I’ve been seeing Omegle pop up in the media a lot in the past couple of weeks. It seems that parents are finally catching wise to the site’s purpose. It’s gotten to the point where the vaunted British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has published quite the story on Omegle, and they did not pull any punches.
For those who still may not know what Omegle is, it’s a website that allows video chat between two random people. Omegle’s own motto is “Talk to strangers.” Omegle’s video chat can be accessed on any internet enabled device that has a camera and a web browser. That means it can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Omegle has no real age check and can be accessed by anyone of any age. It’s also a haven for predators and child porn collectors.
It turns out that the BBC discovered what I’ve known for the past 12 years. There’s a lot of harmful content happening on Omegle that involves minors.
During the approximately 10 hours that we monitored Omegle, we were paired with dozens of under-18s, and some appeared to be as young as seven or eight.
During just one two-hour period, we were connected at random with 12 masturbating men, eight naked males and seven porn adverts.
Those last numbers seem kind of low if you ask me.
Anyway, while this is probably the main purpose of Omegle, it’s not its only purpose. A lot of YouTubers and TikTokers like to post prank videos to their various channels. Since both video platforms are targeted mostly toward younger users, this leads the underage kids to Omegle.
But after writing about Omegle for years, this is the first report I’ve seen that names the owner of Omegle and his name is Leif K Brooks. He is said to have created the site when he was 18 in 2009 and still owns the site. According to the BBC, Brooks claims that Omegle is moderated and blocks users under 13. He also says that Omegle has assisted in the arrest and prosecution of predators which is true. But like many other platforms that claim to be helping, Omegle is essentially creating the problem they claim to be stopping. You cannot be both the problem and the solution. So, while Brooks claims to be assisting law enforcement, he’s also making money off the grooming of children and the trading of child porn that happens on Omegle.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the world of Omegle, (ew) I recommend reading the full article from the BBC. However, be warned as some of its content can be considered disturbing.
- Omegle: Children expose themselves on video chat site (BBC)