Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 5 years, you know what Discord is. If not, it’s the ubiquitous communication platform for, essentially, everything gaming or hobby-esque at this point. Because of its wide reach, the recent announcement of the naming change is something you need to be aware of.
The very short version is that, right now, Discord assigns a random 4 digit number to the end of your user name. This ensures that names on the server backend can never overlap with anyone else. It’s a database thing. The change is going to make those numbers go away. So now, without the digits, there is going to be a risk of conflicts.
What You Need To Do
We just don’t know yet. Beyond the “soonTM” statement – AKA a voluntary change in the coming weeks and months – I think it is safe to say that the fear is that those who are well known are going to be impersonated. Just like anytime Twitter has made changes to their naming policy and someone snags their account name.
The internet at large has already pointed out that this is a horrible idea. It is possible that Discord will roll back their plan based on the avalanche of negative feedback. Nothing is impossible. But I have to believe they realized ahead of time just how much this would be disliked.
The Privacy Question
There is also the second question about people who don’t want their discord name to be found. Right now it is essentially impossible to just stumble on someone’s discord name and start sending them messages. People can and do have private discords. Those discord owners need to choose between having either a fully random @name, or run the risk of having their discords discoverable.
My opinion is that, just like so many other unpopular internet changes, we are just going to have to live with this. Its going to roll out, and it will be bad. But the world will go on. The Discord customer support team will spend more time dealing with this than they could ever hope to save with people forgetting their 4 digit code. So I think its going to be a poor outcome that leaves no one satisfied.