Discord is a free chat app for users of all operating systems that allows, among other things, text messaging, voice and video calling in real-time and video streaming. Discord takes inspiration from different other apps and brings all its features under the same roof.
For example, it takes inspiration from apps like Skype for its voice and video calling features and screen sharing. It takes inspiration from the age-old Internet Relay Chat in the way it manages its servers and channels.
In the past, Discord used to be only for gamers. However, it has expanded its usage to more of a social network app for communities of all types. While most of these communities are gaming-focused, there are communities with other interests on the platform as well.
These communities range from religious groups to anime lovers to music or movie fan clubs. Apart from these communities, Discord is also a great tool for users looking to chat with their friends online.
However, due to its availability to users around the world, Discord gets exposed to some risks. Therefore, any users using the platform also have to bear the risk that comes with using Discord. While there are many other risks as well, given below are five risks of using Discord.
These represent the top risks that users face daily while using the network. However, most of these risks come from being exposed to the internet in general and not directly related to Discord.
1) Privacy risks
The top risk that Discord users have to face due to the use of the platform is a privacy risk. During the last few years, users around the world have become more sensitive to the issue of privacy. Discord, too, has come under criticism several times due to its ineffective and insufficient privacy policies.
For example, Discord offers basic encryption of messages that some users may consider inadequate. Therefore, users on the platform always face the risk of invasion of privacy.
On top of that, Discord’s CEO and founder Jason Citron has a controversial past related to privacy. Especially with his previous app, OpenFeint, which saw a class action suit against it with allegations including computer fraud, invasion of privacy, breach of conduct, bad faith, and seven other statutory violations.
2) Hostile behavior
Getting exposed to chats from different communities and users online can also expose Discord users to the risk of suffering from hostile behaviour.
Discord hides the real identity of its users behind a user tag and email address, which itself can be untraceable. Therefore, there are no repercussions for using that indulge in hostile behavior.
Therefore, while the platform does not directly promote this kind of behaviour and is strictly against it, users get the freedom to behave inadequately.
Discord has had problems with these users in the past as well. For most of the Discord’s users, it may not be a problem. However, considering some of Discord’s users are below 18, the risks become significantly more problematic.
3) Controversial content
Same as with hostile behaviour, Discord users can also use the platform to spread controversial content. While most servers on Discord have moderators to look for these contents, some other communities actively promote this behaviour.
Therefore, users in these servers also get exposed to controversial content. Discord has tried to reduce this type of behavior in the past, but still, the platform does not directly interfere in servers.
With controversial content, like with hostile behavior, users can easily skip these controversial servers. However, some controversial content, for example, anti-religious content may cause problems for users.
Similarly, as mentioned above, some users on Discord may be below 18, and getting exposed to this content may be harmful to them.
4) Deleted accounts
With Discord, users also face the risk of getting their accounts deleted. In the past, Discord has deleted users’ accounts without warning them beforehand or giving them a reason.
Therefore, users face the risk of having their accounts deleted without getting any explanation from Discord as to why. The control that the platform has over their accounts is a risk in itself.
While users can still create a new account after their accounts get deleted, it is an extra hassle they have to go through.
Similarly, users lose their friends and any roles on the servers they have on their accounts. Some users may also have paid games and Nitro, which they risk losing by losing their accounts.
5) Viruses and malware
One of the other features that Discord provides its users is the ability to share files on the platform. While there is a limit to the size of the file they can share, there is no check from the platform’s side to verify the cleanness of the file. Therefore, users may upload viruses or malware on the platform that exposes other users to these threats.
While any user with anti-virus on their device can mitigate this risk easily, there are many users that don’t have the facility.
Especially considering Discord users are of all age groups, they may not be able to tell the difference between viruses and actual files. Viruses can further damage users’ devices and expose them to unnecessary risks.
Discord is an online platform for users to communicate with each other. While there are many advantages of using Discord, users also get exposed to some risks when using it.
These risks may include facing privacy risks, hostile behavior, controversial content, deleted accounts and viruses, and malware. These are the top five risks of using Discord.