases in any language from your Custom Keyword Rules.
However, the word lists of Commonly Flagged Words are currently only available in English.
Q: What kinds of things can AutoMod detect from my custom rules?
A: AutoMod can detect and filter words and characters in English and other languages, links, emojis, punctuation, and symbols that you enter in your Custom Keyword Rules.
Q: Who can make updates to AutoMod in my server?
A: Those with "Manage Server" or "Administrator" permissions will be able to access, create, and edit your AutoMod rules when on a Desktop device. Updates to your AutoMod rules cannot be made on mobile devices at this time.
Q: I have an auto-moderation bot on my server. Does AutoMod integrate with my current bot?
A: If you’re using an auto-moderation bot and want AutoMod’s superpower in blocking messages before they’re sent, consult your favorite developer about integrating AutoMod. If you're a developer looking to learn more, visit our API on the Developer Portal.
Q: How does keyword matching work?
A: AutoMod will block messages that contain keywords found anywhere in the message, including between words. This can be useful for reducing toxicity, or protecting against spam bots and targeted harassment.
When you add a term consisting of multiple words to a rule, only messages that contain the exact term will be blocked. For example, adding "this is bananas" as a term will only block messages containing "this is bananas," not those that contain only "this" or "is bananas."
The number of terms you can enter in each Custom Keyword Rule is capped at 1,000 with a 30 character limit for each term.
Q: How do wildcards work?
A: By default, AutoMod scans for messages containing keywords that are an exact match to those in your rules. But chances are you’ll run into people in your community trying to circumvent your rules and get harmful messages in circulation. So how can you block all kinds of words that partially match your keywords too?
That’s where wildcards come into play. When setting up your Custom Keyword Rules, you can append the * wildcard character to your keywords which allows you to filter out word variations that partially match your keywords.
Simply add the * character at the beginning or the end of a keyword to select one of the following matching strategies on a per keyword basis:
- Prefix -- at least one word in the message must start with a keyword
- Suffix -- at least one word in the message must end with a keyword
- Anywhere -- keyword can show up in any part of the message in the middle of any word
cat* ⇒ get a cat-sitter
*cat ⇒ cool bobcat
*ana* ⇒ bananas
Q: Will AutoMod work on Threads and Text Chat in Voice channels?
A: Yes! When containing a keyword or term from your rules:
1. Threads are not created
2. Messages within a Thread or Text Chat in Voice channel can be blocked and sent as an alert
Q: Will AutoMod flag messages from bots?
A: No - all bot alerts and messages will be exempt from AutoMod.
Q: I have the Commonly Flagged Words rule enabled - why am I still seeing undesirable words?
A: Our Commonly Flagged Words filters are designed to provide every community with a quick and effective way to set up defenses against commonly flagged keywords so you don’t have to think about them yourself and build from scratch.
However, we understand every community has their own rules and tolerance for certain words. Some communities prefer to maintain a more family-friendly environment, while others accept and encourage rowdier language. And oftentimes it’s not the word itself that causes harm, but the intent with which it’s being used.
Because of these considerations, our Commonly Flagged Words filters may not catch everything. For words that we don’t catch, you can add them to any of your Custom Keyword Rules.
Q: How can I see all the words that the Commonly Flagged Words filters contain?
A: We understand you want to see the words in these word lists to decide whether they’ll be effective at providing coverage against language you want to filter out, without stifling conversations in your communities.
However, for the time being we will not publicize words in these word lists in order to maintain their protective efficacy. This is to ensure those with malicious intent can’t easily develop means to circumvent them in communities that use them.
We value providing transparency into the thinking that went into making these word lists, and will address those topics in a future post on our blog.
Q: Will the Commonly Flagged Words filters be updated over time?
A: Yes - we recognize that language is fluid and always evolving, and the words of today may not carry the same meaning tomorrow. We’ll continue to explore ways to offer communities further customization with our filters, and will regularly refine them using your reports and feedback.
To share your feedback with us, press "Report Issues" on any of your AutoMod alerts containing the word you’d like to flag to us.