A tiny bit more traditional

My acquaintance

urged me to join a writer's support group in 2017, which is when I first became aware of the platform known as Discord. Users of Discord are able to establish their own communities, which are referred to as servers, complete with links that can be distributed for membership and options to make the server either public or private.

The writer's group server evoked memories of a classic chat room, but it featured many channels that separated the various conversations that were taking place at the same time. It brought to mind descriptions of early online chat and forum-based communities that featured in-depth discussions with participants from all over the world.

The members of the writers' server rapidly became aware of the fact that a few of our community's participants were teenagers who were younger than 18 years old. Even though the server owner had kept the area restricted to those who had been invited, he never denied access to anyone who asked for it. After all, it was intended to be a community that encouraged people who were working on writing projects and provided support for them. Why would he wish to leave someone out of the group?

Using the server moderation system provided by Discord, he was able to make some tweaks without having to kick the teenagers out of the server. Members of the community were required to reveal their ages, and those who were less than 18 were assigned a distinct "role" that identified them as being underage. Due to the nature of their position, they were unable to view the channels that we had designated as "not safe for work," or "NSFW." Some of the authors were working on explicit romance novels, and they didn't want to ask teens for their feedback because they were working on those books. And there were moments when adults simply desired their own personal space.

Even though we made great precautions to provide a secure online environment for teenagers, there are always risks involved while using an application such as Discord. It has been pointed out that there are no parental controls available on the platform. Although the terms of service for Discord indicate that no one under the age of 13 should sign up for the platform, a significant number of children and teenagers nevertheless use it.

In addition, there are persons who have utilized Discord to organize and propagate vile discourse, such as neo-Nazi views, and this practice has been carried out by some of these individuals. Others have been caught using the platform to facilitate the distribution of child pornography.

However, Discord maintains maintain that activities of this nature are unlawful and not accepted on its platform, and the company does often block servers and people that it believes are harmful to the community.