Quick Pats of Butter: Creepy Cyber Strangers Edition
- Last month Salon posted an obituary for the flash-in-the-pan phenom Chatroulette. The article recounted the site’s thrilling highs and its tawdry lows:
Sure, the social media aspect was initially intriguing, but the mystery of what one might discover quickly became no mystery at all. SPOILER ALERT: It’s trouser meat. And while it’s true that from the beginning of civilization, men have endeavored to build monuments to their phalluses, Chatroulette’s status as an online obelisk was a shaky proposition at best. An RJ Metrics survey last spring revealed that 89 percent of Chatroulette users were male, that one in eight spins yielded “R-rated or worse” content and that “You are twice as likely to encounter a sign requesting female nudity than you are to encounter actual female nudity.”
Chatroulette was not the first enable folks to broadcast their business to unsuspecting masses, which is why I was had absolutely no interest in the site. Woman can have the same unpleasant experience on any number of free dating sites and chat rooms; the only different with Chatroulette, is instead of grainy photos of junky bedrooms, saggy underpants and beer can pyramids, you get grainy videos of junky bedrooms, saggy underpants and beer can pyramids. Yay for technological advances. Well, apparently Chatroulette doesn’t want to throw in the towel just yet. The site wants to clean up its act and tell those greasy strangers to keep their drawers on.:
Chatroulette has instituted other changes in recent weeks in an effort to separate potentially offensive content from people who just want to talk. The site added several adult-themed “channels,” as well as a “local” channel for people who want to talk to — or date — webcammers who live nearby. Some of the features appeared to be down for maintenance on Monday, but the blog TechCrunch says the adult channels have proved to be the most popular.
Let me know how that works out for you, Chatroulette.
- The silly hipsterfolk at Jez offer another installment of “hipsters-run afoul of technology” with “When Foursquare gets creepy”. For those (who like me) have your hands full with Twitter and find that damn MS Word paperclip to be too intrusive, Foursquare is a social media service broadcasts your whereabouts to anyone who finds you interesting enough to care:
Sylvia lives in Kansas City and works in online marketing. Her story, first chronicled on her personal blog and reprinted in The Guardian, is creepy on unending levels. There is the fact that he chose to call the restaurant and ask the manager to find her, based on a description culled from her profile photo. There is the threatening, teach-you-a-lesson tone, shortly after she declined to be overjoyed at his advances. And somehow, the simple act of jumping platforms — hasn’t he ever heard of tweeting at someone? — into the physical space, at an unguarded moment, is creepiest of all.
While nobody deserves to be stalked, harassed or harmed for ANY reason, stories such as these beg the question: Common sense, motherfucker, do you have it?