What exactly is Discord?
Discord is a chat platform specifically created for gamers to communicate with each with one another via text, video or voice chat. Contrary to other similar services, such as Twitch, Discord is not specifically designed to stream live streams that viewers can watch and tune in to instead, it is focused on invitation-only, group-based communications. Discord users can use the service by using the desktop app, by using the browser or downloading the application to a tablet or mobile device. Discord is accessible for free and boasts around 14 million users using it each day and over 150 million registered users.
Are there age limitations?
According to Discord the chat application is intended for teenagers and adults . It states it requires users to be 13 years old when they join. However, there isn’t a way to verify your identity to enforce this requirement, aside from being required to verify your account with an email. It is stipulated in these terms that in the event you’re younger than 13 years old, you must get the permission of a parent or guardian.
Does it come with parental control?
Discord is not a platform that offers parental controls, so however, it does have advanced privacy settings that permit the account owner to modify almost the whole user experience. As it emphasises the fact that it’s supposed to be invite-only , it puts the user in charge of the people they would like to connect with, or not, you have the option of making your account as private as you prefer.
For instance, you could modify the size of your home.
- Who can send you a direct message and see your details
- Who could include you on their friend list?
- Which servers would you like to be part of?
- Which members of the group you would like to connect with
What kinds of safety options are available?
The chat program comes with a variety of safety tools to safeguard the child against exposure to inappropriate material and abuse. For instance, you could allow the program to look through all direct messages and erase all explicit content it finds including pictures, text or video.
It is as easy as visiting the “User Settings” page. There, click on the ‘Privacy & Safety’ tab and select the checkbox that reads, ‘Keep me secure’.
Discord also suggests that you add a second security layer for your account, by enabling two-factor verification (2FA). This requires you to sign up for your devices and enter the code that you receive via text or email as well as your password. It is possible to activate 2FA by going to the ‘User Settings’, then click My Account and select the option that reads “Enable Two-Factor authentication”.
What else are parents required to be mindful of?
While Discord does an excellent job of removing inappropriate content for sexual use, the biggest threat to children who use this service are bullying. There is a chance that children will be targeted with rude comments posted within Gaming Chats if they, for instance, fail in a game online. Though a text-based chat may be controlled, no similar safeguards are present in the case of voice chats or videos.
One way to ensure that this type of scenario doesn’t occur is to ensure that your child is only enrolled in groups that they are familiar with , and avoid groups with large membership bases.
Are there any tools for reporting?
While it isn’t easy to avoid bullying via video or voice chats, you can use report tools to help for children who have been the victim of inappropriate behaviour.
You can restrict users’ access by going to the members list in groups and clicking on the person you wish to ban, that will open their profile. Within the application, select the three dots menu on the right side of the page for a user and then click ‘Remove friend’. Within the web browser, open your friends ‘ list, then click on the person you want to block and select ‘Block’.
If you would like to report a situation of infraction to the developers, you have to send your complaint to email@example.com and provide the following details (more specific explanation Here ). The guidelines for community members stipulate that any person who is found to be harassing or abusive towards another will be warned by the developers. If the behaviour continues then they will have the person permanently banned. If a user intends to harm physically another or threatens to murder someone or commits murder, it will be the cause of an immediate and permanent exclusion. Learn more about the guidelines for community members. here.