After 14 years, chat website Omegle shuts downReading Time: 2 minutes
Another site has gone offline for good.
After 14 years, Omegle is dead. The chat website experienced a bit of a revival during the pandemic, but now it’s gone offline for good. The internet has mixed feelings about its shutdown.
The chat service worked by pairing two random users together so they could talk to each other, over video or text. It’s a cool idea, in theory, an attempt to facilitate human connection online. But it was also created by an 18-year-old who couldn’t fully grasp its scope — so it got bad, fast. Some have called it a ‘magnet for pedophiles,’ and it’s been part of multiple legal proceedings regarding young people’s experiences on the site.
In a post on the Omegle site — strangely started with a quote from C.S. Lewis and another by Douglas Adams — Omegle founder Leif K-Brooks told a very intense personal story about survival, being interested in ‘debating moral philosophy,’ computer programming, and creating Omegle before announcing the site has shut down.
‘The battle for Omegle has been lost, but the war against the Internet rages on,’ K-Brooks wrote, following a manifesto about the difficulties of content moderation. ‘Virtually every online communication service has been subject to the same kinds of attack as Omegle; and while some of them are much larger companies with much greater resources, they all have their breaking point somewhere.’
That’s as close as we got in the 1,746-word statement to an actual reason for Omegle’s shutdown.
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