Chatroulette Shines Webcam Where Kids Shouldn't Look
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2010 Feb 18
I ran across another article about the popular Chatroulette website I posted about earlier in the week. Chatroulette allows people to video chat with random strangers... The author warns parents to keep their kids away from the site.
Make sure there are no kids in the room if you plan on trying out the Chatroulette video chat service. While I was able to have a couple of very nice conversations with fully clothed polite individuals, I saw some things I would rather have avoided as I tested this relatively new service.
When you first enter the site you'll see two large black boxes and a blank area for text chat. As soon as you click "play," you'll see a stranger's picture in the top box and--at least on my machine--a notice asking if you wish to allow the site to access your video camera. If you click "allow," you'll see your picture in the bottom box.
And that's where the fun--or nausea--starts.
On a couple of occasions, I saw people who hung around long enough to start a conversation either through the Webcam microphone or by text chat.
Unfortunately, I also saw some things that I didn't find particular appealing, including a few men who were touching themselves while the camera focused on their genitals. I didn't hang around long enough to start up a conversation. There is only so far I'm willing to go in pursuit of a story.
Source: CNET News