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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Everyone is bullying the UK government in its own Discord server

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Update update: False alarm! Both emoji reactions and the welcome channel have miraculously returned. According to the HM Treasury admin, Discord is the one to blame here. “Due to the rapid growth of today’s channel which has seen over 7,000 members join, a technical difficulty has led to reactions being paused,” a post in the news channel read. “We are working with Discord to get reactions turned back on.” The channel and emojis returned around 40 minutes later. Bully away once more, fellow Brits and friends around the world.

Update: Well, it was nice while it lasted. I happened to have the Discord server open on my other screen and witnessed emoji reactions vanish message by message. It is now a very boring government server, which I assume was their original intention. You can no longer react to any post on the server, and the welcome channel has also disappeared. Disappointing, but unsurprising. 

Original story: Y’all need to start listening to my girl Lauren and stop making Discord servers for things that don’t need to be Discord servers. This time it’s the turn of the UK Government—specifically His Majesty’s Treasury, the economic and finance ministry—to needlessly tap into the platform. Yep, it’s going about as well as you think.

It may be a read-only Discord with a mere three channels, but that hasn’t deterred the server’s rapidly-growing members from making an absolute mess of the whole thing. For starters, the government thought it would be a great idea to leave emoji reactions on across all three channels: the welcome channel, an instructional “how to use” channel and the feed intended for HM Treasury news. Mercifully, the government seems to have at least had the foresight to only allow Discord’s base emojis on its server. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be if people were plucking their own custom emojis for reactions.

Still, that hasn’t stopped some rather creative (or juvenile, depending on your outlook) use of the alphabet emojis to craft words like “piss,” “doge,” and of course “cum.” There’s also the classic c-word—a favourite amongst ourselves and the Aussies though perhaps not PC Gamer appropriate—used on two posts regarding chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Someone has even managed to construct an entire sentence from the emojis, simply stating “fuck the royals.”

yet another 10/10 idea from the government https://t.co/qaDex5X8N0 pic.twitter.com/1qZaCfJTLlNovember 15, 2022

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With a lack of text channels, people have been taking the opportunity to use their Discord usernames to drive some messages home. I’ve been keeping an eye on the welcome channel while writing this, during which time somebody called “Prince Andrew is a nonce” repeatedly left and joined the server, his name flittering in between other members joining. Numerous other scathing reviews of the Tory government have popped up in username form, as well as parodies of current prime minister Rishi Sunak and Margeret Thatcher. One username demands people throw eggs at King Charles. 

I couldn’t think of a more British way to handle another daft government decision, and I imagine it won’t be long before it realises its mistake and shutters the server entirely. For now though, if you fancy witnessing an absolute dumpster fire, you’re more than welcome to join the HM Treasury Discord.

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