Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist

Psychology News & Resources

Cyber Safety and Social Networking: Don’t Let Your Kids Play Roulette Online

* Alex Dickinson  From:  The Courier-Mail http://couriermail.com.au
* March 05, 2010 11:00AM <break>

A NEW website dubbed “a predator’s paradise” has become an internet sensation in Australia – but there is almost nothing that Queensland authorities can do to track those preying on children.

Chat Roulettehttp://chatroulette.com launched online in November, instantly puts users face-to-face with a stranger anywhere in the world

In a concept Queensland Police say is one of the most dangerous on the web, the site shows webcam footage of the stranger – one of more than 20,000 on the site at one time – and has an option to “spin the wheel” to the next stranger.Users don’t have to register any identifying information and the site has already been flooded with users exposing themselves and sharing intimate details.

Some reports suggest 20 per cent of the webcams show masturbating men. The Courier-Mail logged on to the site for 15 minutes last night and was connected to 10 users from across the globe – three were shirtless men hiding their faces, another man was showing his penis while a woman with a US accent started stripping. The website mixes the most dangerous aspects of social networking, chat rooms and web cameras, according to police.

“Predators seek out and chat to children with webcams and can place enormous pressure on them to transmit indecent images of themselves,” a police spokeswoman said. Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens’ Associations president Margaret Black said the concept was extremely risky for children. We are quite horrified about where social networking sites are going,” Ms Black said.

US-based psychiatrist Dr Keith Ablow has labelled the site a “predator’s paradise”. “Parents should keep all children off (Chat Roulette) because it’s much too dangerous,” Dr Ablow said. The site, hosted in Germany, was created by 17-year-old Moscow high school student Andrey Ternovskiy.

But unlike the millions who use Facebook, offenders on http://www.chatroulette.com are a lot harder to track, according to Associate Professor of Law at the University of South Australia, Melissa deZwart. “You don’t have to be a member or register details so the service provider doesn’t have the same control over its users that Facebook does,” Ms deZwart said.

Technology website CNET suggests most parental filtering programs will be able to block the website.

So here are a couple of sites that I would deem unsafe or unhealthy for children and adolescents to access. These are specifically sites that may well slip through the net of your parental control software. I will add to them as I receive your comments and as I do more research

Chat Roulette:  http://chatroulette.com

See article above.

Answerbag: http://answerbag.com

This site invites users to post questions, than engages users by starting a discussion around those questions. Seems innocuous enough on face value, but a sample of questions posted include:

when i say evil you say…?

when i say gun you think..?

Is it odd that I let Freddy Krueger perform a C-section on me?

How should we keep the aryan race from being polluted?
Check it out and form your own opinion.

Any other sites you think are worthy of mention?

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March 6, 2010 - Posted by | Adolescence, Bullying, Child Behavior, Internet, Resources, Technology | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. LOL duhhh, its not really for anyone under 17

    Comment by Buddzzz | January 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. http://sites-like-chat-roulette.com

    Over 60 sites like chat roulette/omegle, check it out.

    Comment by Buddzzz | January 8, 2011 | Reply


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