Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Omegle Website Review

What Parents Need to Know

 This chat site’s catchphrase, "Talk to strangers!", says it all. Though created by an 18-year-old, Omegle is not for kids. The site puts two strangers together in a chat room. Though chats start out anonymous, users often ask for and share personal information. Language is uncensored and sexual come-ons and requests for email addresses are common. Omegle can be fun when both users desire a real conversation. It might be worth the effort for older teens willing to sift through the trash talk. But younger kids, especially girls, should steer clear.

Is It Any Good?

Omegle takes anonymous two-person chat to the next, satirical level with its tongue-in-cheek "Talk to strangers!" slogan and “You” and “Stranger” chat handles. The interface is barebones, but the 'tude makes it a hipper choice some other chat sites. There are even iPhone and iPod versions for "strangers on the go." Meeting a (possibly beautiful) stranger online gives anonymous chat sites like Omegle an element of danger and excitement that most kids crave.  Teen creator Leif K-Brooks describes it simply as a place to "make new friends," and we did chat with some nice kids. But it's also a fertile hunting ground for sexual predators who can take advantage of the anonymity. K-Brooks says he's working to make the site safer. Until then we don't recommend it for kids younger than 17.


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