Stop using discord for forums

Look. I get it. Forums aren’t cool any more. But Discord fucking sucks for many purposes. Mainly the reasons people keep trying to shoehorn Discord into. I’m going to do my best to convince you to stop using Discord for these reasons.

Discord chat is not indexed by search engines.

Imagine this: you’re using a program and then you get an error message. So you type into Google the error message you’re receiving. You find a GitHub issue on the project you’re using. Success! Things are looking up! You click the link and gleefully start reading. But then, your heart sinks:

Join #support on Discord for help. Issue resolved.

So now you go to Discord and then it’s either a dead server or the people online right now don’t know the answer. They ask if you’ve searched GitHub. Uh, yeah, why else am I here? They say well, sorry. Come back later. Fine. You put this off and come back later. Only now the server is really busy. You ask your question and suddenly you have 50 people asking you questions at once. You give up and use another project.

Discord is great for synchronous conversations. Asking for help is asynchronous. And no one wants to answer the same question over and over. A forum allows for Google or another search engine to index and then find the result.

Discord is centralized and you don’t own your data

I’ve seen this too many times. I know someone who used to do a lot of ‘questionable’ activities on Discord. Discord banned him. And every account he got, got banned. Every account created with a VPN, proxy, throwaway Gmail account, all got banned. And then they wanted a phone number – a real phone number. Google Voice numbers did not work. I had to create an account for him and somehow that worked. It hasn’t gotten banned yet.

Further, without owning your data, that means Discord can say that they don’t like what you’re doing and delete everything. I’ve seen servers wrongfully shutdown before.

Unlike IRC (although the format and layout is basically a modern IRC), the protocol isn’t open. That means you have to use Discord’s client. Open protocols allow portability but this goes against Discord’s model.

Discord doesn’t respect your privacy

If you try connecting through some different means (Tor, VPN, proxy, etc.), Discord starts demanding you provide your phone number if you never had to before.

Discord is a shit company

Let’s face it. Discord is a shit company. Stop using it. I don’t fundamentally agree with Richard Stallman on it (free software, non-free software, I don’t care what you use), but he brings up some other great points.

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