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troop discord server... but under 13 disallowed on discord

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The Scoutmaster at a nearby troop says they are all in with Discord, with a troop server, and each patrol has a channel or whatever its called, and a PLC channel, and a parent channel. He said wow its great. I've done a tiny bit on Discord and yeah it's good, and would be fun to use. So I brought it up at a PLC. Our SPL said it wont work because you have to be 13yo to use Discord, so that would exclude a good many Scouts in our small troop.

I just found this reddit thread. I guess all those services have a similar age limit and we ignore it. So why different for Discord? Meet em where they're at, right? okay... except my SPL said its not allowed so I guess there's the answer. 

What are others doing?

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Have parents sign up. When their sons are 13 they may sign on.

I’m learning to use Discord because it was the medium of choice for my WSJ Troop. I have mixed feelings about it.

Edited by qwazse
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10 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

For us fossils, Discord is a what?  What are the perceived strengths and dangers?  Thanks!

Think these forums, but invite-only with oversized emoji. What’s nice is it can handle voice messages and video calls.

The dangers are the same as most social media type things.

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The restriction (on under 13)  is based on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

"COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.


So they don't have to deal with COPPA, and put in additional coding and controls, the websites simply put on the age restrictions.

The same is true for mail servers, like Google Mail (gmail.)

Like @qwazse, I tell parents that they should create their own accounts for their Scouts to use, but they should monitor the activity to supervise content and conduct.  If they feel their Scout can handle it at 13, then they can help the Scout create her own accounts. 

This also applies to Scoutbook.  A Scout cannot activate their own Scoutbook account until they are invited by their parent with a unique email address, and email servers have to comply with COPPA.

The Scouts should have them, because it is part of learning responsibility in the digital world.  But, we always defer to the prerogative of the parents.  We have a few 14 year old Scouts who get all of their messages, texts, correspondence, etc., through their parents.


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