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The UK’s online child protection agency, CEOP, reacted with alarm today at the latest manifestation of the new trend in random online chat, Omegle. CEOP is concerned that there is no online panic button for users who find themselves getting into situations that they find uncomfortable or abusive. This isn’t surprising given that …

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South Park anyone...?

Big lol!

The week before last's South Park Episode (entitled 'You have 0 friends') is all about Facebook and includes a long period of Kyle and Cartman trying to meet people on Chat Roulette only to find that pretty much the only people using it were guys jacking off!

Best episode for ages btw - I'd check it out if you haven't seen it!

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FAIL

LOL When all tasks are automated...

The pinnacle of human technology, all mundane tasks are automated, leaving them more time for contemplative pursuits... Like masturbating for several hours a day.

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Surprised?

Not me.

Anyway, after the death penalty thread, I figure this would be categorised more as light entertainment. Wonder how long until Omegle is used as an example of why the Internet should be censored and not, more sensibly, as a reason not to let children onto it alone?

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Anonymous Coward

CEOP button on Omegle...

... going to happen shortly before they add one to 4chan.

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Heart

lulz

I for one am longing for the day a politician stumbles across 4chan and voices disgust in the daily fail.

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Anonymous Coward

I find

I find it hard to imagine they havn't found it, I also suspect it could be an interesting few days when they did make a fuss about it.

When they do of course, I will go and get some soup.

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Re: lulz

Or the day after, when said politician finds precisely 9001 emails waiting for him, each saying "loldongs".

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Waste of time, and money

Hey, maybe we should have panic buttons on porn websites too, right? Just incase a young person is dissatisfied with the size of the penis they are seeing. On Omegle, what would the panic button even do? Omegle does not control what the other person decides to do, and if they are masturbating, how are they to know the age of who is watching.. You go to Omegle or ChatRoulette, expect to see a lot of penises.

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Stop

See ya, CEOP

CEOP are looking out for themselves and themselves alone. If big names stop supporting them, they effectively dont exist. They're as bad as the IWF.

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Joke

South Park

As Cartman says: "If you wanna find some quality friends, you've gotta wade through all the dicks first!"

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Flame

see the little x in the top right corner?

that one that closes the browser window? What more protection do people need in online chat sites?

And if children are the concern, then can I kindly suggest that their parents need to take responsibility for them.

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Re: And if children are the concern...

To all those parents that complain (yes, you ARE complaining) that:

1. "There are not enough hours in the day to monitor EVERYTHING they do."

2. "I don't have time to watch him surf the internet (when s/he should be doing homework)."

3. "I was doing laundry/cooking/out at the bar; I didn't know they were doing THAT."

4. "They get home before I do - I can't watch them while I'm at work."

Yes, it -=IS=- YOUR fault. If you don't "have the time", you can definitately pull the plug! If you don't know enough about your computer to keep your kids greasy mitts off of it while you are not there, then you need to lock it up in your room/the shed/your parents or ANYONE else's that will tell the little buggers "NO!", because you obviously won't.

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Well in that case...

I am going to email CEOP because I want a panic button for the Registe that I can press whenever a story about a self aggrandising idiot who has no clue about how the internet actually works, and only wants to push his own agenda upon others in order to further his own narcissistic view that he is some sort of 'white knight' set to rid the world of online dangers.

And whenever you click the button a small machine kicks him in the balls.

Twice.

The sites such as Omegle and ChatRoulette are pretty idiotic and will just be a bunch of guys having a wank. I could have told the makers that before they even released it. When (more like if, to be honest) I have children, up until they're 16 there will be a proxy blocking service on the internet. And they will only get to use it when I say they can. and I will regularly check up on them. And I'll teach them what to look out for.

God I can't wait until my generation is in charge, so when people come out with this stuff we can just tell them to shut the hell up.

</rant>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tsurotu

"And whenever you click the button a small machine kicks him in the balls."

That's extreme porn* mate, you're nicked.

*because I said so, QED.

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Heart

Normal people!

Myself (male) and a housemate (female) tried the video chat today. First 5 were penis surfers, but then we had a good chat with two fellow students from Denmark! Chatted for five minutes.

Our entire house is planning to go on tonight and start laughing at all the penis surfers for kicks. Ah student life!

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WTF?

I don't know about dangerous...

...but it's certainly the saddest use of the internet I ever heard.

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Question

If CEOP are so concerned about the protection of kids, why don't they start their own service, complete with a 7000-page vetting questionnaire before allowing people to join?

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For Shit...!

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/5550/screenshotomeglemozilla.png

FaceArse and Google.

Probably uses GoogleApis, as indicated, to run itself. FFS.

GoogleSyndication.... Huh???? How does that one work?

Also available on the iPhone AppStore!

Woot. Does Mr JobsWorth know about that one?

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Stop

Panic button

There is a big Disconnect button. And computers have an off switch. What on Earth do they want: something that calls the cops when you click on it?

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Happy

Pretty Much.......

"What on Earth do they want: something that calls the cops when you click on it?"

That's pretty much what I thought it was, a direct line to CEOP with the ability to report stuff

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Anonymous Coward

No CEOP Panic Button Facebook group

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113492878674477

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Anonymous Coward

'Tis certainly a good example

'Tis certainly a good example of the sort of thing that gets the morality knights' at CEOP and elsewhere panties in a twist. It's also good to consider that these people have positively drowned in the ``think of the children'' kool-aid to the point that Everybody Must Be Treated Like A Child, And Never Be Allowed To Grow Up.

I think it would certainly be good for parents to be informed and to be able to make informed decisions as to what their kids are allowed online. As parents are (still, but for how long?) their children's guardians, legal, moral, and otherwise, and are therefore entitled to and responsible for making that sort of decision.

But that's not what CEOP wants for everybody. No, they've decided their gimmick is the silver bullet and thus everbody must swallow the blue pill, or else! Nevermind the in context horrible pun. The CEOP is playing right on the governmental agenda of undermining individual responsibility so the nanny state can take over. The thing is, when nobody can be expected to act responsibly, then all you can do is make sure every little thing is always thorougly vetted and censored. A panic button means asking the deemed irresponsible crowd to help the new overlords take ever more content away. Might as well label it ``please censor this''. Yeah, that'll work, and won't ever be abused, nosiree.

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Stop

Panic button?

Alt and F4, or CMD and q seem to work fine for me. There's also the "close tab" option, and the power buttons on the computer and the modem.

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Stop

Too Bad

I think that people should just be able to interact whoever they want. If a kid sees a penis, and is too dumb to know what it is, too bad. If they learn about sex through this, then holy crap, they might be a normal human being. The problem I have with policing the internet is that all laws appeal to the lowest level of intelligence, and on the internet, that can get pretty fucking low.

A police button!? Do you know how much that will get abused?? Even on accident!

I hope The Register is among the sanely minded people like myself who think that you accept a certain level of personal responsibility when you access the internet. If a parent is afraid that their child is going to get involved in this kind of thing, TALK TO THEM as you would about strangers in real life. If you are still scared, limit their internet connectivity. Just because the internet exists doesn't mean that they should have unlimited access. This of course in my opinion should only apply to under teens, really. After that, they should be mature enough to handle the internet...

*rant over*

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Stop

In all fairness..

This is the kind of thing that most young people using the internet come to expect. I'm 16 and using any "anonymous" chat room of any sort I would come to expect explicit behaviour and all that kind of stuff. The disconnect button is surely as useful as any other button the CEOP would like to incorporate. As your chat partner has no information about you as it is, then they have no way of gaining information unless you are willing to give it. I'd hope that anybody using these services would be mature enough not to give out their personal information. As COPPA technically restricts children under 13 from using certain websites by law then they should certainly not be using Omegle or other services like Twatroulette as you may call it.

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Expected somethine different?

"The final session was a chat with an older man, who appeared not in the least bothered to find himself suddenly chatting up someone who was easily 30 years his junior."

So what was the chat about? Was it about gardening? Come on, don't hold back on us here! As for Ugandan weather, the current weather is 88%-100% humidity, with thunderstorms and rain in Tororo. So "hot and wet" might actually be appropriate, depending.

It sounds like 5% of the chats weren't with twits and twats, so that's about par for our global culture. Or lack of it. Really, what did you expect?

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FAIL

Dear parents,

If your kids are doing this...

... where the FUCK are you???

Try taking some responsibility for your kids' safety!

Yours sincerely,

Someone who knows that the net is not a child-minding service!

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Stop

Someone who seemingly doesn't have any children either

Can I just say that as a parent, and hopefully a responsible one, I'm getting a bit tired of all the preaching on here from all those who obviously haven't got any themselves, and think that they're like ventriloquists dummies (or pets) you can keep locked in boxes, and will do exactly what you tell them all the time when you do let them out..

Now there is a lot of common sense spoken here as well, but please those of you who've yet to experience the wonders of parenthood, especially the teenage years, have some consideration of the reality of being able to guide, but not have 24/7 control of what are essentially autonomous human beings.

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Pirate

agreed

as the father of 16 year old and 12 year old boys, I heartily agree. I'm not a net nanny, I'm a father, so I've taught them right from wrong, but when it comes down to the wire it is still their judgement and their decision that determines their actions. And it's their consequences when they choose poorly.

OTOH, it was sad that so many of the videochats that the Reg joined were guys who were wanking. Geez, we used to keep that kind of stuff PRIVATE, not blast it all over the Internet to whomever happens to pass by.

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Anonymous Coward

When

When I was a teenager my number one requirment was locating porn to fap too.

My number two requirment was getting vodka to get into a sorry state with.

My number three requirment was to score some draw so I could get ever so High.

My number four requirement was late night TV.

My number five requirement was trying to be "cool" to get girls.

Number six was trying to get home work done so parents and teachers didn't lynch me.

Thing about teenagers is it's a time when you're supposed to take dumb ass risks and get yourself into lame situations where you think "shit I should have listened to my mother" just before phoning her from High Barnet Tube station at 6am coz you've got no cash and got lost.

I still havn't nailed number five.

The problem isn't that parents arn't "controlling" their children, it's that a very large number of parents believe that they're children should be safe all the time, Media is a prime culpret here (making the world seem far more dangerous then it is), this feeds into politics, then back out to parents and society at large, it's one massive moral panic feedback loop.

Good parents realise life is full of risks and that nobody can be 100% safe, and sensible parent/adult also realises we live in a very safe country. When's the last time you heard about a guy who dissolving hundreds of people in caustic soda and buried the mush into holes in the ground?

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Re: All the preaching

<rant> Can *I* just say that as a parent, and hopefully a responsible one, I'm getting a bit tired of all the preaching on here from all of those who obviously haven't been a parent to the children they have, and think that the community at large MUST take an interest in protecting their obviously darling treasures, because the spawn of *your* loins is SO MUCH BETTER than anything I could have ever donated. </rant>

<MUCH calmer/> There is no one saying that you can or should have 24/7 control of your children. What is being said is that you SHOULD have 24/7 control of your own home and what goes on there.

Computer being used inappropriately by the sprats? Take it away. If they go and do it at someone else's house, your internet won't be cut off my Gamble or Mandelson and it won't be YOUR house they raid. As it would be at another parent's house, THEY are liable and you can sue them - retirement sorted. Either they won't be allowed at anyone's house or they will wise up that some behavior is inappropriate.

"Children will always either mature from your example or your apathy." -me

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Anonymous Coward

Omegle not latest

IIRC, Omegle was around a long time before ChatRoulette was created.

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omegle latest?

True: omegle has been goin longer than chat roulette - in text form. However, it has recently added the video link. Apologies if that is not 100% clear in the piec.

As for differences: we did much the same experiemtn with chat roulette, and only found one solitary wanker ...well, they would tend to be solitary, by definition.

But, on the bais of our very small sample, it looks like yiou are around five times as likely to encounter wankers on omegle as on chat roulette.

i would say i am torn both ways on this. The conversation (which we copied) between our researcher and the somewhat older guy was definitely suggestive, definitely leading. Since aforementioned researcher was having to pause from time to time to stop it being too obvious that she found the whole experience thoroughly hilarious, we don't exactly think she was in any danger.

The guy was obvious, and we can't imagine any teenager with half a brain cell to rub together falling for his line - a bit like some old guy hanging out round the kiddies' playground, wearing a large placard with the words "paedo/letch" in large black caps on it.

Like: he shouldn't be...but so what. If parents keep an eye out, then they're about as dangerous as a 50-ton truck, hurtling toward you at two miles an hour.

But then, that's the issue all round. The presumption in some quarters seems to be that children are terminally stupid and that parents are incapable of doing the parenting thing. Hmmm. Were one or bothof those propositions true, i, too, might be a bit more worried for our children.

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Megaphone

@ Jane Fae parenting capabilities

Unfortunately their is a hardcore of parents who are not necessarily from the Mails famed "sink estates", if anything they'll be just as likely professional working folk but are utterly unprepared to take responsibility for their brood,.

Schools, tech like television, videogames, movies and internet are increasingly treated as automated cheap child minding services. It's not so much in many cases that they can't parent, it's that they wont parent. They don't see why they should sacrifice whichever facet of their life to parenting. In that they are just another example of the me first generation, which such parents invariably identify with teenagers and those adults that do not have children.

Parents generally need to wise up and get a grip. The internet can not be made an entirely child safe environment without reducing it's use to replaying Hannah Montana videos. The internet is not a child minder. Allowing your brood access to 18 certificate movies and video games and adult internet resources of any description is parents fault, not the industry and not the publishers or society - Seriously parents, it's your own damn fault. Tarquins girlfriend pregnant ? Shouldn't have left the brat alone in his room with her.....

Sounds harsh but try and discuss such issues politely with a parent and all you hear is, "...but your not a parent, you don't understand".

Another example - quickly before I get into the Daily Fail territory I hate so much....

Feedback for a rather nice Suffolk restaurant I have eaten in recently included an irate parent who felt that the restaurant was rude, child hostile, and had eject the mother in question and her brood. Therefore no parent should ever use them again.

In fact her kid had been stood on the seating throwing a ball full pelt across the restaurant at other diners, staff and furniture. When asked to address the problem or restrain him, she refused.

I say again.... parents need to parent.

end rant

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Gold badge

doesn't that mean...

that a rather large proportion of these young men probably end up wanking it to a vid of another dude yanking on it? Gross.

back on topic, virtually any unregulated place online can be seedy and this one definitely is. The "think of the children" types can piss off, just don't let your kids on there!

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WTF?

What a crock

a panic button?

You know where the panic button is, right? its in the TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE SCREEN

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Badgers

Top right?

Don't OS X and the latest Ubuntu put the panic button in the top left?

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WTF?

"The final session was a chat with an older man, who appeared not in the least bothered to find himself suddenly chatting up someone who was easily 30 years his junior."

And this age difference matters because...? Or did you send an under-aged "tester" to test a website known for NSFW contents? Either way, that comment is of the sort I'd expect to see in The Daily Fail - casual, yet inflammatory, for no good reason except to make waves.

Try again, this time without the rhetoric.

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Anonymous Coward

Not surprising...

...that Omegle consists of masturbating boys and requests for tits - considering that it's a popular target for 4chan. I've seen many threads on 4chan getting people to go on Omegle and post the results in the thread - in fact, there are days when every fourth or fifth 4chan thread is about things people are doing on Omegle. Hence the "bewbs" reference, and I'd bet your researcher (wouldn't happen to be the redoubtable Sarah would it?) probably encountered the phrase "Tits or GTFO" more than once.

I'd love to see Gamble push for one of his magic buttons to be put on 4chan. The response would be hilarious. In fact, maybe Gamble and his think-of-the-children police state brigade could do with a dose of what Anonymous dishes out...

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing different to the timeworn Stickam threads

which are equally full of nudity, masturbation and idiocy, largely conducted in teenagers' bedrooms without a parent in sight

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Anonymous Coward

even funnier

Even funnier if you think 70% of /b/'s current audiance is 12 to 22 year old males.

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Dead Vulture

What did you expect?

Omegle is just a 4chan extension anyway.

Those areas of the net are the arid wastelands, occasionally something of value is discovered them but generally they are just a waste of space.

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Anonymous Coward

The CEOP can f*** right off.

What a bunch of self-absorbed, self-righteous morons. Panic button? Is that their all-purpose solution to the evils of the internet?

What do they think the 'X' button in the top right hand corner is for?

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Joke

hey !!!

"On the very first connection, before she spoke a single word, she was treated to the riveting display of a young man with his penis exposed, masturbating"

I was MULTI-TASKING, OK ?????

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Anonymous Coward

I

I snortled.

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Never having used ChatRoulette or its ilk...

"In all, one in five sessions opened up on shots of young men masturbating, with a further three apparently preparing to do so."

South Park was right on the money then?

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it definitely sounds like Omegle needs a report or ban function. And parents should be blacklisting the hell out of this site.

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It's not even a problem

Block the site, problem solved.

I don't believe sites mostly inhabited by adults should be dumbed down because there's a few children on it.

Add it to the site blocking software or the active parental monitoring that parents should be running to protect the children.. Don't restrict my world because you're too lazy to sort yours out.

(and no, I have no real interest in Omegle or Chatroulette or similar)

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Anonymous Coward

"CEOP is concerned that there is no online panic button..."

Yes there is, it's clearly labeled "Disconnect".

Users familiar with their browser or operating system will also be aware of numerous different ways to close the browser window, many of which do in fact involve button clicks.

And if it is really necessary for one to "panic" at the mere sight of vulgar language or images, one can always throw their computer across the room. Another favourite is to stand up and throw ones chair at the screen. When panicking it is also important to scream as loud as possible, shit one's pants, and renounce all one's cognitive faculties to NuLabour.

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Points lost for this....

"The final session was a chat with an older man, who appeared not in the least bothered to find himself suddenly chatting up someone who was easily 30 years his junior."

What was the point of that observation?

Is it now, to the authors mind that an age difference of 30years is somehow "suspicious" when all you are doing is "chatting" with no mention of inappropriate behaviour

I've looked again, and the URL definitely doesn't say Daily Mail or The Sun anywhere...

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I don't get how CEOP are helping...

...because most teenagers doing this are either (a) ENJOYING their "inappropriate interactions" online, or (b) naive enough to believe the identity of the person on the other end absolutely. A Panic Button would do NOTHING, because most teenagers won't see themselves as at risk even in the grossest of online chats/camconferences. If they didn't like it they would click the "X". What we need is for parents to take responsibility for what their kids do online and EDUCATE THEM.

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