What parents need to know about Discord

Launched in 2015, Discord has steadily emerged as a major player in the online communication marketplace – certainly as far as gamers are concerned. Indeed, with the ability to coordinate gameplay and talk tactics with multiple fellow players in real time, it has also become the collaborative platform of choice for many professional e-sports competitors.

The flip side of Discord’s success is that – in addition to genuine gamers who simply want to improve their playing experience or discuss their favourite titles – it’s also attracted unsavoury individuals who use the platform to post extreme political views, belittle other users or share explicit content. Our online safety guide this week tells trusted adults what they need to know.

Having originally been designed by two friends, purely to help other dedicated gamers get the most out of their online play, Discord has grown to register some truly impressive figures. Around six billion messages are now sent on the platform every week, for example, while the groups for popular titles like Fortnite, Minecraft and Valorant have in excess of 800,000 members each. Significantly, though, 90% of Discord groups have 15 members or fewer – so most conversations take place in private, secluded corners of the app. Grooming, therefore, is a lurking danger to Discord’s teenage users – as is the risk of exposure to content not intended for younger eyes. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide from NOS identifies the potential pitfalls of children using Discord.