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 it is ever posted.
What does this article cover?
- What is AutoMod?
- What are Keyword Filters?
- What Are Spam 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. These filters allow you to configure AutoMod to automatically detect, block, and alert you of unwanted messages containing specific keywords and different forms of spam before they’re ever posted.
AutoMod can prevent 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’ll 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 AutoMod 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.
You can also set up your custom AutoMod rules to filter messages using regular expressions (regex) - learn how in this article here.
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/or time out users* when it flags a message.
*Timeout user response is only available under Custom Keyword and Mention Spam 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 in that channel will also be exempt. Users with Admin and Manage Server permissions are always exempt from filter rules.
What Are Spam Filters?
As your community grows and brings in more people, you may start to encounter more spam and spammers. In our mission to help you keep your Community safe without adding more moderation work onto your plate, we’re introducing new tools to help cut down spam on Discord.
With AutoMod’s Spam filters, you can protect your Community against spam by using the two rules below that’ll let you automatically catch messages containing spammy text content and block them before they’re ever posted:
- Block Spam Content Rule - Enable this rule to detect messages containing unwanted spammy text that disrupt your Community, such as unsolicited messages or advertisements (e.g., random giveaways, free Nitro scams) and invite spam.
How it works: This filter factors in a variety of signals to determine which messages get flagged as spam such as user feedback and reports, message characteristics like length or quality of links, and whether a message’s content matches spam-like patterns we see in spam reports. This filter can be an effective means to catch all kinds of messages with similar spam-like qualities but may not catch everything that your Community considers spam - for example, nonsensical words across multiple messages or “copy/pasta” messages.
- Block Mention Spam Rule - Set a limit on the number of unique mentions allowed in a message. Once configured, AutoMod can detect and block messages that exceed your Community limit and help prevent your members from receiving unnecessary notifications and pings.
How to Set Up Spam Filters For AutoMod
To start setting up your own rules for Block Spam Content or Block Mention Spam, go to Server Settings > AutoMod to see the different spam filter options:
How to Set Up the Block Spam Content Filter
1. Press “Set Up” or enable the toggle button on the Block Spam Content filter to view the different response actions.
2. Choose to have AutoMod block flagged messages entirely, and/or send you an alert:
Block message and send an alert for flagged messages
3. (Optional) Add exempt roles or channels that you don’t want AutoMod to flag for suspected spam content.
As a reminder, exempting a channel will ensure that any messages in a Thread or Text Chat in Voice in that particular channel will also be exempt from AutoMod’s gaze.
How to Set Up the Block Mention Spam Filter
1. Press “Set Up” or enable the toggle button on Block Mention Spam to view the different response actions.
2. Set a limit on the number of unique mentions that a message may contain.
Set a mention limit, up to a maximum of 50 per message
3. Choose to have AutoMod block messages, send you an alert, and/or time out users when it flags a message containing excessive mentions. Having AutoMod block messages with an excessive amount of unique mentions before they’re posted will prevent users from receiving pings and notifications!
Block message, send an alert, and/or timeout user for flagged messages
4. (Optional) Add exempt roles or channels where you don’t want AutoMod to flag messages containing excessive mentions.
As a reminder, setting a channel to be exempt will ensure that any messages in Threads and Text Chat in Voice in that particular channel will also be exempt.
Add exempt roles or channels
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: What filters are currently available under AutoMod?
A: Currently, the Keyword filters and the Spam Content filter are available and ready to use. We will continue 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, as well as the Spam Content filter, 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.
*Note that you are not able to add custom emojis from other servers that you don't have access to into 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: 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 keyword
- Suffix -- at least one word in the message must end with 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:
- Threads are not created
- 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: Can AutoMod filter messages using regular expressions (regex)?
A: Yes, you can apply regex patterns in any of your custom rules for more advanced filtering. Learn more about how to filter messages with regex in this article here.
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, click “Report Issues” on any of your AutoMod alerts containing the word you’d like to flag to us.
Q: How do I allow words from the Commonly Flagged Words filter?
A: You can set up your own allowlist that allows members in your Community to use words from our Commonly Flagged wordlists by going to Server Settings > AutoMod and clicking on the “Commonly Flagged Words” rule.
You can then allow words under section 1 - “Select the type of language” - by adding them to the “Add exempt words (optional)” section.
Q: I have AutoMod’s Block Mention Spam rule enabled - why am I still seeing messages with excessive mentions being posted?
A: If you encounter messages containing excessive mentions, this may be due to the following reasons:
Only unique mentions will count towards your mention limit. Repeat mentions will not count towards your mention limit. For example, setting a mention limit of 3 means that AutoMod will correctly flag messages that contain 4 or more unique user or role mentions and will prevent them all from receiving a ping notification with the “Block Message” response enabled. However, AutoMod would not flag a message that contains 4 or more repeated mentions of the same user or role.
AutoMod scans for excessive mentions on a per-message basis. This means excessive unique mentions must be posted within the same message. For example, setting a mention limit of 3 means that AutoMod will correctly flag a message that contains 4 or more unique user/role mentions, but AutoMod will not flag 4 separate messages that each contain 1 unique mention.
The original poster is in a whitelisted role or channel. Check your Block Mention Spam rule to make sure users who are posting messages containing excessive unique mentions are not part of an exempted role, and that these messages are not being posted in an exempt channel.
Q: What types of spam does the Block Spam Content filter currently not catch?
A: This spam filter will flag text content that is similar to what other users have reported to us as spam only within the confines of your Community, and on a per-message basis. That means the filter will currently not catch every post or action you might consider spam such as:
- Unwanted spammy text content repeated across multiple messages or channels
- Spammy content or behavior taking place outside of your Community, e.g. Direct Message (DM) spam, Friend request spam
Q: I found spam that Discord missed, what should I do?
A: If you encounter content that was incorrectly flagged as spam, click “Report Issues” on any of your AutoMod alerts of flagged spam content. This will help us improve the filter’s accuracy over time.
Q: How will Discord use my feedback on the Block Spam Content filter?
A: We will be working to improve the spam filter over time by continuously reviewing user reports. As a reminder, when you report a message, you are sending the content of the flagged message to Discord.