People should use caution with Chatroulette

Trendy live-chat Web site Chatroulette.com has received a bad rap for simply being another Web site allowing pornographic material to proliferate throughout the world of cyberspace. The only rules the Web site mandates are that users are over the age of 16 and it prohibits pornographic behavior. Users who witness offensive or graphic images are allowed to report the offending user. However, with open web cam lines, minimal restrictions and global access, the site is a haven for sexual predators.

On the other side of the spectrum, musician Ben Folds put on a personal concert for Chatroulette user Merton on March 20, according to MTV’s Buzzworthy Blog. Celebrities claiming to have used the site include Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba and Chris Brown. And some people have legitimate social issues and perhaps feel the anonymity provided by Chatroulette allows for an easy, non-threatening way for them to make acquaintances.

People utilizing the site should be aware of the risks they take. They could encounter any manner of offensive pornographic images or they could have a conversation with a movie star. Either way, as with virtually anything on the Internet, people should know that certain risks always apply.

Opinion editor Andrea Bolt for the editorial board.