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Discord is launching a new tool to give parents more visibility into how their teens are using the platform. Family Center gives parents a weekly summary of their teen’s activity on the platform. However, it will not share the specifics of their conversations.
“Family Center provides parents with what they need to help guide their teen’s use of Discord without invading their privacy. It’s like the physical world where you know who your kids are hanging out with and where they’re going but not listening in on their conversations or micromanaging their relationships. Tools like Family Center can help parents help their teens develop the habits and critical thinking skills that apply not only to Discord but all of life,” said Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely.
To set up Family Center, both the parent and the teen must have a Discord account. Teens must consent to share their account activity. The setup requires scanning a QR code generated by the teen’s account to add additional security and ensure consent.
Once connected, parents will be able to view high level account activity from the last seven days. This data includes the number of users they’ve messaged or called, the number of new friends they’ve added and how many servers they’re actively participating in. Complete chat logs and a full archive of past activity will not be available.
Parents can view their teen’s activity anytime through the Discord app. Additionally, parents will receive a weekly email with a recap of their teen’s activity. With this information, parents have more tools to identify concerning behavior and discuss online safety with their teen.
Discord’s more family-friendly future
The Family Center tool is Discord’s first step in its new line of family-focused initiatives. While Discord was testing the new Family Center beforehand, the platform came under renewed fire after an NBC investigation into child exploitation on the platform.
Alongside the Family Center, Discord also laid out its commitment to teen and child safety today. The post gives an updated overview of Discord’s policies, priorities and solutions for teen safety. This includes a number of partnerships with online safety organizations like the Family Online Safety Institute, Technology Coalition, NoFiltr, National PTA, Digital Wellness Lab, ConnectSafely and more. Discord’s Safety Center has more details on tools parents can use to help their teens stay safe on the platform.
Discord is the latest social platform to beef up its child safety features. Over the last three years, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram/Meta and Snapchat have added more parental controls. These changes were preempted or sparked by the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) and the U.S.’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA only applies to children under 13, but Utah, Montana and California are passing broader state-level restrictions. Both the DSA and the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA) come into effect in 2024.