Basically, this Springfield, Massachusetts affiliate decided to hop on the Chatroulette hysteria bandwagon and found… basically nothing. But that didn’t stop them from hyping it up.
Checking out Chatroulette actually leads to checking out a whole lot more of people than anyone should ever see.
And precisely how much of people should anyone ever see? Being a member of profession that owes its very existence to the concept of free speech, exactly how much is too much? Where would you, as a journalist, draw the line with regard to what other people are allowed?
While many people on the other side of the chat are fully clothed, some of them were online for something else.
Are you being intentionally ambiguous?
Of course you don’t have to stick around for the show if you don’t want to. All you have to do is hit “F9″ on your keyboard which instantly hooks you up with another person. However, there’s no guarantee the next chat will be any less obscene.
Nice of you to mention that only people who want to be there are ever actually on Chatroulette. But it’s nice that you’re looking after them, sort of like a parent even though you don’t actually even know any of them and not all are children.
It’s also interesting that you’re now using the word ‘obscene’, although you’re still only vaguely implying that anything offensive popped up.
What’s worse, there are children mingling among the tens of thousands on Chatroulette. We found an 11 year old boy using the website. Chances are, he’s seeing the same things we did. Parents say, it’s frightening.
Wow. You came across a child. Just one? And he apparently saw the same things you saw, which may or may not be anything at all.
Easthampton parent Laurie Medina says “It worries me and makes me nervous that someone could be trying to get to my kid.”
Springfield mother Debra Hubster says “Why would you want a little kid to see something like that. It’s scary. It’s gross.”
Well, that’s precisely why children have parents. Parents have the option of tell their kids, “No”. Of course, there’s always the option of dumbing down all communications on the internet (and everywhere else for that matter) to the level of an eleven year old…
But another man told us he comes on the site to meet nice girls… even “sexy girls”. When we asked him what he thought about young children being on the website, we quickly got “nexted.”
Heaven forbid that someone would be looking for sex on a social networking site. Maybe he “nexted” you because he could see that you were cruising for material to hype the ‘dangers’ of Chatroulette in order to boost ratings. He was probably there to socialize and was assaulted by you rudely interjecting yourself into his business as part of your crusade. Given the number of reporters doing the same thing these days, he probably has to weed through dozens of reporters to find anyone to “socialize” with.
While you may think Chatroulette is harmless since it’s people who don’t know who you really are or where you live, you’re wrong. Check out Chatroulettemap.com, a site full of photos of Chatroulette users right here in Western Mass and around the world. Essentially a stranger takes your IP addresses, a snapshot of you from their computer and posts it on an Internet map for the world to see.
Does it give your street address? Your phone number? Is it really any less secure than Facebook or Myspace or Google? Or are you just trying to make it sound scarier than it really is?
The creator of Chatroulette claims he has been able to block new information from being added to the page. But, there is really no way of knowing whether or not that’s true.
Well, probably not for someone of your limited journalistic prowess…
Another anonymous young Chatroulette user we spoke with from Ireland says “You can talk with other people from other countries. And, see some boobs.”
And, as everyone knows, the sight of boobs is known to cause irreparable brain damage. When I was a kid, I had to sneak a peek at National Geographic to get brain damage. At eight I played doctor with a neighbor kid which, nowadays, would probably earn felony charges and a lifetime membership on the registered sex offender list.
I guess we should rejoice that the author didn’t refer to Chatroulette as the next crack cocaine, but it was characterized as being “addicting” (ie: fun).