SIMILAR SITE - CHAT ROULETTE
OMEGLE markets itself as an app / website that users can talk to strangers. When user sign in, OMEGLE randomly pairs them with another user and allows them to chat together privately either through text, video, or using a built-in microphone. Even on OMEGLE’s website, it clearly states “predators have been known to use OMEGLE, so please be safe”. The purpose of OMEGLE is to make new friends, connect with someone with similar interests, or just to pass the time.
1) Why are teens using Omegle?
As described above, Periscope is a live broadcasting service which, since "Facebook Live" and other similar features were released on the popular social networking sites, doing live video streams are a modern day a fast way of communicating with people you may or may not know.
2) What are the risks of Omegle
There has been some serious controversy over the years after crimes were committed by users who met young girls on the app.
As an example, In 2014, a 22-year-old man used the app to chat with two local 13-year-old girls. Through the private chat, they exchanged information and arranged to meet up. After the man picked up the girls, he eventually took them back to his house and sexually assaulted both of them. The police found the girls “huddled behind a couch in the basement, crying and upset.”
OMEGLE themselves openly state predators are known to use it's website "So please be safe".
3) If Omegle is so risky, why is the age limit only 13?
Like a blanket on almost all social media, the age restriction of 13 has been thrown over it. It is very clear it asks you have parents permission if under 18 but there is no way to validate this request, so users can access all parts of the site with no moderation or site administrators monitoring. The majority of parents spoken to around OMEGLE believe it should be age restricted to 18 years.
4) I've never heard of this, do kids really go on it?
Absolutely. A common situation that kids will access OMEGLE is during a sleep over, usually being dared to access the site / app by their friends. When kids are left unattended with their curiosities, they often take risks they wouldn't take normally.
quick RISK guide
EXTREME / VIOLENT CONTENT
OMEGLE has no help centre and there is no easy way to contact their staff or report features.
On top of this, they openly state that their moderation "isn't perfect" and effectively cannot completely protect you.
My advice to any parent is to avoid your teen using OMEGLE or the equivalent CHATROULETTE websites or APPS
There are many other ways out there to connect with people online that have better reporting facilities and moderation.