Bark Now Monitors Discord — What Parents Need to Know
Bark is proud to announce that we now monitor text chat within direct messages on Discord, a communication platform that’s popular in the gaming community, on Android and Amazon devices. Discord is similar to the productivity platform Slack, featuring chatrooms, direct messaging, voice chat, and video calls that make online gaming easier. Users can join different “servers” to chat about their favorite games, and within each server are different “channels” for discussing more specific aspects of the game.
Discord is becoming a huge place for teens to communicate — and it’s beginning to spread even beyond the gaming community. The platform has 130 million registered users, 19 million of whom log in every day. Some teens even prefer to use it as a way to talk to their friends, more so than Facebook Messenger — or even texting. The platform has become so popular, in fact, that Samsung will be building it into its phones.
It’s not all fun and games on Discord, however. Cyberbullying, as well as graphic and sexual content, is popular on the platform. Servers are also open to the public, which makes it extremely easy for strangers to contact children. In this post, we take a look at what parents need to know about Discord.
Risks on the Platform
While Discord does have terms of service that aim to protect users from being harassed or bullied, there are still “adult” servers on Discord that contain graphic and sexual content. There are very few tools that prevent underage users from accessing them. While some servers will attempt to verify age, this feature isn’t actually built into Discord — it’s programmed by gamers themselves and used at their own discretion. All of this means that there are very few ways of preventing a child from joining a server that may be filled with explicit and adult content.
Another feature for families to watch out for is Discord’s direct messaging feature. If direct messages are enabled, any user can message another user, even if they don’t know each other. This opens a kid up to being solicited by strangers, potentially receiving explicit and inappropriate material. And since Discord is a platform where users publically reveal their interests, potential predators can use that information as an easy way to gain their trust. There are some controls that scan and delete explicit messages, but they can easily be disabled in the settings.
Help Protect Your Kids On Discord
One of the first steps a parent can take to help protect their kids on Discord is to set up parental controls. While these settings are important, they can’t account for everything. For additional support, parents should monitor their child’s online activities with Bark. Bark monitors text chat within Discord’s direct messages on Android and Amazon devices and alerts parents to potential issues, including cyberbullying, depression, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more. Our advanced technology doesn’t just search for keywords — it analyzes language in context that might indicate that something’s wrong.
In addition to Discord, Bark monitors text, chat, email, YouTube, and more than 24 social media platforms for signs of digital dangers. Sign up today for a free, one-week trail to help keep your kids safe both online and in real life.