’ with that magical exclamation mark which transforms three letters into ten, spelling out sensationalist gold in its most popular form: moral panic.Case in point, Fox News’ Joshua Rhett Miller reports that ‘Chatroulette Is ‘Predator’s Paradise,’ Experts Say’ while Sam Jones of the more respectable Guardian poses the question ‘Chatroulette: risque chat service or pornographic site?
There are no easy answers here, especially given that some Chatroulette users are clearly not legally adults.
With those issues in mind, while the blurring out of some of the random strangers diminishes the clip’s intimacy somewhat, it is nevertheless a relief to see an edited version of Merton’s clip return to You Tube: [youtube]
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It is social search, not in the sense Google means, which is web search refined by your clearly articulated online social networks, but rather social search in the sense that Chatroulette users are continually searching until they find someone with whom they want to interact socially.
Chatroulette presents a smorgasbord of the human condition, with shocks, cocks, hugs, and friends all potentially staring back from your computer screen.
Judicious application of the F9 or ‘Next’ button means many users spend more time searching than socialising, more time hunting than chatting, but that’s part of the joy: most Chatroulette users don’t know what they’re searching for until they find it.
In that sense, Chatroulette’s search is the anti-Google; it’s a social search engine which only works if you can’t already articulate what you’re looking for. According to much of the mainstream media, you don’t find sex on the internet, you find ‘Sex!
Genetic scientists love the humble Fruit Fly (Drosophila melanogaster) because it has such a short life-cycle; several generations can live, reproduce, pass on genetic material, and die within a month.