What It Is:
Discord is an app and site that was made for gamers to connect via text, voice, and video. It’s similar to a discussion board like Reddit, but the conversations are hosted on various servers, which anyone can create, and each server can have multiple channels. The main purpose of the platform is to be able to chat with your team while playing online games such as Fortnite Battle Royale, Overwatch and League of Legends, but people also use it just as a social media site, even if they’re not playing any sort of game.
Users can log in with a username, and they can add friends, join a server, and chat by logging in with a code provided from an email invitation or from a real-life friend. Users can then send direct messages to other users, chat, and talk or listen in larger group chats. Using the “Nearby” feature when adding friends (and with location features turned on), you can find users near you. While there are good features available for opting in to conversations, this is still a social-networking app, and it’s primarily geared toward adults.
What Parents Need To Know:
Discord is not meant for tweens and teens because of its easily viewable adult content and the ability to chat privately with strangers. Mature areas are supposed to be labeled “NSFW” (not safe for work) and age-gated for under-18-year-olds. But you just need to click through to access these areas. And while there’s a privacy setting to control who can send your teen private messages, these settings can easily be changed at any time.
Just as you might find on any social network, there are issues with profanity and abusive language. Also, though the app doesn’t generate mature content, many players are discussing mature games, so sex, violence, and drugs are often a part of the conversation.
Project B3’s Tips and Suggestions:
- No one under the age of 13 should be using this app.
- They need to be aware that they can block unsuitable content using the app’s Explicit Content Filter. They can also easily mute or block individual users, and limit “adds” to friends.
- With these settings in place, you will have some control over the app, but after reading reviews online, the app still has issues blocking unwanted content and young users know how to get around these filters. Again, this app was not created for tweens and teens and perhaps should be left to the adults who can handle mature content.