Can You Tell If Someone Is Invisible In Discord?
Last Updated: March 26, 2020
Invisible mode in Discord seems okay in theory but doesn’t seem to be that popular with users. After all, if you’re busy or in the middle of something, why not just use Do Not Disturb? Discord is a social chat platform and while there are lurkers on every platform of this type, adding a status specifically for those who want to hear but not be seen isn’t a great option. But can you tell if someone is invisible in Discord?
The short answer is no you cannot. Even server owners and admins cannot see if someone has set themselves to be invisible. It’s a total blackout that allows a user to remain logged into Discord but not be visible by anyone. If you run a server and want to know how many people are actually there, you’re going to need to ask. Even then, not everyone is going to answer.
Invisible status in Discord
You can modify your status with ease in Discord. Right click your avatar within the Discord client and select one of the available status. They are Online, Idle, Do Not Disturb and Invisible. Online speaks for itself, you’re shown as green and online and available to chat. Idle is a curious one and has no real purpose that I can see unless you’re just hanging out on Discord hoping chat will happen.
Do Not disturb makes perfect sense. If you’re in a raid or are otherwise busy, you can set this status so people know not to disturb you. Most people will take notice while some won’t but it won’t matter as notifications are automatically muted until you turn DnD off.
Invisible means you can remain logged in and lurk but nobody will be able to see you. It’s a curious setting that I really don’t see the point of. Discord is a chat app, which by its very nature is sociable. If you’re off to make coffee, go Idle. If you’re in the middle of a raid or mission, use Do Not Disturb. Invisible is a curious one and I have seen few people say they actually like it or use it.
Curiously, you can still send a message or DM if you’re set to invisible. This will tell everyone you’re online but you can still communicate if you want.
Server owners and admins cannot see you online. As far as I can tell, not even moderator bots know you’re there. It’s a complete invisible mode that works across the entire platform.
Is invisible status fair?
The Discord suggestions page has multiple requests for server owners or admins to be able to force disable invisible status. So far, it hasn’t happened. There are arguments for and against of course but the overarching theme is that it isn’t a welcome status for users or admins.
One key argument against invisible status was spying. As a long time Eve Online player, I can see how this could be useful. A player could join the Discord server of an opposing corporation in advance of any action taken against them in game. That player could then lurk invisibly on the server listening and reporting back as soon as action was taken, giving the attacker a huge advantage. It would take forward planning but is nothing compared to some schemes Eve Online players come up with.
If a server admin cannot even see who is logged into the server, how are they to know someone isn’t there to report back to them opposing force? Sure this could happen on any chat app or voice server, but Discord’s invisible mode almost invites such actions.
A key argument for invisible status is the ‘right’ to be online and not be bothered by people. Except it isn’t a right. Discord is a commercial platform designed for socializing and a private entity. There is no right to privacy there. If you want to appear offline in Discord, shut it down, log out or use Do Not Disturb.
Discord is a social platform designed to be sociable. We all understand if you’re in the middle of something and most of us will respect Do Not Disturb when it is used. Discord mutes all notifications anyway so even if someone ignores it, you still won’t be disturbed. Invisible mode seems pointless to me. If you don’t want to be bothered by someone, log off. If you’re busy doing something else, use Do Not Disturb.
What do you think of being invisible in Discord? Do you use it? Why? Tellus your thoughts below!