What Every Parent Must Know:
The New Video Chat Site
With No Real Age Restriction Or Reporting
If you somehow missed this story on the news, it's a biggie. There is a new social networking video-chat site where users go on-line with their lap-top web-cam and talk to strangers around the world via camera and text.
The roulette aspect is the gambling nature of it all: you never know who you will get "next".
And if you don't like who you see, you can "next" them in a millisecond click to the next person . . . and vice versa.
Sounds interesting at first glance. Who wouldn't be intrigued by finding another person your age or with your interests in Paris or Shanghai? A global Skype or Hitchcock's "Rear Window"?
I tried it out briefly- www.chatroulette.com - and was just horrified thinking about young kids on this site. With this much provocative stuff so easily displayed, it's a porn site. The other side participants were very young - there are no restrictions (sure they have a statement on the site about it being restricted to kids younger than 16; and no porn allowed, but that's it . . . a statement.).
There are three videos below, the first Vimeo is highly recommended as it is from a real user's point-of-view with some casual data:
#1 - Vimeo
#2 - CNN - Campbell Brown interview with two adult participant "guinea pigs"
#3 - Good Morning America - 3 min.
Link to a New York Times interview with 17-year old Russian founder here.