How Can You Tell If A Discord Account Is An Alt?
Last Updated: January 30, 2020
Alts are a part of life on Discord. Some people use them so they can have different personas while others use them to sidestep bans. I’m sure there are other reasons to have alts on the platform that I can’t even think of. Either way, can you tell if a Discord account is an alt?
Not easily no.
Discord accounts are very straightforward to set up. Install the application, use an email address and away you go. You can do more with avatars, linking your phone, adding Steam, Twitch and other connections but you certainly don’t have to. If you want to join Discord and then join a server without doing anything else, you’re perfectly okay doing that.
Alts are not evil. Sometimes you need one for roleplaying or if you want to be known for one type of genre on one account and something else on another. Some of the ways alts are used can be evil and it is those accounts that we’re talking about here. Accounts used to get around server bans and generally be a pain in the channels.
Is that Discord account an alt?
Thanks to the low barrier to entry, it is the work of seconds to set up a new Discord account. All you need is a new email and you’re golden. If you’re circumventing bans, you need a VPN too but not always. Someone intent on making trouble could set up dozens of accounts in advance and leave them idle until required. They could even join random servers well in advance to keep them looking legitimate.
So is there a way to tell if a Discord account isn’t a main? Not easily. As a server owner or admin, you cannot see if that’s the user’s only account, you cannot see an IP and you have no real way of knowing. Discord could find out but they don’t offer that feature to users, only to their own teams when banning.
So what can you do?
Depending on how far you want to go, there is a little investigation you can do yourself. It isn’t definitive by any means but it might help.
Reverse image search their avatar
If the user has uploaded an avatar, you try perform a reverse image search to see where else it appears. If they use a meme, GIF or something from popular culture, it won’t work but if it’s something unusual, it might. This could tell you whether this is a genuine account or even link to someone’s Facebook or something.
Check linked accounts
We all have the option to link accounts with Discord to add to the sharing. As a server owner or admin, you can select a username and their avatar and see if there are linked accounts. If there are, they may not be an alt because most won’t bother linking. If there are not, it may be an alt. Not always though as I know plenty of users who like to keep things separate.
Increase verification for new members
Increasing verification for new members is a widely unpopular step but it is effective. If you’re dealing with a persistent troll, you can set your server to require email and/or phone verification when joining. It isn’t popular with users but most will understand why you’re doing it.
Use the AltIdentifier bot
AltIdentifier is a bot that says it can detect alt accounts by checking connections. You can do this manually, but the bot can do it automatically and it can enforce verification for new members. I’m not sure how effective it is as not everyone adds other accounts to their Discord. Otherwise it’s your only real option.
Dealing with persistent trolls on Discord
If your server is suffering with a troll problem, there are a few things you can do to minimize disruption.
Revoke all open invitations – Trolls are returning somehow and unless they added sleeper accounts when you weren’t looking, they are getting invites from somewhere. Ban the troll then revoke all open invites to stop them coming back for a while. Then revoke invitation privileges from anyone you don’t trust.
Add email verification – As mentioned above, verification is an unpopular move but if you explain why you’re doing it, many users won’t mind. Adding phone verification is even more unpopular but even more effective.
Kick idle accounts – This isn’t very popular either but if you suspect the troll is using sleeper accounts they added ages ago, kicking idle accounts or those that haven’t logged in for a week or month might keep them out. Used in conjunction with the invitation revocation and increased verification you may rid yourself of the troll altogether.