Feb 17, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes
The, um, fad of the day is something called Chat Roulette. Launched last November and spread through word of mouth, the idea is that you open your mic and video, then connect to a random stranger to have a live online video chat. Great idea, right? Well, the key word here is stranger. Kottke reports, "During my session, the average "chat" lasted about 5 seconds and I observed several people drinking malt liquor, two girls making out, many many guys who disconnected as soon as they saw I wasn't female, several girls who disconnected after seeing my face..." and more. Now I don't take any of this too seriously, and so to me it's pretty funny. The plain site is safe to visit. But you need to be pretty tolerant if you continue from there. Mashable askes readers, will you Chatroulette? Here's a link to some Chat Roulette screenshots (mildly NSFW). More screenshots (warning, disturbing, NSFW (but if seen in the appropriate frame of mind, hilarious) here. More links from Pontydysgu, Cynical-C, NY Mag, Anil Dash, Jezebel (NSFW).
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