I created my account on this forum to concur with the sentiments above. Here is the text of the email I just sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
I had hoped to join your discord to view the different channels and see what the discussion is like. I cannot do this because I must verify my phone number with discord to do so, even though I’m not planning on posting.
I have no interest in giving Discord my phone number. There are legal distinctions between them buying existing marketing data to associate my email to a phone number and me actively providing it to them.
I am assuming this measure by the team is an attempt to mitigate spam/raiding, not to forcefully deanonymize potential community participants. This can be gotten around by any number of means (my favorite being google voice). If there is another place the community congregates that is more private, such as IRC or Element, wonderful; those links should be in the join server message.
Otherwise, this is simply a barrier that encourages iffy practices or outright forces the less technically inclined to consent to deanonymization if they seek inclusion in the community. Please consider finding a better solution to this problem that more accurately reflects your principles.
PS. If I have wrongly attributed your goal in forcing phone number verification, I’m all ears.