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Controversial live video chat platform Omegle shuts down operations

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) Live video chat platform Omegle, that found itself in a massive controversy after a BBC investigation in 2021 found that children are exposing themselves to strangers on the website, has shut down after 15 years.

The website was founded in 2009 by a then 18-year-old programmer and high school student known as Leif K-Brooks.

The website became popular in India, apart from the US, Mexico and the UK, during the pandemic times.

Omegle links up random people for virtual video and text chats, and claims to be moderated, and thousands of users are from India too.

In a blog post, K-Brooks said that over the years, people have used Omegle to explore foreign cultures, to get advice about their lives from impartial third parties, and to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

However, he said that the battle for Omegle has been lost, but the war against the Internet rages on.

“As much as I wish circumstances were different, the stress and expense of this fight – coupled with the existing stress and expense of operating Omegle, and fighting its misuse – are simply too much. Operating Omegle is no longer sustainable, financially nor psychologically. Frankly, I don’t want to have a heart attack in my 30s,” K-Brooks wrote.

The BBC investigation had found the website “could link users with adult material even more frequently”.

Schools and law authorities in several countries had issued warnings about the website.

“Despite the website’s disclaimer saying that users should be over 18, and that users between 13 and 18 should use the site with parental permission, there is no age verification service on the site,” reported The Independent.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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