Beware of ChatRoulette

Once again, we have a new use of the internet which is flat out dangerous to kids.  Thank you, Common Sense Media, for looking into this.  Please read the full review at Common Sense Media.  Here’s an excerpt…

The first time on CHATROULETTE is an unnerving experience. Almost immediately upon entering the site (there’s no log in or registration) you’re face-to-face with a total stranger whose saying “Hi” and asking you where you’re from. It’s an experience unlike anything else on the Internet right now. Created by a 17-year-old student in Russia, Chatroulette combinines the social networking of Facebook, with the web cam abilities of Skype this site takes full advantage of the anonymous capability of the Internet. You are just “You” and the person on the other end of the screen is just “Stranger.” The site itself isn’t much to look at, just bare bones text boxes and camera squares, but really that is enough in itself.

“The technology isn’t new by any means, however this use definitely is. The scariness of seeing a string of strange men’s naked torsos is enough to send most people fleeing from the site in terror, however there is something strangely addicting to this social “gambling” that speaks volumes to the human condition. Look for more regulated sites springing up that tweak this concept and reign in the content in the near future. Also expect to hear a lot more about this site as it explodes onto the mainstream. Whatever you do, don’t let your kids use it.”

This new form of Russian Roulette will be pointed right at our kids, unless we keep a close watch.  May this serve as a reminder that kids need a lot of guidance and supervision as they use the internet.  Here are some excellent safety guidelines from Common Sense Media.

Author: Andy Kerckhoff

I'm a husband, father, teacher. I'm doing my best, wishing I could do better, and trying to help others to effectively lead kids through early adolescence.

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