The infamous website Omegle has officially shut down after being around since 2009. Omegle was created with the intent of allowing strangers to meet people across the globe safely from behind a screen.
However, the site is known for the rampant paedophilia and grooming that occurs.
Omegle closed down after a settlement in a lawsuit that alleged it had connected an 11-year-old user with a paedophile.
According to the BBC, the website has been in over 50 recent cases against paedophiles.
The company denied in court that the site was “a haven for predators”, states the BBC.
The site founder, Leif K-Brooks, posted a statement on the website which you can find here.
In the statement, he discussed why he made Omegle.
Statement on Omegle
He said: “It was meant to build on the things I loved about the Internet, while introducing a form of social spontaneity that I felt didn’t exist elsewhere.
“If the Internet is a manifestation of the ‘global village’, Omegle was meant to be a way of strolling down a street in that village, striking up conversations with the people you ran into along the way.”
K-Brooks talks about the highlights that he has seen on Omegle, such as people learning about other cultures and people meeting on the site and going on to get married. However, he acknowledges what he calls the “lowlights” too.
He calls these acts “unspeakably heinous crimes” when discussing the illegal activities that took place on Omegle.
Even with the anonymity that the platform granted, the moderation, and other safety measures, these crimes were still committed.
K-Brooks’ claims that he had a team of human moderators working on the site appear to be false. Two people with inside knowledge on the running of the site said that there was never any human moderation.
In fact, K-Brooks was the only registered employee.
Defending the platform’s well-doing, K-Brooks said: “Omegle worked with law enforcement agencies, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to help put evildoers in prison where they belong.
“There are ‘people’ rotting behind bars right now thanks in part to evidence that Omegle proactively collected against them, and tipped the authorities off to.”
Over recent years, Omegle has experienced a “constant barrage of attacks”.
“Operating Omegle is no longer sustainable, financially nor psychologically,” said K-Brooks.
Undoubtedly, another site will rise and fill the gap that Omegle has left. This closure shows that things online have changed since the then 18-year-old launched this platform back in 2009.
Featured Image Credit: Omegle