Is Your Community a Safe Place?

Have you ever wondered if your community is a safe place to engage? Privacy is a genuine concern among all community members, and today we analyze Slack and Discord to understand how to improve security and enhance members' experience.

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Online communities are more popular than ever. And there are plenty of platforms community builders and creators can use, but most of the online groups take place on two of them: Discord and Slack. While both platforms are seemingly very similar, in this post, we wanted to analyze which one’s better at protecting its members’ safety and privacy. Is Discord a safe platform? And is Slack safe for users & the sensitive data they share online?

What Does It Mean to Have a Safe Community?

Online communities provide great ways for every one of us to connect with others. However, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to problems like bullying, trolls, spam, and hate speech.

A safe and inclusive online community is one where people feel comfortable, they feel they belong, they feel accepted, and they feel like their voice matters. They feel like they can be themselves without judgment or repercussions. But member safety also includes protecting users’ data and their private conversations.

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Therefore, one of the first steps community builders’ should take into account when creating an online group is setting a set of rules to provide a safe space whether it’s in Discord or Slack. However, as we mentioned earlier, choosing the right platform to keep everyone’s private information safe is a #1 priority.

Discord vs Slack: Privacy Review

Let’s take a look at some of the best chat rooms for your community: Discord and Slack. Both Slack and Discord are, at their very core, very similar. As they are designed for team communications, they both include group chats. However, both also offer private channels and direct messaging that help keep members’ conversations private.

Slack and Discord interfaces are very similar

So if you use these platforms correctly, you can ensure that no one outside your group can access information about your members or the group itself.

But how does each platform’s privacy policy work? Is Discord safer than Slack? Or the other way round?

Both Discord and Slack have privacy policies on their websites that explain what type of data they collect and how they use it. The key difference between the two policies is that Discord collects significantly more user data than Slack does. This means it has more information about its users than Slack does.

However, both platforms clearly state how they use their user data and what steps they take to protect it from misuse or abuse by third parties (such as hackers).

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Is Discord Safe?

Discord’s privacy policy is quite comprehensive. It covers everything from how they collect information, to how they use it, to how they share it and protect it.

The main thing to note about safety on Discord is that the platform doesn’t have access to your messages or voice chat. The only time they store your data is if you have a paid account and use their Nitro subscription (which gives you animated avatars and other perks). In this case, your username, email address, and payment method are stored on their servers so they can charge you for Nitro.

They also keep track of your IP address and the date/time you logged in/out of the app or site. This helps them keep track of server usage as well as identify abuse cases like spamming or harassment.

Is Slack Safe?

Slack’s privacy policy is designed to protect your personal data as a user. Therefore, the company promises that it won’t share your information with others unless it has a good reason to do so.

Also, it only collects the minimum amount of data necessary to use its services. This includes information such as your name and email address, which you provide when signing up for a Slack account. It also collects your IP address and other technical details about how you use its software.

Slack says it stores this data for as long as necessary for operational purposes and to comply with applicable legal requirements and governmental requests. The company doesn’t store any financial information about its users, nor does it collect information from them through cookies or other tracking technologies.

Slack’s privacy policy also includes some important details about how you can keep your data safe (or at least as safe as possible). For example, they explain that all messages sent through Slack are encrypted in transit and at rest. Which means they’re protected from hackers who might want to steal them or read them without permission.

There are also features like two-factor authentication that help keep your account secure against unauthorized access.

One last interesting thing about Slack’s privacy policies is that they allow users to request their data after leaving the service. If you want to take your chat history with you when moving away from Slack, they’ll make sure you get everything you need before making any changes to their system or deleting anything from their servers.

How to Make Digital Spaces Safe

#1: Be Aware of the Spaces in Which Your Audience Choose to Participate

As an Internet user, you can always choose which communities you participate in and what information you share on online groups.

Among other things, you can choose what messages you send or post, who you include, what information you include in your profile, and whether you want your Slack or Discord account to connect to third-party services. For example, if you share content in public areas, anyone can access it.

As a community builder, it’s your job to teach your members to understand privacy policies and identify those places where they are not willing to share information.

#2: Customize Personal Settings

Community platforms offer a number of settings that allow members to tailor their experience. For example, if you want to be safe in Discord, you can decide which types of direct messages are scanned for explicit content and who can add you as a friend, among other things. You can explain how personal settings work, and educate your audience to make them feel comfortable in your community.

#3: Manage Content & Servers

Particularly on Discord, you can edit or delete specific parts of the information you’ve shared. You also can edit or delete any message you have sent or content you’ve posted if you still have access to the space where you posted it. In addition, you can always edit or delete a Discord server or channel if you have the necessary permissions to do so.

#4: Include a Content Moderation Policy

Every community builder might choose its own set of rules for its group. However, there are some general ones that almost every community can use. Therefore, to provide a safe space and make a good community, your rules must cover 👇

  • Respect other members
  • Prohibit inappropriate or unsafe content.
  • Avoid spam in any of the server’s channels.
  • Protect members’ confidentiality.
  • Prevent any use of discriminatory language and hate speech.
  • Prohibit Illegal distribution of unlicensed material.

#5: Have a Group Moderator

One of the main tasks of the moderators is to make sure that every member abides by the rules of the community. However, moderators rely on the founders of the community to create a clear and concise set of rules. And while the moderator must know them intimately, members must also have them in mind. Moderators are role models for the rest of the community!

#6: Add Bots

Bots make your life as a Slack or Discord server admin easier as they perform various functions automatically. In this way, they help your members to be more engaged. Besides, you can add them to your server to moderate the community and make it unique.

#7: Give Users a Way to Report

Another way to keep your Discord or Slack community safe is to make it easier for users to report posts they consider spammy or otherwise inappropriate. That way, your group moderator will know exactly where the problems are occurring and they will be able to take care of them as fast as possible.

#8: Listen to Your Community Members

A common piece of advice in the community-building ecosystem is to “listen to your audience.”

To do this, you need to give them the opportunity to express their thoughts. Also, read their reviews, comments, and experiences. Feedback from your users will help you learn more about what they like –and don’t like– and create content based on that.

Pro tip:

To listen to them and make your members feel safe, you could set up a “feedback channel” on your Discord server.

#9: Set Up Community Moderating Tools

To keep your Discord or Slack community safe and spam-free, you could set up a spam filter that automatically removes or flags posts that are likely to be spam. As a community moderator, you could also set up a flagging system where users can flag posts they think are spam. There’s also the option of using a user review system where users can review posts they think are inappropriate.

#10: Use a Moderation Queue

Another way to keep your Discord or Slack group safe is to use a moderation queue. Moderation queues allow administrators and moderators to access all comments made on their respective sites at any time.

This allows them to timestamp each comment as it is posted on their site’s server. This way, if there are any problems, they can find out who created the spam content. And therefore find out whether the person who posted the comment is a registered user or not.

👉 Whether you choose Discord or Slack to build your community, you will need to establish some rules and moderation techniques to keep your members safe. Check out this template with basic Discord server rules to help you out with this essential task!

Victoria Mortimer

Victoria Mortimer

I'm a journalist with a Social Communication degree, community manager, and content creator with over five years of experience. Now, I'm working as an independent writer passionate about community building, entrepreneurship, and social media.