After 14 years, the popular live video chat platform Omegle is permanently closed. Now, Omegle’s website includes an image of its logo on a tombstone and a lengthy letter from its founder, Leif K Brooks.
In it, Brooks emphasizes that the operation of the website “she was no longer viable, neither financially nor psychologically”. Of course, the timing is not accidental, since recently the legislators of the European Union and beyond have hardened their attitude towards online platforms.
Omegle, which allowed its users to socialize with random strangers online, became wildly popular with children and young people during the pandemic, but there were multiple reports of abuse.
For example, as reported by the BBC, the case of a young American woman, who accused the platform of accidentally connecting her with a pedophile, was very embarrassing. The user of the account was a minor when the incident took place and the lawsuit against Omegle was filed 10 years later in November 2021. Omegle’s legal team argued in court that the website was not to blame for what happened and denied that it was a shelter for the discerning.
Of course, in his letter, Brooks didn’t deny that Omegle was at the center of several serious complaints, which played a role in the service’s eventual shutdown: “There can be no honest accounting of Omegle without acknowledging that some have misused it, including to commit unspeakably heinous crimes.”
Omegle’s announcement was immediately discussed on social media, with many sharing their various memories. Reactions range from surprise to even nostalgia from some.
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