If the message that you need to be careful about what you say and do on the Internet hasn’t sunk in just yet, get ready: pictures from Chatroulette have been captured, geo-coded, and are available for anyone to see at Chatroulettemap.
If you’ve missed it, Chatroulette is a new web site where you can go to instantly start chatting with random strangers across the Internet. It’s a cool enough idea, I suppose; why not make an occasional new friend this way?
Not surprisingly, there are reasons. The Chatroulette user community is thus far made up of mostly young, mostly male people who will instantly click away from you if you turn out to be anything other than a young, attractive female. So Chatroulette doesn’t actually work. It might one day, and if he’s smart the young man who created Chatroulette will make a fortune selling his technology to dating sites. But right now it does nothing.
Oh, and there’s another reason not to play with Chatroulette: besides being comprised mostly of fickle young men, the other significant segment of the Chatroulette community is people masturbating on camera.
In fact, one totally anecdotal study of Chatroulette showed that one in seven of your new friends will be naked and touching himself. Watch this movie (don’t worry; there are no naughty pictures):
So now, we get Chatroulettemap. Their use of the data from Chatroulette makes what you do there public. REALLY public. I went to Chatroulettemap this morning, clicked down to a street level view of midtown Manhattan, and found this:
At least these boys have their clothes on. But seriously; do you want your picture and a pretty-darned-accurate location of where you are out there on the Internet that way?
Still not sure how this Internet thing really works? Let The Answer Guy help protect your privacy
Followup: I asked the folks at Chatroulettemap ( http://twitter.com/chatroulettemap ) When and how their pictures get updated, and the response was this: “we do all our shots ourself, its kinda randomly timed tho”.
MAYBE making this less scary, but still . . . scary enough.
Unless you want your naughty bits and naughty pictures from chatroulette to appear on chatroulettemap and be available to anyone complete with your geo-coded location, please keep yourself covered up when using chatroulette!
It’s probably safer to have your junk out next to your street address than it is your face. Fewer stalkers would be able to identify you on the street.