A website called Chatroulette that links strangers' webcams, has been soaring in popularity as it is a haven for explicit material.
The addictive new page describes itself as a "brand new service for one-on-one text, webcam and microphone-based chat with people around the world" and boasts of more than 10,000 concurrent users at any one time. The number often reaches 16,000 and beyond.
AdvertisementThe website, dubbed "surreal", "addictive" and "frightening", lets browsers connect to other people and apparently do anything they like once they are logged in or have their web cameras turned on, reports the Guardian.
But the possibility of Internet video chats with random strangers through the service was said to have become basis for sex games for some users.
Veteran blogger Jason Kottke confessed encountering nudity, sexual activity and strange behaviour after trying the site.
He said: "I observed several people drinking malt liquor, two girls making out, many, many guys who disconnected as soon as they saw I wasn't female, [and] several girls who disconnected after seeing my face."
The site maintains it "does not tolerate broadcasting obscene, offending, pornographic material" and not all are convinced that it potentially endorses "perversion and sexual innuendo".
Fred Wilson, a New York-based venture capitalist with Union Square Ventures who has invested in dozens of dotcom companies, including Twitter, said: "The internet is this huge network with over a billion people worldwide on it. Chatroulette feels like a pretty cool way to take a quick trip around that network, meeting people and talking to them."
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