Chatroulette Review: Little More Than an Exhibitionist Playground

Not safe for work, nor most other places

While ChatRoulette.com may not appear very lively, the people broadcasting behind their web cams make it one colorful if not obscene web site.

 Brandon De Hoyos

At ​ChatRoulette.com, you can randomly connect with new people around the world using your webcam, but you may get an eyeful of something you never wanted to see. Reviews of Chatroulette share a common consensus: Despite decent video quality and a large community of users, Chatroulette is more of a pornographic playground for exhibitionist than a community conducive to meeting new people.

Chatroulette's Dirty Details

Upon first glance, the site leaves much to be desired aesthetically. A white web page, two webcam windows, and a simple chatroom interface are all that's present. Unfortunately, the experience only gets worse when you connect your camera.

Although broadcasting nudity and sexually explicit content is technically not allowed, visitors are bound to come across it. You can report violations to the website's administrators, but it doesn't appear to do much good. The creators of Chatroulette claim they have image recognition monitoring to help cut down on explicit content, but it is not completely effective.

Consequently, Chatroulette is not a safe place for minors. Sending elicit content to underage persons is a crime, but it's hard to track down perpetrators who use sites like Chatroulette, so consider blocking adult sites if you have children.

Great Video Quality, Few Real Connections

Unlike social networking sites such as Facebook, Chatroulette generally attracts people with interests that run counter to meeting new people for the chance to develop lasting friendships.

In fact, due to the website's poor reputation, more and more people visit Chatroulette purposely looking for sexual content. Users interested in making friends quickly move on to other websites. Many users tend to disconnect in a matter of two or three seconds, and you'll probably see hundreds of faces (and plenty of other things you don't want to see) before you make a meaningful connection.

Chatroulette’s only notable area of distinction is its clear, high-quality video and audio connections. Unfortunately, the website usually doesn't have anything worth seeing or hearing.