Discord Parental Guide: 9 Answers to Your Questions

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Discord is a messaging software that allows people to chat, share extremely varied content, and join diverse communities. This article provides answers to the most common questions parents have about this messaging platform.

What is Discord?

It is a free platform that allows you to exchange text messages, voice calls and video calls with friends and diverse communities. It stands out for its great potential for customizing servers. Indeed, it is possible to create and join private, semi-private and public servers as well as to exchange private or direct messages in 1-1 and group conversations.

What is the appropriate age to use Discord?

Discord is generally considered appropriate for people 13 years of age and older.[1]

How to get started on Discord?

To use this platform, simply create an account using your email address and open Discord on your internet browser or via the application.

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Profiles tab in Discord user settings

As with most messaging apps, it is possible to customize your nickname, profile picture and a short bio in the Profiles tab. Discord’s Terms of Service do not allow nudity or content that could be deemed offensive in users’ profiles.

The Profiles tab is plural since it allows you to edit your user profile (default profile) and your profile specific to the selected server. We won’t go into the more advanced server settings for this article, but it’s advised that your child doesn’t disclose their full name in their profile and choose a neutral profile picture, as this will be visible to everyone who is in the same servers and group conversations as he or her.

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Tabs: Privacy & Security and Request Friends

It is very useful to check the settings of the Privacy & Security tab, just under Profiles.

The first parameter, in yellow, is used to determine if you want the platform to analyze the private messages that the account receives. If the primary user of the account is a child, we recommend that you select “Protect me” so that Discord filters the explicit content of all messages.

The second setting, also in yellow, allows or blocks private messages from users who are in the same server. If your child visits public servers with this account, it is advisable not to allow these messages.

The third setting, in red, is the one that allows or prevents the account user from joining adult servers (18+). When a person creates a server, they are required by Discord rules to report whether their server can host explicit content, marking it as 18+. Anyone can join such a server, intentionally or inadvertently, unless this setting is not allowed.

The fourth parameter, in yellow, is similar to the second. Allowing it allows all users who are in the same server as you to send you a private message request, even if you are not friends with Discord. If your child visits public or semi-private servers with this account, it is advisable not to allow these messages.

The fifth setting determines whether the account user can take part in 18+ classified interactions with bots and apps in their private messages. We strongly recommend that you do not activate it since some bots created by malicious individuals can circulate corrupted links via private messages.

The Friend Requests tab allows you to put restrictions on who can send a friend request to this account.

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Tabs displayed: Logins and My Account

You can visit the Devices tab to check which devices are currently connected to this account. If you suspect that a third party has gained access to the Discord account, it is possible for you to disconnect all devices, requiring you to re-enter your login details to access the account.

The Connections tab allows you to link your Discord account to various social networks. If your child is the primary user, we suggest that you do not link their Facebook or any app that would disclose their full name, especially if they join public servers.

The My Account tab displays your login information and allows you to edit it. The phone number is optional, but some servers may require that only accounts verified by phone be able to reach, which decreases the possibility of a malicious account being found there. It is also from this tab that you can disable or delete your Discord account.

How to add friends on Discord?

There are two options for chatting with people on Discord: direct or private with people you’ve added as friends and on servers. The servers are displayed in round icons completely to the left of the interface. Private conversations appear next to servers, featuring round icons and names.

To add someone as a friend without having a server in common, you can select the Friends tab and send a friend request to someone by entering their name followed by the # and four digits associated with their account (for example: MyAccount#1234). Once the person has accepted your request (or if you accept a friend request), a private chat tab with that person will appear on the left side of your screen.

What is a server?

A server is a personalized discussion space, created by a person and often with the aim of exchanging around a particular theme. Since Discord started as a platform to facilitate interactions during video game games, there are many servers whose theme is a particular video game. The servers are divided into multiple chat channels and voice channels.

The person who creates the server decides whether it is:

  • Private (accessible only by invitation and only moderators can distribute invitation links)
  • Semi-private (accessible by invitation, all members can distribute invitation links)
  • Public (invitation links for this server are available on public websites such as Disboard or a blog)
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In pink: Friends tab, then Add. In blue: tab to see your public profile. In green: Server creation window.

To create a server, simply select the + symbol on the far left. If you are already a server member, the + will appear at the bottom of the list. The platform will guide you through the steps of creating a simple server.

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Drop-down menu to edit your server, then window to invite people

To invite someone to your server, click the server name in the top left to scroll through the menu. Select “Invite People” and you will have two options. You can search for the friend you want to invite and click Invite, which will send them a link to the server in direct message in Discord. You can also copy the link that appears at the bottom of the small add window and share it as if it were any url link, even outside Discord. The person must click the button to join the server.

As a security measure, we suggest only joining servers of people you know or who seem trustworthy. Avoid clicking on unsolicited invitation links in your private messages sent by strangers.

Can we share images and videos on Discord?

Yes, it is possible to share all kinds of attachments (images, videos, Gifs) and web links on this platform. It is also possible to join voice and video conversations via servers and private messages.

Can kids chat with strangers on Discord?

Yes, especially if they are on public and semi-private servers. That’s why parents are strongly advised to keep a close eye on their kids’ activity on Discord, just like any other social network.

Is there any inappropriate content on Discord?

The platform’s terms of use require that servers that allow explicit content be identified as 18+, but private or direct messages are at the discretion of individuals. By keeping an eye on the servers that children join and monitoring who is in their friend lists, parents can greatly decrease the risk of exposure to inappropriate content.

How can I keep my child safe on Discord?

You can keep your child safe by carefully selecting settings, monitoring the servers your child joins, and keeping an eye on who he or she adds as friends. Discord is a messaging platform and the servers are at the junction between forums and messaging groups, so it is advisable to treat your children’s interactions on Discord in the same way as on any social network.

Featured image: Discord promotional logo

[1] Discord Terms of Service: Age Requirements