FYI – what you should know about Discord

FYI – what you should know about Discord

Discord age restriction: 13 and up

What is Discord (according to their website)?

From source: This is Discord – from Discord.com

Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app that’s used by tens of millions of people ages 13+ to talk and hang out with their communities and friends. 

People use Discord daily to talk about many things, ranging from art projects and family trips to homework and mental health support. It’s a home for communities of any size, but it’s most widely used by small and active groups of people who talk regularly.

The vast majority of servers are private, invite-only spaces for groups of friends and communities to stay in touch and spend time together. There are also larger, more open communities, generally centered around specific topics such as popular games like Minecraft and Fortnite. All conversations are opt-in, so people have total control over who they interact with and what their experience on Discord is.  

People love Discord because it’s a home for all their communities and groups of friends. It’s a place where they can be themselves and spend time with other people who share their interests and hobbies. There’s no algorithm deciding what they should see, no endless scrolling, and no news feed. Conversations on Discord are driven by shared interests.

What parents should look out for or be worried about:

From The Wall Street Journal: Discord – where teens rule and parents fear to tread

It’s private gaming communities can be like unsupervised playgrounds, full of racist memes, vulgar talk and bullying…

If your teens play videogames, there’s a good chance they’ve found their way to the Discord chat service, or will soon.

In case you haven’t heard of it, there’s plenty of good, but also a lot of bad and ugly. How ugly? Like, 9/11 jokes, racist memes and kids telling each other, “Go kill yourself.”

The free service, accessible from mobile devices and computers, allows users to talk to friends or strangers in real-time via voice, text or video chat. It made its debut four years ago as a way for people to communicate while playing videogames. With the rise of “Fortnite” and other popular online multiplayer games, it has exploded. Discord Inc. says it now has more than 250 million registered users, up from 130 million a year ago, and that 850 million messages are exchanged daily.

While the virtual hangout now has many corners, where people talk about everything from colleges to birds (yes, birds!), Discord says its biggest sector remains gaming. And that’s where racial slurs, sexist comments, politically incorrect memes and game-shaming are prevalent, users say. Anybody can create chat groups, called servers. You’re technically supposed to be at least 13 to use the service, but Discord doesn’t check age when you sign up. The official Discord servers for games such as “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty” are well-policed by the games’ makers. But most conversation takes place in private, invite-only servers, according to Discord.

“We will not go into a private server unless something is reported to us. We believe deeply that privacy is a right and something we should support as a company,” Discord’s marketing chief, Eros Resmini, said.

What we at FYI play it safe believe:

Any application, which allows children to interact anonymously should be carefully considered. These may start of as very innocent chats about online games, but may very well become a site for grooming of kids, a way of gaining their personal information or a cyberbullying nightmare.  

The problems with Discord also include accessible adult content through the ability to chat privately with strangers. Kids who are under 18 can easily click through to view mature content.