Is Discord Safe
Discord is not 100% safe, especially for kids.
What is Discord?
Discord is a social media platform developed for gamers.
Discord was released on May 13, 2015. The app currently has 350 million users.
The platform is now used not only as a social gaming platform but also as a social media platform with main topics like music, anime, and memes.
The software is available on PC or as a downloadable app on GooglePlay or App Store.
Discord runs on servers that have channels where people can interact in a group-like setting similar to other chatting apps.
There are private servers that require an invitation to join as well as public servers that anyone can join.
Apart from chatting on the server, the user can send a direct message to other users on the server.
The chat bar allows users to communicate through GIFs, emojis, or even share gifts by selecting a payment method.
Discord is a free platform. However, it does offer the Nitro enhancement which comes with its perks, in exchange for a monthly fee.
Is Discord Safe?
The online safety of a user on Discord is not a guarantee.
The age limit for using Discord is 13 or more in some countries.
Although Discord asks for the user’s birthday upon registration, they don’t check the validity of the input data.
Discord has a wide array of privacy settings that allow users to choose who can send the direct messages or add them as a friend.
In order to be accepted on a certain server on Discord, the user must agree to its community guidelines. If a user breaks a server’s rule, it can be muted or kicked out from the server, depending on the severity of the offense.
Discord states that they do not sell or share users’ data with third parties.
Sadly, Discord does not monitor every server or every conversation, nor does it offer parental control.
And because the shared content is user-generated, kids can be exposed to inappropriate content or direct messaged by strangers from public servers.
Additionally, because Discord chat is a real-time communication platform, it is difficult to moderate. If explicit content in the form of images or videos is leaked on the server, by the time the administrator of the server takes it down, most of the users have already seen the content.
Audio and video streams on Discord vanish when the stream ends. That makes it easy for cyberbullying to occur without leaving any evidence.
Unfortunately, predators can easily stalk children by passing as one of them and luring children in private chat rooms where the content can not be moderated.
For parents who want to assure the online safety of their children, they must first make sure the safety settings are enabled.
How to Stay Safe on Discord
In the Settings menu, on the “Privacy & Safety” tab on the left side of the window, under “Safe Direct Messaging”, check the “Keep Me Safe” box. Enabling this feature will ensure that all content is scanned and filtered out if it is identified as explicit or inappropriate.
To prevent people on a server from direct messaging a user, make sure the “Server Privacy Defaults” setting in the “Privacy & Safety” tab is turned OFF.
In the same “Privacy & Safety” tab, scroll down to “Who Can Add You As A Friend” and deselect every option available, in order to prevent anyone from easily messaging you, while still allowing you to chat in public channels.
Additionally, parents are encouraged to limit screen time for their children and teach them the basic common sense guidelines they should follow, as well as red-flag situations they should be looking out for while spending time on any social networking app.
Discord can be a safe platform if used wisely. Users who stay away from unknown servers and interact only with known users should be safe on this platform. The safety features of Discord represent a strong gate for unwanted content or interactions. Like any other social media platform, data privacy, mental health, and content moderation are common worries that arise when talking about internet safety.