What is Discord?
Discord is a free app that lets its users chat via text, voice or video. It was originally aimed at gamers who wanted to chat while online. Discord got itself into some hot water in the USA a few years ago as it gained some popularity with alt-right and white supremacist users. However, Discord has moved to a more mainstream audience now and has reportedly attracted more than 300 million registered users, with some 100 million people use it actively every month.
But you don’t have to be a gamer to be into Discord, as there is a huge array of topics represented on Discord. Gaming, anime and music tend to be the most popular however.
How does it work?
Discord users interact with each other through “Servers”. Think of these as chatrooms. Users can set up Servers, and these Servers can be either private or public and invitations are required to join private Servers. Users can share video and images on Discord either in text channels or direct messages and Discord also allows for video chat and screen sharing in direct messages.
Is Discord appropriate for my child?
Discord require that its users are 13 to use the app, but there is no verification process, so really anyone of any age can register and use it. Given the volume of users and the range of ages, expect that your kids will come across something on Discord that is absolutely not appropriate. The content on servers is user generated, so expect lots of explicit and inappropriate content. Server owners set their own rules as to what is acceptable on the Server and what is not – so they can, for example, forbid hate speech and then kick someone off the Server if they break the rules. Discord Servers are moderated by their owners, so potentially moderators are just 13 years old or younger – not an ideal job to give to a 13-year-old!
Should I let my child use Discord?
If you feel that your child is not old enough or mature enough to use Discord responsibly, then you can block access to the app using iKydz.
If you want to allow your child to use Discord, then make sure you follow these simple rules:
- Apply time limits – apply limits on the time that your child can spend using Discord. Do this with our simple iKydz WIFI and parent controller app. If kids are spending large amounts of time online or using one particular app, then their chances of discovering or being exposed to inappropriate content is much greater.
- Talk about it – have a direct and honest discussion with your child about Discord and understand why they want to use it. Confrontation is not the way to handle this one! At iKydz, we believe that a measured approach to online safety is what is required. Apply some rules and controls, and allow your kids to enjoy the internet safely.
- Use it yourself – make a Discord account and familiarise yourself with it. If you understand how it works and what the issues are, you will be better able to have a more frank discussion with your child.
- Rules for basic use – know that the safest way for your child to use Discord is to only accept friend requests and participate in private servers with people that they already know.
With iKydz award-winning internet controls you can:
• Filter content
• Schedule online access
• Block unsuitable websites and apps
• Apply restrictions to YouTube
• Block or manage access to social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat
• Block or manage online apps such as Discord