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joshmiller's picture
User offline. Last seen 2 hours 47 min ago. Offline
Joined: 09/08/2017
Groups: Foldit Staff

Hey fantastic folders!

Foldit now has a Discord server! Discord is an app for text/voice chat, almost like AIM/Slack + Skype/Hangouts.

This doesn't replace the in-game chat or the forums, which each have their own purpose. Instead, Discord is useful for voice chats and screen sharing and communicating outside of your group! You can also access Discord from your computer or mobile device. There are separate channels for different topics, so whether you're looking to chat about other #citizen-science projects or #games or even share #recipes and #tips-and-tricks, there's a chat room just for that!

I'll personally be live streaming my gameplay from time to time and I'd love to hang out with you (and get some help from players much smarter than me!)

Come join the server here! https://discord.gg/Ffgx2KJ

Happy folding!

alcor29's picture
User offline. Last seen 14 min 45 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 11/16/2012

Hi Josh. I'm concerned about the lack of a password requirement to enter discord. Is this on purpose? And what is are the risks incurred?

LociOiling's picture
User offline. Last seen 16 min 17 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 12/27/2012
Groups: Beta Folders
maybe the risks are not too different

Discord seems similar to IRC in many ways. There are Discord "servers", such as the Foldit server Josh has set up. These are similar to IRC servers, with features such as channels that begin with #. Discord users can have different "roles", so there are ops and admins, different groups of users that have different permissions.

Access to Discord is requires a password. Once you're on Discord, anyone with the invitation URL can access the Foldit server. Access to each channel can be controlled, limited to either specific users or specific roles.

This is not that different than the Foldit IRC server. Your IRC key is really only required to get into group, or to be recognized as an op. The Foldit client imposes a further restriction, limiting access to #veteran until a user has completed a certain number of moves.

A while back, we regularly faced spamming on #veteran and #global by trolls promoting their own IRC server, and picked major sporting events as a time to strike. They seem to have given up, perhaps driven by a total lack of success.

Aside from the talkative spammers, we had over a year of the mysterious Ashley and her silent spectral relatives lurking in chat. The current lurker is Michael, who is actually a bot masquerading as a Foldit user from long ago. (No password required, just an IRC nickname that matches an existing Foldit screen name.) No one knows who is behind these phantoms or why on earth someone is bothering to create them.

So to me, Discord seems not that bad. I think Josh has offered to set up group channels, which can be access controlled by role. (I suspect each group would need one or more admins to keep channel access updated, but not sure.)

The main benefits of Discord are:

  • you don't miss messages when you're offline
  • users can edit their messages to correct typos, etc.
  • messages persist indefinitely
  • you can be connected on multiple devices at the same time with the same user id
  • better communications, such as voice chat and screen sharing
alcor29's picture
User offline. Last seen 14 min 45 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 11/16/2012
Thanks much Loci

Sorry I'm late. Forum issues no email notifications when someone responds; and if you don't check all the time, well. I agree with what you say. Didn't join IRC, however, due to a safety issue no matter how small.

Since retiring where I also had an aversion to typing in effective passwords, I've learned that it's just a psychological block. Even with my declining memory I find I can even remember 30 byte passwords though that is overkill and permutationally unecessary. And, if my memory fails I have over 30 pages of accounts with passwords, double passwords, two source verifications etc. Though safety is no laughing matter you gotta admit that the reluctance to use good passwords is amusing. As Jay Leno always said: How fat and lazy are we getting? And the cost benefit equation is so obvious. Anyhow I have my answer. I'll have to choose.

Joined: 05/19/2017
Groups: None
Discord Features cover this

Discord actually has server-side settings that help guard against incursions.
Moderation settings include setting the level of verification needed to send messages in the server or initiate a DM with server members. This ranges from None, Low (verified email required), Medium (registered on Discord for >5 minutes), High (member of THAT server for 10 minutes), and Extreme (Must have a verified phone number tied to Discord account).

It's highly configurable! Even roles can be tagged as a "permission" requirement for servers or even individual channels, and admins can configure user's roles.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons