Chatroulette had launched the trend in the late 2000s: to connect perfect strangers through computer video conversations. Concretely, the site randomly connects two connected people in order to be able to chat through the interposed webcam. Everyone has the opportunity to have another conversation with a different person at any time if they wish.
Le service had exploded in popularity in 2010 thanks to this innovative concept before seeing the commitment resumed in the following years. Since then, other sites and services of the same type have appeared and gone beyond the original.
In 2019, the craze for these sites has increased again with the health crisis and the various confinements. Alone in their homes, many people take advantage of Bazoocam, Chatrandom, Strangercam or Omegle to break boredom and loneliness. Today in France it is estimated that one million users connect to the latter site every month.
Et c’est justement Omegle, which is now in the spotlight of the French government after a survey was published on the website of Kool Mag, an online parenting magazine for parents. In fact, the site denounces the presence of exhibitionists of mature age on this very common platform by young people.
Voyeurs and exhibitionists already present for several years
Kool Mag founder Baptiste des Monstiers says he surfed the site on a Wednesday afternoon and met dozens of children and teens ages 9 to 15 looking for new buddies.
I also saw that they are likely to come into contact with these children. “Dozens of men masturbating, showing off, some disguised as women wearing women’s underwear“.