Social networks, apps and games
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Discord

Discord is a voice and text chat app that's popular with gamers. It can be used to talk to other players while playing games. Or you can swap tips and advice with other players in game-specific servers (similar to online forums). Some games, like Fortnite and PUBG, have official verified Discords for fans to talk about the game.

13+

Official age rating

13+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
11+

Child age rating

What do children say?

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for Discord

Average

We don’t think Discord is safe for anyone under the age of 13. The site has some good features that can help keep your child safe, like switching off direct messages and the ‘Keep Me Safe’ function. But there is a still a risk that your child could speak to someone they don’t know on public servers or come across content they might find upsetting.

Safety features

Discord has information available on their site for parents and carers that outlines some tips on how they can keep their child safe.

You can change the privacy settings so other users can’t send your child direct messages or add them as a friend. Discord also has a ‘Keep Me Safe’ function that automatically blocks all inappropriate content that is sent via direct message. You need to switch this on when your child sets up an account.

Privacy & location

You can change your child’s privacy settings so they can’t be contacted by people they don’t know but they will still be able to access the public servers.

Not all servers are public and you can set up your own private chat where you can only speak to people you’ve invited to join.

Reporting & blocking

You can easily block a user directly in the app by clicking on their profile.

Reporting individual pieces of content is more difficult. You have to send Discord a message and link to the message, image or video you’d like to report.

Content

The ‘Keep Me Safe’ feature stops inappropriate images being sent via direct message. However, the feature doesn’t scan text so your child could still be sent messages that contain inappropriate or upsetting language.

Your child could also come across images, videos and comments they find upsetting on one of Discord’s public servers.

Discord’s Community Guidelines outline how they’re trying to keep the app a positive space for it’s users.

O2 Guru top tip

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On Discord privacy settings

With your child, check their privacy settings and enable the ‘Keep Me Safe’ function to change who they can talk to and what they can see.

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

On Discord you can chat to other users one to one or as a group on a ‘server’. There are thousands of public servers on Discord and It’s particularly popular with the gaming community to share tips.

As these are public servers your child could see comments which worry or upset them and speak to people they do not know. We would recommend they only chat to friends they have actually met before, like their school friends.

If you do choose to allow your child to use the public servers then we would recommend they only join with supervision and support from a parent or carer.

Make sure to check in with your child regularly about who they’re talking to online and ask them what servers or chats they’ve joined.

Remind them if someone starts asking them other questions or suggests they speak using another app like Snapchat or Instagram they should come and tell you.

Explore safety settings together so your child knows how to stop unwanted contact or end an online chat.

Discord have created their own Parent’s Guide. In it they give three recommendations to make your teen’s account is as safe as possible:

1. Choose a secure, strong password
2. Set who can send you direct messages and friend requests
3. Block inappropriate content

Discuss these with tips with your child and go through the steps together to make sure you both understand how to stay safe.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Discord

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Discord?

• Different servers have different rules – some of these will allow inappropriate content or behaviour
• You can have contact and communication from people you don’t know, especially on public or large servers
• Some people can be rude, mean or sexual
• There are lots of ways to communicate – groups, servers, direct messages, voice channels and calls

People can just enter your chat room if they get their hands on the code and spam you with inappropriate, mean or sexual things.

Child, 12

What do children and young people like about Discord?

• If you use private servers or groups you can choose to only add your friends, and other people won’t be able to join
• There are filters such as NSFW (Not Safe for Work), which filter explicit material
• To add someone as a friend you need to know their username and a unique code, which stops random people being able to add you
• It’s a good way to get tips for playing certain games

Large servers can have many people within them, and entering them can be easy. However when using private servers/channels, users are safe with those they trust and can select who to contact and who to block.

Boy, 18

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Parents

Signing up to Discord

I just put in the username I wanted, an email address and password, and clicked create.

Mother of a 17 year old

Reporting on Discord

You just click the name and press block on the popup menu, either in friend list or chat. Seems quite intuitive to me.

Father of an 18 year old

Privacy settings on Discord

Once I managed to find my account settings this was easy to do.

Father of an 18 year old son

Safety and support on Discord

The rules and advice were easy to find, but I had to look for them. They weren't shown by default.

Father of an 18 year old

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