Have you ever played Russian roulette? Yes, you have. Almost every legal adult has ever been to Vegas has played it at one point or another, but, the same cannot be said for wide-eyed teenagers that have only seen such games being played through the filtered lens of a camera. It was probably the rather “forbidden until you’re of age” charm that would have made ChatRoulette so popular among the teens during the time of its inception.
So riveting was the hold ChatRoulette had on the teens that when it’s then 17 years old creator Andrey Ternovsky came up with the idea, the entire world came to a standstill, Ternovsky initially only had 20 users back in 2009 when the site launched. Soon, he noticed that a number of users started doubling every day and today has about 1.5 million active users every single day. 1.5 million Is a huge number in this time and age since it says that a website has made it in the age of the internet.
The Power and Responsibility
Unfortunately for us, if Ternovsky had watched a little more of Spiderman and done a little less of coding, he would have known for a fact that with great power comes great responsibility. He created a great website that had limitless potential in terms of accessibility and entertainment.
But the lack of proper authority and rules on the website makes it somewhat lacking in the essential art of propriety there are basically two main problems with the website.
- The Issue of Sign Up
The biggest issue being faced by the user who has been using ChatRoulette quite diligently since the time of its inception knows that the website didn’t really require users to register onto the website before joining in on the fun. ChatRoulette did encourage users to register themselves, yet it was not a mandatory thing to do. This resulted in many people not registering which lead to many cases of inappropriate exposure of the website that not only have resulted in traumatizing grown adults but also many young teens who frequented the website.
Due to extreme criticism faced by the website because of its relaxed terms of registration as well as apparent lack of any terms and conditions implemented by the use of this website, the minds behind ChatRoulette made it mandatory for every single user joining the website to register themselves and adhere to the code of conduct.
- Explicit Content
According to various surveys that have taken place over the years, it has been discovered that every 1 out of 8 people tends to be someone who has their genitals on display on the camera on ChatRoulette. Either that or they may have their camera trained onto their general crotch area and away from their face and ask the person they have been matched with to expose their genitals or fondle them as well. Due to such occurrences, ChatRoulette had been rightfully dubbed as the app that serves as “a source of live porn for teenagers”. This makes conservative and even open-minded parents dislike the idea of their teen spending any amount of time on this site especially if the ChatRoulette authorities will do nothing more than prohibiting the users to broadcast what he or she may wish to broadcast for the next 40 minutes or so, which is nothing. Even though ChatRoulette has addressed the problem now and it has long since been resolved, still it is not a place for a teen of any age to hang out.
- Exposure to Online Predators
These days, pedophiles and sexual predators, have left no stone unturned when it comes to looking for a medium to fulfill their sexual needs. Thus, when they come across a portal that has quite relaxed terms and conditions when it comes to nudity, and it even doesn’t require you to register on the website. Furthermore, it is a website frequented by young girls and boys on a daily basis. This makes it a hub for sick people as they have unlimited number choices when it comes to finding someone who will give them the sexual gratification they crave. This makes this place a parent’s nightmare, especially since it is the perfect place to groom young people and exploit them.
With all of that being said, nothing needs to be added to sort of set the word in stone that ChatRoulette is not a place parents should let their children visit, unsupervised or not.
Aline Carrara is social media experimentalist and latest technology blogger at TheOneSpy Cell Phone Monitoring App Blog. She is also working as a digital Parenting coach. To know more about her follow her on Twitter @AlineCarrara7