Is your child using Discord?
It may not be the biggest social media platform on the planet with just over 100 million users, but if you have a ‘gamer’ in the family, then this is most certainly the app of choice for lots of children and young people.
It combines the topic boards of systems like Reddit where conversations are held under subject headings, with messaging and chat features of some of the big social media players. Mix in the excitement of games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, and you can understand why this platform keeps on growing.
Like any Social Media platform though it has, it’s good, and it’s bad points so we thought we might have a quick look so you can start to understand just what it is.
Firstly you have to be 13 years or older to sign up for an account. Unfortunately, like many other platforms, there is no verification process so you can just lie if you are younger. There is a wide variety of ages using the platform, and therefore it is effortless to find mature content that would not be suitable for a child including text-based and image-based content.
One of the features that gamers love about Discord is the ability to create ‘servers’. These are simply areas for specific topics; for example, someone may create a server called ‘Fortnite Season 8 – Pirate Camps’ and then people could comment around that topic.
Lots of children and young people are using Discord to communicate with each other while playing video games. We have seen people playing Fortnite who have created a private server so they can all talk together while playing the game allowing them to chat privately outside of the gaming environment.
It’s not all about gaming though. There are numerous servers on all sorts of topics like music, TV and films and everything else you can think of.
Discord does have quite a variety of privacy settings that can help keep users safer while using the system. However, like any other social media platform, it is never going to be 100% safe. One of the settings we like is its ability to scan direct messages for inappropriate content.
Like any other social media platform, there will be risks from using it, and you can find inappropriate content, but if you ensure that your settings are correct and take your standard online safety precautions, then it can be a great place especially for gamers.
We have included a video at the bottom of the post from the fantastic team at Common Sense Media.
We work alongside the amazing teams at SWGfL and the UK Safer Internet Centre to help keep people safer on the internet. If you would like us to visit your school or organisation for some online safety training then drop us a line.