Webometric Thoughts

March 9, 2010

How bad is Chatroulette?

Filed under: Chatroulette,Mr Shifter — admin @ 10:15 pm

Everywhere I turn at the moment there seems to be a story about Chatroulette.com. Press a button and you are in a random video chat with a stranger somewhere else in the world. Unsurprisingly it is painted as the latest sign of the world going to hell in a handcart: “Who will protect the children?”

As a particularly unsocial social media researcher I decided to do a quick quantitative study of first impressions of the people I came across on the site: clothed or naked/obscene, male or female. As I didn’t particularly want to engage with anyone, but needed to put the web cam on to encourage the broadest cross-section, I set it up for Mr Shifter:

Out of 100 web cams in which the subject was identifiable.
79% were men.
5 contained more than one man.
11 were obscene.
10% were female.
2 contained more than one woman.
1 was obscene.
2% were mixed sex groups
9% were objects
- mostly signs saying “show me you boobs”.
In addition, I also came across one camera supposedly of a man who had just hung himself…I wasn’t too sure where to place that one.

So what did I find out? The world is mostly just looking to talk, there’s some weirdos out there, and one bloke who wanted to see the monkey dance…and was thrilled when he obliged.


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