n the digital age, parents need to know about Discord, a popular chat app that has become a social media platform for kids and teens.

This guide to Discord provides essential information to ensure a safe and secure experience for your child. Discord allows users to create private servers with similar interests, but parents should know about safety settings and potential risks.

 The age rating for Discord is 17, and it's crucial to set up safety measures, such as not allowing direct messages from server members.

Discord offers features like Nitro, but parents should understand its implications. Ensure your kids stay safe on Discord by monitoring their interactions, checking the privacy settings, and being aware of potential risks associated with online predators.

Understanding Discord's functionalities, safety settings, and privacy defaults empowers parents to guide their children in responsibly navigating this popular chat platform.

In a recent Senate hearing, Jason Citron, the co-founder and CEO of Discord, passionately addressed the committee, introducing himself and emphasizing Discord's status as an American company with 800 employees across 33 states.

Citron proudly shared that Discord has evolved into a platform with over 150 million monthly active users, serving as a space where friends gather to discuss shared interests, ranging from fantasy sports to music composition and video games.

Highlighting the paramount importance of safety, Citron stressed that it's ingrained in every aspect of Discord's operation. He expressed a personal connection to the cause, being a father of two, and emphasized his desire for Discord to be a platform his children can use safely and enjoy.

The CEO conveyed his commitment to ensuring online safety for minors, expressing his dedication to making Discord a product that users can be proud of and that contributes positively to the online world.

Exploring Discord's Functionality

Communication Features

Discord, a popular platform, offers text, voice, and video communication features. Users, including kids, can easily engage in conversations through text messagesvoice calls, or video chats. This variety of communication options makes it versatile for different preferences.

  • Users can choose between text-based interactions or engaging through voice and video calls.
  • The diverse communication features allow users to connect with others in various ways based on their comfort level.

Server Creation and Sharing Capabilities

One fascinating aspect of Discord is the ability to create servers tailored to specific interests or communities. By creating servers, users can bring like-minded individuals, including kids, together in one place. Discord enables screen-sharing and file-sharing capabilities within these servers.

  • Creating servers for specific interests fosters community among members who share similar passions.
  • Screen-sharing and file-sharing functionalities enhance collaboration by allowing users to share content seamlessly during conversations.

Understanding Age Restrictions and Safety on Discord

Age Requirements

Discord mandates that users be at least 13 years old when creating an account. This age restriction aims to protect younger children from potentially harmful content. Discord ensures a safer environment for teenagers and older users by adhering to this rule.

Parents can play a crucial role in ensuring their child's safety on Discord by setting up parental controls. These controls allow parents to monitor their children's activities, including who they interact with and the content they access.

By actively engaging in their child's online presence, parents can help mitigate any potential risks or dangers.

Safety Measures

To enhance safety further, Discord provides various tools, such as content filtering options, that allow users to control what type of content is visible in chats. Reporting tools are available for users to flag inappropriate behaviour or content quickly.

These features empower parents and users to maintain a secure online community.


  • Age restrictions promote a safer online environment.
  • Parental controls enable the monitoring of children's activities.
  • Reporting tools empower users to address inappropriate behaviour effectively.


  • Some underage users may still attempt to bypass age restrictions.

During a recent Senate hearing, Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, outlined the company's commitment to ensuring a safe online environment.

He highlighted significant investments in safety measures, such as the acquisition of Sentropy, a company utilizing AI to identify, ban, and report criminal behaviour, even at the cost of reducing user numbers.

Citron explained Discord's decision not to adopt end-to-end encryption, emphasizing the need for the platform to fulfil safety obligations, investigate serious situations, and collaborate with law enforcement when necessary.

The CEO emphasized Discord's zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse material (CSAM), employing image scanning and innovative tools like Teen Safety Assist to block explicit content and facilitate reporting.

Discord's semantic hashing technology, Clip, detects novel forms of CSAM, and the company actively collaborates with other platforms through the tech coalition. Citron expressed Discord's dedication to partnering with nonprofits, law enforcement, and tech colleagues to enhance online safety collectively.

He concluded by emphasizing Discord's mission to empower users for better online experiences, genuine connections, and fun while expressing readiness for ongoing dialogue and collaboration with the committee to improve online safety.

Discord vs. Other Social Media Platforms

Group Interactions

Unlike traditional social media platforms that focus on individual interactions, Discord stands out for emphasizing real-time communication within communities. Users engage in group conversations rather than one-on-one chats.

The platform's emphasis on group interactions allows users to connect with like-minded individuals with similar interests. This fosters a sense of community and belonging among members.

Gaming-Centric User Base

With a gaming-centric user base, Discord provides a space where gamers can communicate, collaborate, and strategize in real-time while playing their favourite games together. This sets it apart from other social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.


  • Facilitates group discussions.
  • Connects users based on shared interests.


  • This may lead to excessive screen time.
  • Requires monitoring for online safety concerns.

Insights into Children's Use of Discord

Customizable Features

Discord is popular among children for gaming and socializing, offering customizable features. Kids can create and personalize their servers with themes, emojis, and bots.

Many kids enjoy the freedom to set up their space online to chat with friends while playing games or sharing interests. This customization aspect makes Discord appealing to young users.

Parental Awareness

Understanding a child's activities on Discord is crucial for parents. By being aware of their conversations and interactions on the platform, parents can ensure their kids are safe from inappropriate content or potential risks such as encountering predators.


  • Allows children to connect with friends in a controlled environment.
  • Encourages creativity through server customization.


  • Risk of exposure to inappropriate content.
  • Potential dangers if not monitored by parents.

Parental Guide to Discord's Features and Settings

Privacy Settings

Parents can manage privacy settings on Discord, allowing them to control who can contact their child. By utilizing these settings effectively, parents can ensure that their child interacts only with approved individuals.

This feature provides a layer of protection against unwanted or inappropriate communication.

Discord offers options for parents to restrict access to explicit content, safeguarding their children from encountering harmful material. By exploring and activating these features within the app, parents can create a safer online environment for their kids.

This proactive approach helps in preventing exposure to potentially harmful content.

Moderation Tools

Familiarizing yourself with moderation tools available on Discord is crucial for ensuring a safe experience for your child. These tools empower parents by allowing them to monitor and regulate interactions within the platform.

By actively using moderation features, such as content filtering or user blocking, parents can enhance online safety for their children.

Tips for Ensuring Child Safety on Discord

Educate Your Child

Teach online safety practices to your child. Discuss the potential risks of sharing personal information online.

Online predators can take advantage of children's innocence, so it's crucial to educate them about privacy settings and the importance of not interacting with strangers.

Regular Communication

Regularly talk to your child about their activities on Discord. Ask who they are talking to and what kind of conversations they have had.

By staying informed, you can monitor any red flags like inappropriate language or behaviour from other users towards your child.

Open Discussions

Encourage open discussions with your child about cyberbullying. Teach them how to recognize signs of bullying and handle such situations appropriately.

Discussing appropriate online behaviour helps children understand how their words and actions can impact others in a virtual environment.

Monitoring and Managing Online Risks for Kids on Discord

Stay Updated

To ensure your child's safety on Discord, it's crucial to stay informed about the latest trends in online safety. This knowledge helps you recognize potential risks like online predators and take necessary precautions.

Monitoring updates regarding digital citizenship, privacy settings, and security measures is essential. By staying updated, you can guide your child effectively through their online experience, fostering a safe environment while interacting on Discord.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Discord, and how does it work?

Discord is a popular messaging platform where users can communicate via text, voice, or video. It's like a blend of chat rooms and social media, allowing people to join servers based on shared interests for discussions.

Are there age restrictions and safety measures on Discord?

Discord requires users to be at least 13 years old to create an account. They also offer safety features like privacy settings, content filters, and the ability for server owners to moderate conversations.

How does Discord differ from other social media platforms?

Unlike traditional social media sites focused on profiles and timelines, Discord emphasizes group communication in real-time through servers. It's designed more for communities with shared interests rather than personal connections.

Is it common for children to use Discord?

Many kids are drawn to Discord due to its gaming communities and features like sharing memes or chatting with friends. However, parents should be aware of potential risks such as inappropriate content or interactions online.

How can parents ensure their kids' security while using Discord?

Parents can safeguard their children by setting up privacy controls together, discussing online etiquette regularly, monitoring their activity without invading privacy excessively, educating them about cyber threats, and fostering open communication about any concerns they may have.

Feb 4, 2024
Digital Learning

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