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Chat Roulette: Sex Predator 101L-111

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There has been a lot of news recently about the website Chat Roulette and how it is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world. Frankly, I did not think anything of the site until I saw a viral video on youtube in which a piano player improvises and sings songs about the people he encounters on the site (linked below).

For those who do not know what Chat Roulette is, the premise is simple: video chat with a random person. From the beginning I was a little concerned about such a website. I have a hard enough time video chatting with my friends from high school, let alone video chatting with a middle-aged Russian man who is seductively laying down on a bean bag chair in his parent’s basement. However, as a curious human being, I recently found myself checking out the website with a group of my friends. Almost immediately I was greeted with an image of male genitalia that I am still working on removing from my brain. Unfortunately with this website, there is a greater chance of running into a sexual predator. This is because the website is virtually anonymous. If a user is reported for three times, then they are banned from the site, but only for 10 minutes. Obviously, this is not a very effective method of keeping these monsters off the site.

After my experience on this website, I reached out to see if my friends consistently visited the site. Some of them replied that they do, but only because they like to laugh at those who they encounter. Frankly, there is a bit of humor in wondering what kind of human, or body part, to expect next. This is why the YouTube video mentioned earlier has gathered over 1.5 million views (it originally had more but was removed from YouTube after some in the video complained about not consenting). People found it humorous and exciting not knowing what to expect. The YouTube video has gathered so much attention that even Ben Folds has done a replica improv-based song in his concerts. I find it interesting how a simple viral video can cause thousands of people to check out a certain website. I would never have visited the website if I hadn’t seen the video. Instances like this are another example of how viral videos indirectly spread information to millions of people. The video can be seen as a sort of advertisement for the website. With videos like this on the rise, it will be interesting to see how much of a role they play in marketing. Perhaps even professional advertising agencies will adapt as their role in product promotion begins to diminish.

With regards to Chat Roulette, a recent tweet by comedian Dane Cook explained it all:

“www.ChatRoulette.com is like the Mos Eisley Cantina. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”

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Written by mikedepetris

March 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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