One thing is for sure: your child loves Discord. They use it almost daily to communicate with their friends when they are gaming as well as when they are not. If you need an in depth explanation of Discord (which most parents do), you can check out our Beginner’s Guide that will help you better understand what Discord is all about. If you are well versed on Discord, it is time to understand the dark side of Discord. This is the side of Discord that every parent should be aware of.
Why You Need to Know About the Dark Side
We have heard this many times,
I have no idea what the app is about, it’s for kids
You have heard this many times,
All of my friends use it. I’m the only one not on it. Just let me download it, it’s not a big deal!
Whether or not it’s a big deal is up to you, but as a parent, here’s what you need to know before saying yes or no. Kids rely on their parents not having a deep understanding of the apps they are using since they don’t use many of them themselves. So, it is important to have a partner like Kidas to fill you in on what you need to know. Let’s get into the dark side of Discord.
For Mature Eyes Only
Do you know the acronym NSFW? NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work. Servers tagged with NSFW are servers that have content that you wouldn’t want your child to see, however it doesn’t mean they can’t see the content. While NSFW servers are meant to be restricted to accounts that are 18+, many children lie about their age when downloading Discord for this reason.
There is no mechanism to verify your child’s age, it’s easy for your child to join as an 18+ account.
The images and content in NSFW chats are highly inappropriate and they are not appropriate for young eyes.
The Dark Side of DM’s
While direct messages may be a good way for kids to connect with one another outside of a public chat, you should encourage your child to keep their private chatting to people they personally know, and possibly off Discord altogether. Discord encourages its users to publicly reveal their interests. This is meant to help them find and join servers that are aligned with their interests, however sharing interests on a public app like Discord shares information about your child with people who shouldn’t have it. If Direct Messages are enabled, online predators can contact your child through a DM. They use the information shared on their profile to find something in common with your child to quickly connect with them. They may also be sent explicit photos, links and more that are not appropriate for your child.
Servers Can Be Created by Anyone & Everyone
While this is a pro, it’s also a con. Anyone on the platform can create a server and invite others into it. Some servers are moderated while others are not. Since Discord doesn’t create the servers or post the content, there is lack of control over what is posted. This means, that even if your child doesn’t join a NSFW chat, there is a possibility that they will be in a chat where someone at sometime will post something explicit or inappropriate.
Bully’s Find A Way In
While bullying is no better or worse on Discord than other social media and communication apps, bullying is a dark side of Discord. Whether it be in a private server, a public server or a DM, bullying happens on Discord in many forms. Be sure to keep an eye on your child to make sure they are safe on Discord.
While there is a dark side of Discord, it is also a good app when used the right way. Discord is a great way to connect with friends about things they are interested in, such s gaming. It makes communication in the middle of a video game much easier and at time safer in a private server, but like all apps and games your child plays, make sure you know what they are doing on Discord to keep your child safe.