Discord bans me, then Discord ghosts me Anna Clemens - 25 November 2020

Quick note: I don't really have a blog, but I wanted to publish this on my site, so this just has some quick styles applied.

Resolution: My Discord account has been unbanned. After posting this page on Hacker News, the head of Discord's anti-abuse team saw it and looked into the issue. It turns out that my use of a third-party Discord client called Ripcord was the reason for my ban. At the time of the ban, I had been using this client for years, but I wasn't actively using it. I was actually using the official client, hence the older title of this page, but the third-party client was open on my laptop in the background. I leave this page here to chronicle how unacceptable Discord's response to this was.

It's true: Discord banned me for using their own client. On 1 November, I was scrolling through my old DMs. It was kind of messy, so I started to close some of them (which really just hides them). After closing maybe around seven of them, Discord booted me back to the login screen. I thought that was weird, but I grabbed my phone to scan the QR code to log in, but it didn't work. Annoyed, I manually typed in my login details only to find that my account has been disabled.

1 November

On the same day, 1 November, I opened a ticket (9765093) stating that I wasn't sure why my account was disabled and that I would like to know. They had sent me an email telling me that my account had been disabled, but the email only listed a vague list of reasons that could have caused the ban, and I didn't feel that I had done any of them.

3 November 2 days

On 3 November, two days later, Discord got back to me and let me know that I had received an email stating why my account was disabled (false) and that they had reviewed my ban and would not be reinstating my account.

The same day, I responded to their email, stating that their explanation wasn't good enough and that I hadn't done anything wrong. I demanded they give me an actual reason and reinstate my account.

6 November 5 days

Three days go by with no response from Discord. On 6 November, I send another response to their email, reiterating my desires and asking that I at least be able to transfer power of my larger servers if they insist on being corrupt.

12 November 11 days

Another six days without a peep from Discord. 12 November: I send yet another response, reiterating what I had said in previous emails and asking to be put in contact with a GDPR officer to get the data I want.

14 November 13 days

After two more days, Discord still has not responded outside of the initial email I received. On 14 November, I file a new ticket (9984772) and mention my previous ticket number and restate that I would like a reason why my account was banned and to have my account reinstated, considering I hadn't actually done anything besides use their official client.

17 November 16 days

After three days, on 17 November, the new ticket gets a response. Discord gives me the same list of reasons (a list of bullet points that count as "spam and/or platform abuse") and assure me that they understand "you may not have malicious intent, [but] we have to protect Discord as a whole, and this behavio[u]r can hurt Discord and its users." They also go on to mention that as a "one-time gesture", they "went ahead" (past tense) and lifted the ban on my account.

Hooray, I guess. I go to log in to Discord and it turns out that was a lie. My account is still disabled. I figure maybe it needs some time to propagate the change, but after hours and then days of trying, my account remains disabled. During these initial attempts on 17 November, I sent a response to Discord, stating that I would like to know the real reason I was banned, since what I was doing while I was banned wasn't spam or platform abuse, it was closing old DMs manually with the official client, a supported use-case. I also made note that my account had not been unbanned.

18 November 17 days

On 18 November, my account is still banned despite Discord saying they would lift the ban, so I send a quick response asking when the ban will be lifted.

19 November 18 days

On 19 November, I ask again, noting that this is the third time I've replied to this ticket and still not received a response.

20 November 19 days

On 20 November, I open yet another new ticket (10088193), reference the old one, and ask why I haven't been unbanned, demanding that they honour their word and lift my ban.

25 November 24 days

On 25 November, eight days after I was told my account would be unbanned and twenty-four days after the ban in question, I still have not heard from Discord. I was (and am still) banned for doing nothing wrong. Discord did not deign to reply to my last ticket at all, but I'm filing another one today (25 Nov, 10166788). I will continue to update this log of communications as time goes on.