The Problems with Omegle Girls and Free Chat Services
Ever since 2008, when Omegle.com was first launched, it has been criticized for its lack of monitoring. People were complaining that never mind where you look on the site, you end up running into nudity and obscenity and the site wasn’t doing enough to prevent this.
As this article will demonstrate though, the issue is far more significant than unsuspected viewers stumbling on a few Omegle girls with minimal clothing. The controversy is more significant because it deals with lack of supervision on free video chat rooms and the question if such supervision can ever be effective. Read through this short write-up and you’ll see that there is more to this topic than meets the eye.
Omegle Girls and Guys Can’t Seem to Keep Their Clothes On
Anyone who has ever used Omegle (and since this site is reportedly drawing approximately 150,000 page views every day, clearly many people are using it) has noticed that the people on this friendly chat service just can’t seem to be able to keep their panties on. You want to make new friends, get some laughs and maybe discuss serious things and as soon as you hit that Stranger Chat button, there is a penis on your screen.
This is not some rare event, but more of a widely-spread phenomenon. There is a huge number of Omegle girls and guys that evidently come to the site only to expose themselves indecently and not surprisingly, there are also people who long on juts to watch these acts. If you wonder what all the fuss is about and think to yourself: Well, you can always just skip to the next chat room”, the problem is a bit more complex than mere prudency and has a lot to do with lack of supervision and meaningless disclaimers.
The Real Issue isn’t Nudity, but the Utter Lack of Moderation
For a very long time, until January 2013 actually, no one was monitoring the video chat rooms on Omegle.com. The result wasn’t just that some people were showing off or engaging in sexual acts on webcam, but more that everyone could do it and all viewers were exposed to it.
Omegle is a free video chat service, meaning that everyone could use it without any age verification. The site has no way of determining the age of people who choose to remove their clothes or those who watch them, and the faint disclaimer was hardly enough to quiet the site’s critics.
The creator of the site, Leif K-Brooks, did say that he was disappointed that the site was misused as it was. However, this is either showing genuine naivety on his side or a reluctance to take the blame, because this phenomenon is hardly new or unheard of. Just give the people a free chat platform and they use it for sexual purposes – it’s an unpleasant fact about humanity perhaps, but nevertheless it is completely true. Omegle eventually had to address this issue and it chose to treat it seriously for the first time only this year.
Omegle.com Now Monitors Chat Rooms – But Is It Enough?
As of January 2013, Omegle users will see a banner informing them that video chats are now monitored 24/7 so “Keep your clothes on”. Adult users are invited to click and go to an unmonitored video chat service, which is really just MyFreeCams.com in a not-so-serious disguise. This action may appease those who have been criticizing Omegle, but in reality though this is too little and too late to make any real change.
First, the link to MyFreeCams.com shows that any action taken by the site is only a meaningless disclaimer. Users can simply follow the link to view anything they want and again, without verifying their ages, and watch the same actions with no supervision.
More significantly though: Because monitoring cannot happen simultaneously on all chat rooms, users can still manage to come across a lot of nudity before the moderators come to remove it. Many viewers are likely not to report such events, because some of them wish to watch them, and the huge number of users will guarantee that while 100 indecent chat rooms will be closed by moderators, 200 new ones will be promptly opened.
We can conclude, therefore, that nothing has really changed other than the site’s official attitude and while this makes a nice headline to those who mange the site, it has no real effect on the millions who use it.