Changing the username system is a terrible idea that nobody asked for. The discriminator system on Discord is one of the main things that makes this platform stand out from other instant messaging sites. When WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facetime became more appealing to use when connecting with friends and family than Skype for obvious reasons, the main reason why anyone would ever use Skype would be to talk to people that you would only ever meet online or to have a means of speaking to your friends when doing something together than could only ever be done on a computer. Making IRC style servers with VoIP features accessible to the average person is what made Discord single-handedly kill Skype by filling this niche better. One of these reasons is to be able to easily express yourself without needing to worry as much about another user having the same alias you have, and the discriminator fixes this problem. This decision you all are making does not appeal your user base that currently use or would ever use Discord. It would not even be competing with other instant messaging apps by changing the username system. The most popular instant messaging apps involve your name or phone number, so the only platforms you all would be making this one more similar to is Twitter, Tumblr, and Skype, and it'd be in a way that would be for the worst. A username system like that would take power away from your average user and place that into the hands of people that want to make a name for themselves. The discriminator makes the value of our speech more equal to one another. It would also mark as a regression in the sense that it would now be more similar to the very platform that Discord essentially gave people no reason to use.
Instead of getting rid of the discriminator, why not implement these fixes that would arguably fix the problems that changing the username system is supposed to fix better than doing that would?
- Have a verified checkmark for celebrities and e-celebs. This a feature that Twitter and Facebook have that would be good to use for Discord help combat scammers.
- Make it to where you cannot make a username that is too similar to said verified users.
- Create something akin to a server invite link to make friend requests so they wouldn't even have to share their username to begin with or a link that directly leads to their profile so they can make a friend request much like when you are linking your profile on literally any other social media site. You'd still keep the ability to choose who can send you requests, and that would be feature that other social media sites use that would actually make this platform better to use!
There are also many, many problems that Discord has that should take much more priority over making this change, especially when it comes to the safety of your users. Bot raids, scammers, child predators, and servers that involve the illegal activities are a huge problem on this platform. Yes, because of the nature of how this platform works and who it appeals to, it is much harder to combat these things compared to other VoIP services, but the safety of your users should always come first before making and announcing a change like this.
For the reasons I gave above, putting out this feature will mean that you all care more about making Discord more like the ones that it could never fill the niche of as well than making it better and safer to use. I strongly think you all should reconsider making this decision.
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