Is the Discord platform safe? With the correct privacy and security settings, Discord can be used safely by kids. Please bear in mind, there are always risks when it comes to sites with online chat options.
Take a look below for what you need to know about Discord.
Launched in 2015, Discord is a platform for people with similar interests to share and communicate. It is popular among the gaming community as it offers a way for video game players to communicate with each other and develop a community outside of the games themselves. However, since then, it has grown into a full social network with a wide range of ways to interact with over 140 million* active monthly users. It is no longer just popular among gamers.
*Source: Business of Apps
The platform works on the basis of servers. These are set up with a particular focus or emphasis as a way for people to congregate, discuss and exchange images, links and information. These servers offer both text and voice communication via a microphone on the device you use.
Users can be invited to servers or find links online to access them. The person who set up the server usually sets some ground rules about who it is for and the expected level of courtesy and etiquette. They can also provide strict guidelines for filtering out explicit content and ensuring their moderators’ accounts are secure.
13 years and up unless local legislation mandates an older age. However, Discord “updated its age rating to 17+ at Apple’s request.” Their website states they want to “help ensure minors are not exposed to content inappropriate for them.” However, we found that under-17s can still register and use the platform. The Google Play Store has a “Teen” rating.
Find out more about Game age ratings explained.
Discord’s latest Transparency Report reveals that 32.8% of users were subject to harassment on the platform, 11% were victims of cybercrime followed by 8.1% of graphic content, which encompasses content previously marked as “Not Safe for Work” (NSFW).
They have implemented some safety measures, including:
Discord offers the following privacy and security features you can enable:
Safe Direct Messaging offers a traffic-light colour-coded system to determine whether messages should be checked for inappropriate content. This can be found in the Privacy & Safety menu:
Find out more at Discord Parental controls
If you see anything suspicious or simply want to report a user, you can submit a request.
You can block direct messages (DM) from other members by individual server. Click on the server’s settings and deselect the ‘Direct Messages’ option:
Alternatively, go to the account’s Privacy & Safety menu and deselect ‘Allow direct messages from server members’, which can be applied to all servers:
You can adjust friend request privileges by who can add you as a friend from the Privacy & Safety menu:
Find out more at Discord Parental controls.
Simply click on the name of the user you want to block and select ‘block’ at the bottom of the menu.
Find out more at Discord Parental controls.
It can be a really powerful way for children of an appropriate age to discover other people with similar interests and build a community. This may be from playing a video game, but it can also be any other interests, such as playing an instrument, a favourite artist or a favourite author.
Take the time to check in with them to make sure you are across who they are chatting to and always encourage them to keep conversations positive and appropriate. It can also give you an opportunity to equip them with the tools to deal with any risky situations that they may face online.
Please note: You can also use certain privacy and security tools on your mobile device or computer to further limit interactions and location-based information. Check out our parental controls for more info.
Discord contains adult content and must be labelled as only accessible to those over 18 years old. Anyone that opens the channel will see a warning message letting them know that it might contain graphic content and asking them to confirm that they are over 18. Servers that contain adult material but are not labelled should be reported.
The conversations in Discord are private to the group so it’s less open and visible than other social networks. Along with this, you can type, talk, listen and watch live videos of other users. There is also a ‘Nearby’ feature that allows you to add friends who have the location features on their device turned on that are physically nearby.
It is a beneficial way to connect with other people if they are the right age to use it and have the proper support and context from parents and carers. Children of all ages are likely to encounter risks on the platform but younger children should use social apps or platforms that are designed specifically for them, like YouTube Kids and PopJam.