Hey, everyone! I’m Liz Hegarty, our Teen Safety Policy Manager: I get to eat, sleep and imagine a place where teens can have a delightful experience on Discord all while ensuring our products and policies are created with the safety and well-being of our youngest users in mind.
Discord is committed to doing our part to create a healthier digital ecosystem for our youngest users, which is why today, we’re excited to announce our collaboration with National Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to help us make Discord even better for students, teachers, and educators.
We all know that the pandemic has forced us all to rethink old patterns and chart new paths. Teens, in particular, are turning to digital tools more than ever—from study groups to video chatting with grandma to joining communities dedicated to their favorite artist. And no one recognizes both the opportunity and potential pitfalls of increased online connection more than parents and teachers. A video at your fingertips to help review a tricky geometry proof? Great! Video chatting and creating with friends? Awesome! Drama and dinner table fights about screen time? No thanks.
Parents and educators are busy (like, really busy) folks! That’s why we want to do everything we can to make it as easy and seamless as possible for parents and educators to be in the know when it comes to our latest safety features and controls. This alliance will help us to do just that: meet parents and educators where they are so we can all work together to support teens to safely and responsibly harness the power of Discord.
National PTA has been a partner to parents on digital parenting topics for over 5 years, exploring in-depth the issues that are on the minds of today’s families, and connecting parents with tools, research and support to make the best decisions for their children. It’s this dedication that makes us thrilled to join forces with National PTA, and engage families together specifically in the areas of online safety, security, equity, and access. Our collaboration with National PTA allows us to hear directly from parents, teachers, and students in their schools about how Discord impacts their lives. We hope to learn from you all to make our product, policies, and resources better, safer, and even more delightful.
“Discord is a place where teens can find belonging and community, and connect over shared interests and passions with friends and classmates. Through our collaboration with National PTA, we hope to foster an interactive dialogue between parents, educators, and teens about the role that Discord plays in their lives, and collaborate with them to create an even more welcoming and positive experience for teens on the service,” said Savannah Badalich, Director of Policy at Discord.
To kick things off, National PTA has created a server on Discord. In celebration of Safer Internet Day, we’ll be hosting an event with National PTA and some of our brilliant teen moderators to talk about belonging and mental health in online spaces. We hope this conversation will give parents and educators a chance to hear from teens about their experiences using Discord to build communities and share their authentic selves.
I, for one, am so excited to continue to learn from the parents and teachers who have been on the frontlines supporting teens to make smart choices. Parents and educators, if you haven’t already, let this be your opportunity to create a Discord account and see what your teens have been talking about.
Want to be part of the conversation? Join us on the PTA Server on Discord.
"PTA believes it is important for teens and caregivers to have open, ongoing conversations—especially around topics like social apps and technology. Discord is a popular platform for teens, and we want to meet teens where they are, while also advocating for safety features, education, and practices that give families peace of mind. We are happy to join forces with Discord to tackle these priorities as an expansion of our PTA Connected initiative," said Anna King, National PTA President.
In 2022 and beyond, Discord will work with National PTA to host teen and parent listening sessions around the country to hear what’s top of mind for families and educators. Whether that’s identifying ways to help close the digital divide, finding high-quality educational content, or figuring out moments for parents and teens to enjoy Discord together, we’ll be ready with the information and tools necessary to support parents, teachers, and teens.