With a long and very sincere farewell letter which now occupies the sparse homepage, Omegle is officially closing its doors after 14 years of infamous service. It was the best-known portal for anonymous video calls without registration with complete strangers, an evolution of the initial text-only chat then enriched by the video part after about a year. Created in 2009 by Leif K Brooks (just 18 years old at the time) with social and positive intentions, it definitively failed due to improper use by users and costs that had now become unsustainable.
“There can be no honest account of Omegle without acknowledging that some people have abused it, even committing unspeakably heinous crimes“, Brooks bluntly admits in his farewell published a little while ago on the new homepage, coinciding with the deactivation of the platform. The reference is obviously to increasingly predominant behavior beyond the limit: by now a small part of users used Omegle for normal conversations, while even serious jokes, bullying episodes, up to scam attempts, nudity or sexual acts shown in the room to others were widespread. users connected to the service. And say that Omegle had done its best to try to combat this abuse of the servicealso using artificial intelligence to detect for example those who appeared naked so as to end the call and ban them and setting up a large group of moderators.
Recent very serious problems such as case of the 11-year-old girl placed in a chat with a sexual predator (let us also remember that access was theoretically only for adults) and increasingly stringent regulations by numerous nations around the world led Brooks to throw in the towel, stating that he was very proven not only on a financial but also psychological level from this continuous fight against abuse. The last sentence of the founder’s open letter is emblematic: “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has used Omegle for positive purposes and to everyone who has contributed in any way to the success of the site. I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep fighting for you”.
The post first appeared on www.wired.it