Since the 1990s, the increasing prevalence of the Internet has made this technological tool central to everyday life and changed how people interact and communicate. Online social networking sites have become one of the most popular activities for people accessing the Internet and form a part of their identity. Studies have found that youth use social networking channels to explore, shape, and grow their social identities. The rapid growth of social networking has been followed by the development of many different social networking platforms, such as online communities.
With over a quarter billion active users, Discord is one of the most popular ways gamers communicate online. Discord lets friends communicate directly via voice, video, or text, and join servers where larger communities can interact together in groups. Gaming is not the only reason people use Discord, any online community can take advantage of the features Discord offers. The website advertises communities for book clubs, dance classes, digital conventions, and many more. However as with any other digital platform, hackers and cyber bullies can find their way through Discord and infiltrate the system. Below are three of our top tips to make your Discord channel more safe and inclusive.
- Introduce moderators and set expectations for channel content.
No matter how careful you are, you can make your servers even safer by proactively moderating and removing malicious users, messages, and links. This highly reduces the risk of your users getting affected by cybersecurity breaches and trolls. Introducing the moderators and setting channel expectations are key to a more safe digital community. Another alternative to having real-life moderators is utilizing moderator bots. Discord moderation bots help organize your server, act as a Discord welcome bot for new members, and work as a Discord anti spam bot for trolls. If you want to keep your server safe without working as a Discord moderator then add a moderation bot, it will make managing your channel much easier.
- Create specific channels and threads so that users have more control over the content they are exposed to.
Creating niche specific channels and threads that make it clear what the content is about can create a much safer environment to those uncertain about certain topics and communities. This also allows all your community members to be well engaged and proactive within your channel or threads. In addition, If you are an admin or a moderator, you should really set certain channels to private. This ensures that only members with proper permissions can view and/or end messages.
- Take complaints seriously and provide trigger warnings.
In order to make your community users feel more welcome and heard, you should take their complaints and concerns seriously. This can be easily managed through having moderators responsible for such tasks and providing trigger warnings when necessary. Another way to make sure your users feel welcomed in an inclusive digital environment is to ask for their pronouns when they first join, what interests them in the channel, and other surface level questions to make them feel comfortable.
Discord is quickly becoming the internet’s primary meeting place, whether you need a virtual space to collaborate, create or just geek out with friends over your favorite games. However safety measures and precautions should always be taken into account when creating a new Discord channel or thread.
Andronico, M. (2021, January 28). Discord is the one app you need to be using — here’s what you need to know. CNN Underscored. https://us.cnn.com/2021/01/28/cnn-underscored/discord-app/index.html
Chao, C. (2020). Reactions to Problematic Internet Use Among Adolescents: Inappropriate Physical and Mental Health Perspectives. Frontiers. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01782/full