General Question

Violet's avatar

(potentially NSFW) Does chatroulette want a lawsuit?

Asked by Violet (6566 points ) February 25th, 2010

I just found out about this site called chatroulette. It’s a site where people can chat through webcam, sound, and IM, but by clicking Next, you chat with someone else picked at random.

They have this “agreement” that says:
1.You have to be at least 16 years old to use our service
2.Chatroulette does not tolerate broadcasting obscene, offending, pornographic material and and we will have to block users who violate these rules from using our service.
3.Please use “Report inappropriate video” link to notify us about inappropriate content and we will take necessary steps.
4.Everything supplied by the user you are connected with is not property of Chatroulette, and therefore Chatroulette is not responsible for what you will find.
5.By using Chatroulette you agree to our Terms of Service.
6.Enjoy our service ;)

But when I went on, 50% of the videos were of men masturbating! A lot of the other users were minors.
This seems like a pedophile’s dream.
What do you think about this site?
Is this legal?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

62 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

Doesn’t seem legal to me.
The age should be 18, not 16.
The site should know and be aware of what it’s attracting and they should react accordingly. Apparently, they haven’t done this and are at risk of multiple lawsuits.
It sounds like it’s borderline live streaming porn, which is all fine and dandy, but not for 16 year olds.

Sarcasm's avatar

There are Terms of Service for a reason. :|

ragingloli's avatar

The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined after a comprehensive study of the phenomenon, that those 50% are /b/-tards streaming porn videos they downloaded somewhere else or animated GIFs to troll people. They then take screenshots of the reaction faces of the trolled victims and post them on /b/ for the amusement of everyone. 25% are also /b/ tards that do not contribute to the trolling.

davidbetterman's avatar

It is just as legal as Yahoo IM or MSN Messenger, or any other chatroom.

jrpowell's avatar

The guy who started it is 17 years old and lives in Russia.

edit :: traceroute. 16 could be the age of consent in Russia.

DominicX's avatar

I used Chatroulette with my friends not too long ago. It’s really fun when you’re drunk. :)

But yes, we encountered a lot of weird shit. Since the site is based in Russia, laws are different there.

ragingloli's avatar

If you do not believe me, here is proof.

Violet's avatar

@Vunessuh exactly!!!
@Sarcasm and there are also laws for a reason
@ragingloli what is a /b/-tards? streaming porn videos they downloaded somewhere else.. have you seen it? These men are masturbating, while typing/chatting. I can see them writing their responses to me. What I saw was real.
@johnpowell are you serious? So he just made one for every county and in every language?
@DominicX that would be a lot of fun drunk! lol

Violet's avatar

@ragingloli oh that 1 guy 2 fish video is hilarious!!!

StellarAirman's avatar

As @davidbetterman said, it’s no different than any other technology that allows people to video chat. The only difference is that it enables you to easily flip between random people. You can video chat with random people in the other technologies as well, it’s just not as easy as a button click. I don’t think the site should be held accountable for what people do with it. Any type of technology will be exploited for people to something creepy, that doesn’t mean it’s the technology’s fault. Putting an age requirement of 16 or 18 or 150 isn’t going to make any difference. Just like those little splash pages on porn sites don’t keep kids from going into them just because they have a button that says over 18 and one that says not over 18.

jrpowell's avatar

Oh, the age of consent is 16 in Russia. Link

Violet's avatar

@StellarAirman but the legal age to view pornographic material in the USA is 18.
@johnpowell I believe you. But this site is in English.. do you think it was meant for people in Russia?

DominicX's avatar

The age of consent is also 16 in Nevada. I don’t think that has much to do with it…

Violet's avatar

@DominicX what about to look at porn?

DominicX's avatar

@Violet

I don’t think there are really any laws about that. Porn sites ask if you are under/over 18 and of course, you can’t pay for porn if you’re under 18 (and you cannot participate in porn unless you are 18), but there really aren’t any laws against looking at free porn. There really wouldn’t be any way to enforce it. You can get porn using Google. Hell, I was 14 when I first started looking at porn…

Violet's avatar

@DominicX lol, I was much younger when I started looking at porn. This site does not ask if a person is over 16. It’s not even 18!
Yes, there are many laws about looking at porn as a minor. It’s a felony.

Vunessuh's avatar

What they should do to protect themselves is in the Terms of Use and User agreement put, no persons under the age of 16 years (18 and 21 in some places) are allowed, etc. etc.
A lot of sites do this.

Granted, they can’t stop who uses the site, but they sure as hell can protect themselves from lawsuits in other countries where the age of consent isn’t that of Russia’s.

DominicX's avatar

@Violet

I don’t think it’s a felony…

I was Googling around and the most I could find is that it’s illegal to distribute porn to a minor, so anyone caught doing that would be punished. Porn mags and such could also be confiscated if found in the possession of a minor, but other than that, it’s not something that can easily be enforced. I don’t know the exact law, though. Wasn’t easy to find because it varies so much between states.

Violet's avatar

@DominicX I’ll find you a good source and the actual law (I was just doing research on this a couple months ago)

DominicX's avatar

@Violet

Oh, I believe you, I just don’t think it applies to Chatroulette.

The rules of Chatroulette state that porn is not allowed and that those showing porn will be blocked. If it said porn was allowed and then said you had to be 16, that would be contradictory, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I don’t see how you could sue.

jrpowell's avatar

@Violet :: The age of consent is 16 in in the UK too. Last I heard they speak English.

Violet's avatar

@DominicX I could be mistaken. The research I was doing was about minors in possession of child porn, (teens taking nude pictures of themselves), which was a felony.
I couldn’t find anything about minors in possession of adult porn
I agree with you. But people are breaking this rule way too much.

Violet's avatar

@johnpowell yes (just fyi, age of consent and age to buy/view porn are 2 different things, but in this case, both of those ages in the UK are the same)

Sarcasm's avatar

I do not think you understand what terms of service are.
By using the site, you are agreeing that you are not posting pornographic material.
Age of consent, regardless of what state or country, does not matter. Because everyone who uses the site agrees they are not posting pornographic material.

Anyone who does post pornographic material is breaking the rules of Chatroulette.
The terms of service being the way that they are means you do not get to be an uppity motherfucker and sue the maker of Chatroulette. The terms of service being the way that they are means that, if he so wished, he (the owner of Chatroulette) can sue whomever is posting pornography.

Get it?

Violet's avatar

@Sarcasm you didn’t have to be rude about it

Sarcasm's avatar

I’m not being rude. I’m being clear.

Violet's avatar

“you do not get to be an uppity motherfucker and sue the maker of Chatroulette.”
and that was necessary to be clear?
I didn’t say I was going to sue, I was saying it seems likely someone would. And also the pedophiles would probably like this sites, since the minimum age to enter is 16

ragingloli's avatar

@Violet
“you” in this case means “everyone”, not just you. Blame the english language for a lack of vocabulary to make that more clear.

Sarcasm's avatar

And also the pedophiles would probably like this sites, since the minimum age to enter is 16
Well, lets be honest, 50% of the cams on there are penises, 25% are actual people. It’s a lot of sifting to get to the pornography of girls.
There are a lot more easily accessed databases of young girls. Not that I would know.

edit: Thanks @ragingloli. I clarified that to her when she popped into the chatroom. But it’s too late to edit my post for clarity now.

Violet's avatar

@Sarcasm I thought the majority of pedophiles liked boys..

ragingloli's avatar

@Violet
no, that would be christian priests

Violet's avatar

@ragingloli they’re not the same thing? (jk)

FutureMemory's avatar

@violet what is a /b/-tards?

/b/tard = someone that frequents the ”/b/” section of the huge website 4chan. It’s essentially a gathering place for wannabe bad ass kewl d00d hackers and other misc. internet-culture jerk offs.

4chan is extremely NSFW, proceed with caution.

http://boards.4chan.org/b/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4chan

Violet's avatar

@FutureMemory I can’t believe I didn’t know any of that. Thank you for the info and the links.

MacBean's avatar

God fucking dammit. First of all, sixteen is too old for most pedophiles. And the majority of sex offenders—child molesters included—are straight males. The gay molester stereotype is homophobic and flat-out ignorant. It has no fucking basis in reality.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

—A little off the post but @MacBean is right, pedophiles are mostly straight male adults who are sexually aroused by pre pubescent children and not all pedophiles become molesters.

filmfann's avatar

One of the rules of the Internet:
No good will come from owning a webcam.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Violet This upsets me also, but if the site is operating out of Russia any action would have to be taken in the Russian legal system which is notoriously corrupt. Practically, about all we can do is know what these sites are and stay away from them. I suppose that a user posting unlawful material from a country like the US could be prosecuted, but it would likely have to be without the cooperation of the site owner.

One of the first things I did when I bought this new notebook is put a piece of electrical tape over the webcam lens.

davidbetterman's avatar

@MacBean @Neizvestnaya

This may be true of some of the pedophiles actually caught and prosecuted, but how many have gone uncaught. Your statement is just too funny, defending gay men against a charge of pedophilia.

Violet's avatar

@MacBean are you calling me homophobic and ignorant?
In my comment I said “I thought”, meaning I didn’t know.
And back of your claims with reliable sources.

augustlan's avatar

@davidbetterman So, you think the majority of pedophiles are gay men? Where do you get that from?

DominicX's avatar

Don’t you know, guys? A sexual deviant is a sexual deviant. Pedophile, gay guy, same thing.~

Violet's avatar

Pedophile, gay man, same thing?! you’re kidding, right?

Vunessuh's avatar

@Violet ~ is the symbol for sarcasm.

Violet's avatar

@augustlan I originally said “I thought the majority of pedophiles liked boys..” And I thought that from prison interviews I’ve watched.
@Vunessuh ooooooohh, thank you.
@DominicX I’m sorry my bad. I didn’t know ~ meant sarcasm.

davidbetterman's avatar

@augustlan My, you certainly jump to conclusions quickly. Did you not see that I was responding to @MacBean who made the blanket statement:

“God fucking dammit. First of all, sixteen is too old for most pedophiles. And the majority of sex offenders—child molesters included—are straight males. The gay molester stereotype is homophobic and flat-out ignorant. It has no fucking basis in reality.

But thanks for jumping on me without even looking into things.

Violet's avatar

@davidbetterman I jumped in as quickly as possible to take the blame

davidbetterman's avatar

@Violet Thanks my dear. You are too kind.

augustlan's avatar

@davidbetterman I don’t think I jumped on you at all. I’m asking where you get the idea that most pedophiles are gay men?

Violet's avatar

@augustlan I was the one who said that (like 21 comments ago). I originally said “I thought the majority of pedophiles liked boys..”
And I thought that from prison interviews I’ve watched.

ragingloli's avatar

actually that does not mean much as physically male and female human spawn are nearly identical apart from the primary sexual organs

davidbetterman's avatar

@augustlan Interesting, considering nothing I wrote indicates that I think most pedophiles are gay men.

augustlan's avatar

@davidbetterman You wrote:

@MacBean @Neizvestnaya

This may be true of some of the pedophiles actually caught and prosecuted, but how many have gone uncaught. Your statement is just too funny, defending gay men against a charge of pedophilia.”
—————
Since they were both saying most pedophiles are straight males, and your answer seems to be refuting that, it seems like a logical assumption that you think most pedophiles are in fact gay.
——————————————————————-
@Violet You said:

@Sarcasm I thought the majority of pedophiles liked boys..”
—————-
I don’t think that’s the same type of statement, exactly. Just what your impression was.

davidbetterman's avatar

@augustlan Need I remind you what it means to assume?

DrMC's avatar

I would be very careful logging into anything in Russia or china. My security logs show multiple attacks from there.

Violet's avatar

@DrMC from chatroulette or from sites from Russia or China?

DrMC's avatar

@Violet not chatroulette – these things jump off during searches I think.

augustlan's avatar

@davidbetterman Nah. I need no help to make an ass of myself. :P

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Crashsequence2012's avatar

@ragingloli

Since when are you critical of /b/-tards?

ragingloli's avatar

@Crashsequence2012
What makes you think that I am?

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