Omegle shut down yesterday. If you don’t know what an Omegle is, it was a website where you could visit and be paired with a total random stranger via text or video (your choice) to have a conversation anonymously.
The founder shut down the website amid many allegations of the site being used by paedophiles among other things. It was well known that you’ll get exposed to many obscenities on the website.
I’m still sad to see it shut down.
Omegle was a tool. A tool to meet people you will otherwise never see in your life across borders, to talk about random topics of common interests, without any prejudice. You could see how serendipity works in real life on Omegle first hand. Like every other tool, Omegle too was misused and abused by some bad elements in society. It was inevitable with the amount of access that it gave to the world that it was going to be used for some bad things as well. But can we really blame invention of knife for a murder?
I never actually used Omegle directly. But there’s a beautiful genre of artists performing their art for random people on Omegle and I loved watching that.
Look at Harry Mack for example. He’s a very talented freestyle rapper who went viral and even reached on the Ellen Show.
Look at this guy called SomethingAboutChickens. He makes illusions/magic videos on Omegle.
Here’s a Painist named FrankTedesco, who plays requested songs after listening to them once with his relative pitch.
All of these beautiful artists and thousands like them reached an audience they could never have before because of tools like Omegle. Beautiful things were made possible because of Omegle and that is the reason why I love it without using it even once.
Almost every thing that was created on the internet can be and will be used for extremely good things as well as some very bad things. Yes, the founders or the operators must do everything possible to protect their users from the dangers of the world, but there are so many things that are out of their control.
If you never leave your house fearing the risk of a road accident, you’ll never get to see the beautiful world that is outside of your four walls. Should we shut down everything that can be used for doing bad things, or should we try and control the elements that are responsible for doing those bad things is the real question here!!
This is the reason why I’m sad to see Omegle shut down. It means that the possibility of something beautiful happening has been crushed forever by the fear of something bad happening.
In the final note while shutting down Omegle, Leif K-Brooks, the founder, wrote:
The battle for Omegle has been lost, but the war against the Internet rages on. Virtually every online communication service has been subject to the same kinds of attack as Omegle; and while some of them are much larger companies with much greater resources, they all have their breaking point somewhere. I worry that, unless the tide turns soon, the Internet I fell in love with may cease to exist, and in its place, we will have something closer to a souped-up version of TV – focused largely on passive consumption, with much less opportunity for active participation and genuine human connection.