Twitter rival Discord got so big so quickly that it broke its username system, leaving users angry and forced to change their beloved handles.


Gamers’ favorite social app Discord inadvertently sparked an internal dispute after announcing last week that it would force millions of members to choose new usernames. The question is whether this change will escalate into an all-out war that involves players threatening each other to seize control of popular names.

This problem may seem trivial compared to real-world problems like mass shootings and killer storms. But for those who rely on his medium-sized social his network to recruit fellow gamers, trade virtual weapons, and strategize in his multiplayer games, it’s no big deal. is not.a Reddit thread about the change garnered more than 4,000 comments, the majority of which were angry or at least dissatisfied.

A spokesperson said Discord has 150 million monthly active users, but has no plans to review the new policy.

What is your Discord username?

Discord users have long been free to choose any name they like, even if it’s already taken. This was part of the company’s goal to allow users to express themselves freely. Detailed May 3rd blog post By Stanislav Wishnevsky, co-founder and chief technology officer of Discord. This approach differs from her Twitter and other social platforms where users must always choose a unique name.

Discord assigned an invisible 4-digit identifier to each username to distinguish it from duplicates. But as Discord grew, the San Francisco-based company decided to expand its messaging system. Initially, it was limited to conversations within shared groups called “servers,” but has expanded across the platform. To make it easier for users to find their friends across servers, Discord has made these four-digit codes of him visible as part of their username. If your username was “SgtRock”, you may suddenly have a handle name of “SgtRock#1842”.

It also seemed to work for a while. However, according to Vishnevskiy’s post, more than 40% of his Discord users either don’t remember the four-digit code (variously known as a “tag” or “identification code” in Discord parlance) or don’t even own it in the first place. know what is Executives write that nearly half of all friend requests on Discord don’t reach the right person.

So what’s changed?

Two changes are happening simultaneously. In the coming weeks, Vishnevskiy said, Discord will start notifying users via in-app messages when they can choose a new username. Some server owners take precedence, followed by users based on account age.Paid subscribers to the Discord service (among other perks) who can customize their discriminator also get “early access”, but Vishnevskiy’s post is also available. Discord User Documentation Offer details.

At the same time, Discord also allows users to choose a non-proprietary “display name” of their choosing. This will be displayed prominently on the user’s profile and in chats, but unlike usernames, it will not be used in messages.

All of this will “roll out slowly over the next few months,” according to a Discord announcement.

Why is this important?

Some gamers take usernames very seriously, seeing them as an extension of their own personal identity, not to mention a pillar of their online reputation. Also, many people don’t appreciate the imposition of change. In a Reddit thread, complaints of “don’t fix what’s not broken” suggest that the changes are primarily designed to attract new and younger users who may be weary of the complexity of the existing system. Various complaints have been received, ranging from accusations that

That may not be far from the truth, experts suggest. According to Drew Margolin, a communications professor at Cornell University, SocialHis platform tends to be used heavily by small groups and rarely by larger groups. In a commercial sense, “there’s this tension between what’s attractive to the larger market and what the main users are,” he said.

Margolin suggested that network effects — the fact that users and their friends are already on Discord and are finding it harder to leave — likely outweigh the current outrage, whose impact is difficult to assess. I’m here. However, some gamers have been known to go to extreme lengths to obtain coveted usernames, so it could still take a serious hit.

What are the possible outcomes?

Gamers warn that the move could create a black market with the desired name or pose a dangerous threat to force surrender. Such threats range from online harassment campaigns to “swatting.” very dangerous act Making false crime reports to the police to provoke an armed law enforcement response at the home of an opponent.

Beatings can lead to injury or death, and sometimes for people who have nothing to do with what caused the online feud to take action. shot dead by Wichita police Responding to hoax calls reporting kidnappings and shootings. The call was made by a California man named Tyler Barris, who officials said was another gamer. However, the address Barris used was outdated, leading police to someone who wasn’t involved in the video game or the dispute.

Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2019 after pleading guilty to making multiple false emergency calls across the United States.

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