Each month we alert you to a site that you need to be aware of to protect your teen social media users. This month we are warning you about: Omegle.
We generally advise strongly against minors using what are called “Chatroullete-type” sites where strangers are randomly matched online to interact with each other. Omegle is one such site, and its home page should give you a glaring indication of why we recommend teens should avoid it.
- “When you use Omegle, we pick someone else at random and let you talk one-on-one. To help you stay safe, chats are anonymous unless you tell someone who you are (not suggested!), and you can stop a chat at any time. Predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful.” (Emphasis added.)
The site has a disturbing history:
- A 23-year-old man met two 13-year-old girls while chatting through Omegle. The man confessed to police that he believed the girls were unhappy and agreed to pick them up near where they lived. He drove them around and eventually to his home where he sexually assaulted them.
- The Telegraph quotes in this article an 11-year-old girl saying, “On Omegle this man was pulling, touching and showing his privates.”
- After coaxing a schoolgirl into sending him explicit shots through Omegle, a man threatened to publish them online unless she sent him another graphic image of herself.
Omegle does offer a “monitored chat” where a moderator filters out inappropriate content, but our best guess is that most teens using the site are bypassing this option. So, please do you what you can to keep your teen off this site.