Discord makes the accounts you have associated with your profile an important part of the chat experience. It introduces a system called Linked Roles where admins and moderators can grant people access to certain channels and even entire servers based on which third-party apps and websites people have connected to their Discord account.
In an extremely detailed blog post on Monday, the company says the feature, which will roll out in the coming weeks, will support connecting accounts from sites like Steam, Twitter, Reddit, DeviantArt, and more (there are “more than twenty official Connections,” according to Discord’s blog post ). Server admins can then set certain filters based on those connections – for example, they can make sure that only people with a linked Crunchyroll account can access the “Anime-Fans” channel or require you to have a linked eBay account to access the “Anime-Fans” channel. Garage-Sale” chat.
Above: Discord’s video is a surprisingly clear illustration of what linked roles are.
Discord says that users are not automatically assigned these linked roles based on the accounts they have connected, as that could cause privacy concerns. Instead, they can see a list of the roles they’re eligible for based on the accounts they’ve linked and choose whether to accept them. You can see if a server offers associated roles by clicking on its name in the top left corner and looking for the “Linked Roles” button.
As the name suggests, associated roles are sort of a mix between the connection system that lets you share information about your other accounts and the role system that helps administrators and moderators manage what parts of a server people can access and what kinds of things they they can do when they are there.
But Discord is also promoting the improved connections as a way to authenticate yourself to other users — some of them will provide even more information and stats about the account you’ve linked, so people can see your Reddit karma, for example, or your seller rating on eBay.com As an example of how this could be useful, Discord says you can make sure that the artist you’re chatting with about assignments actually has a DeviantArt full of past work, and that it’s actually their account.
Of course, those verifications are only really as reliable as the sites they come from; if someone creates a fake ebay bot and authenticates themselves with it, it won’t be very useful for users. To that end, Discord is working on an “official” designation for apps, giving them a Twitter-style tick if they come from a “vetted developer.” As of Monday, there are 22 apps with the badge, including PayPal, and the company will open an application process next year.
Discord says the main purpose of linked roles is to “bring a sense of security into your space” and to help automate the process of determining whether people are legitimate or not. If you want to set up some on your own server, you can check out Discord’s help article on how to do it – and if you’re a Discord user trying to navigate a server with a bunch of new roles, the article aimed at community users may be of use.