Discord App - Do you know all about it?

Alert message sent 18/01/2022 16:13:00

Information sent on behalf of Staffordshire Police


We have been made aware around an online network platform called ‘Discord’, where users can chat to anyone in the world about any topic. Concerns have been raised whereby anonymous users have contacted young persons, using explicit chat and/or content.

Parents, have you heard of the app ‘Discord’? Do you know anything about the app? Do you know if your child is using this app?

Please take your time in reading the latest information about the Discord app to educate yourselves to this app your children could have potentially downloaded, and to help with spreading the word to others about this app and potential dangers it poses to its users.

** What is Discord?
Launched in 2015, Discord is a platform for people with similar interests to share and communicate. It used to be a popular platform among the gaming community as it offers a way for video game players to communicate with each other and develop a community outside of the games themselves. However, since then it has grown into a full social network with a wide range of ways to interact with millions of monthly users so it is no longer just popular among gamers.

** How Discord works:
The platform works on the basis of servers. These are set up with a particular focus or emphasis as a way for people to congregate, discuss and exchange images, links and information. These servers offer both text and voice communication on the device you use.

Users can be invited to servers or find links online to access them. The person who set up the server usually sets some ground rules about who it is for and the expected level of courtesy and etiquette. They can also provide strict guidelines for filtering out explicit content and ensuring their moderators accounts are secure.

However, some platforms aren’t as strict in guidelines and etiquette and can have this filter system removed so anyone and everyone can send all sorts of content to one another without the warning of being banned or kicked out.

** What is the age rating?
Discord is set up for ages 13 years and above. However, Discord has recently released an update and raised its age to 18 years and above for new users to prove if they want to join a specific server.
What are the privacy and security settings on Discord like?

Discords latest transparency report reveals that 32.8% of users were subject to harassment on the platform, 11% were victims of cybercrime followed by 8.1% of graphic content.
Discord offers the chance for users to change their settings and filter inappropriate content out of direct messages. Safe Direct Messaging officers a traffic-light colour-coded system to determine whether messages should be checked for inappropriate content and are listed as follows in the privacy and safety section in the settings:

“Keep me safe” – scan direct messages from everyone
“My friends are nice” – scan direct messages from everyone unless they are a friend
“Do not scan” – direct messages will not be scanned for explicit content

** Is Discord safe?
With the right privacy settings and monitoring, it’s easy to use Discord safely. However, there’s always a risk when it comes to sites and apps with open chat. The safest way to use the Discord app is to only accept friend requests and participate in private servers with people you already know. Although it’s rare, there have been incidents where predators have targeted young users via the servers or a direct message (DMs).

** What can you do to make sure your child is safe online?
Make sure your child is following the correct behaviours when it comes to online platforms. The basics of only adding people they know, not talking to strangers, not giving anyone their private and personal details online and not sending explicit images of themselves or asking for ones in return.
Monitor your child’s activity on the app and check to see how strong their privacy and safety settings are on the app, if you feel that they aren’t using the app correctly sit down with them and discuss the rules you have around the app and why.

Remove the app if your child is not at the legal age, if they have the app and are under the age requirements it clearly means they have used false details to gain access to the app.

Regards,

PCSO 23999 Deryn Small
North Lichfield Officer
Lichfield
Message sent by
Deryn Small (Police, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Lichfield)

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