Discord is introducing a new tool called Family Center that lets parents better understand who their teens are talking to on the platform. Importantly, a teen has to opt in to let their parents see what they are doing.
If a teen opts in, their parent or guardian will be able to see recently added friends, servers they’ve joined or participated in, and the display names and avatars of people they’ve messaged or called in DMs or group DMs. All of this data will show up on a new Family Center dashboard, which shows a teen’s activity over the past seven days. Parents will also get the data in a weekly email summary. However, parents will not be able to see what their teen writes or says.
For a parent to connect to their teen’s account, they’ll need to ask a teen for a special QR code. Then, the parent can scan the QR code with their Discord app, and the teen will need to accept the connection request. The idea of this multistep process is that parents and teens have a conversation about what they are doing on the platform before the parent has access to the data.
“Similar to how parents know who their teens are friends with and what clubs they’re a part of at school, Family Center helps them learn more about who their teens are friends with and talk to on Discord,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Our goal with Family Center is to help foster productive dialogue about safer internet habits, and to create mutually beneficial ways for parents and teens to connect about experiences online.”
Discord isn’t the only company to add a feature that encourages parents and their kids to have discussions about what they’re doing online. Last year, Fortnite maker Epic Games introduced a new type of account for kids under 13 that restricts some features, like text and voice chat, until the kids get consent from their parent or guardian.