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Cybertip.ca Alerts

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Latest Alert:

Cybertip.ca receives reports of extreme harm facilitated on Discord®


Cybertip!ca® has received 800+ reports involving Discord over the past 12 months1. Many of these reports deal with extreme violence happening to 13 - 17-year-olds on the platform.

Reports involving Discord surged by 284% in the past two years2 when compared to the two years previous3. What is especially concerning is the severity of online violence indicated in reports to Cybertip.ca that involve Discord.

How are predators connecting with youth?

Many of the reports concerning Discord involved multiple platforms. Some offenders met the youth on a separate platform then moved their communication to Discord where the conversation turned sexual or threatening. Individuals can easily connect with youth on Discord via server channels (which are essentially chat rooms), direct messages, as well as audio and video calls. Others meet youth in Discord chat rooms geared to kids, then move the youth to other platforms, such as Snapchat®, Instagram®, and text messaging to facilitate longer-term communication.

What harm is occurring?

Children and families report that predators are using Discord to communicate with youth in direct messages as well as in chat rooms. Some of these chat rooms have been tied to extremist groups, known to target children for sexual exploitation. Below are examples of what is occurring.

Threatening to harm themselves if the child does not comply:

Some offenders convince youth that they are in a relationship together, grooming and manipulating the child into believing that they cannot leave the relationship without consequences. In some reports to Cybertip.ca, offenders have threatened to harm themselves or die by suicide if the youth does not send more intimate images. This control tactic, in many instances, works because the youth believe they are in a relationship, and do not want the person to harm themselves. Offenders may also isolate the youth by continually suggesting they are the only person the youth can trust.

Threatening harm to the child or their family:

Predators are threatening youth, saying if they do not comply with their demands, they will physically harm the child or people they care about (e.g. threatening sexual assault, physical assault, murder). Another tactic is to threaten to share the youth’s nudes or tell people that the youth is a child offender.

Requesting images of self-harm from the child:

Cybertip.ca is starting to see reports of predators encouraging children to self-harm. They may then demand to see proof of the child’s self harm and share the material online. Some youths are also being encouraged to die by suicide and livestream the act4.

How can you help protect your child online?

Cybertip.ca recommends all parents and caregivers talk to their children about the risks of using Discord, or any app that has a chat function, and reinforce that they can always go to you if they witness or experience harm online. It is important that you reinforce to your child that you are there for them no matter what. For help reviewing privacy settings on Discord, see our April 2023 Cybertip.ca Alert about Discord.

Visit Cybertip.ca for more information about online sexual violence, how to support your child if they have been victimized, and to report instances of online sexual exploitation. Youth can access support, resources, and help with next steps if they have been sexually victimized online at NeedHelpNow.ca.

  1. 1 As of May 27, 2024
  2. 2 May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2024
  3. 3 May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2022
  4. 4 CBC News, “Violent online groups are pressuring youth into harming themselves, authorities warn”, posted on February 9, 2024.

The tips and other information provided herein is intended as general information only, not as advice. Readers should assess all information in light of their own circumstances, and any other relevant factors. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience; C3P cannot be responsible for the accuracy of information provided by third parties. All trademarks used are property of their respective owners. Information current as of May 27, 2024.

The tips and other information provided herein is intended as general information only, not as legal or other advice. Readers should assess all information in light of their own circumstances, and any other relevant factors.


Previously Issued Cybertip.ca Alerts