For some, it’s an exhibitionist paradise, where people (but primarily men) can freely do as they please without ever revealing their real identities.
“Good luck with your work, don’t give up hope, because of some [Chatroulette]-wankers,” a 19-year-old tells me, shortly after having asked me for nude photos.
The site is, predictably, largely male — or, as he puts it, “the sausage to pussy ration is ridiculous ...
When I asked users what others sites they used for the same purpose, few had an answer.
Chat service Omegle was the most common, but thanks to Chatroulette’s notoriety and easy use, it remains the go-to solution for many looking for a quick, free way to get their rocks off with a stranger.
“But it sucks when I meet young kids and they are basically forced to see that type of stuff. But then again, I don’t think young ones should be using this.” Chatroulette still allows its users to report anyone they find violating its rules, but very few that I talked to will file a complaint against someone for nudity. One said they wanted for a feature that would allow them to block other men, while one user from Texas told me they think the site needs better protection for minors.
The user from Croatia, who described the current community as “very horny,” says he’s not surprised by what the site’s become.
“This site and others like it are what happens when you give people anonymity,” says Ryan, a user from Pennsylvania.
“I could whip it out right now for you, and as long as I don’t show my face to you, I could walk by you tomorrow on the street and you would never know it was the same person.” But the conundrum of Chatroulette as it exists today is how often men vehemently deny to me that they masturbate in front of other men, and how few women there actually are on the service.
“If you give most men the tools for harassment online, they’ll do it.” And the issue of consent on Chatroulette is a tricky one.
Some believe logging onto the service is as good as saying yes to seeing a rogue dick; others says they leave their clothes on and ask first before they start removing anything.
Its name resurfaced over the years as a curiosity for those who went through the same “hey, remember when? Browsing the site today, you’ll find an interface slightly more sleek than the original AIM-like screen.
It’s been eight years since the site’s supposed death, but a small community persists.
Over and over, I asked users currently in the act why they use the platform to find women when they’re the first to admit there are so few. “I wish they would give me a warning before throwing that in my face, but whatever. You’ll see worse things.” He says he will, however, report anyone spreading hate messages or committing violence.