Omegle warning for parents and guardians from top social media consultant
A social media consultant has warned of a free online chat website that allows users to connect and speak to strangers online.
Zoe Cairns expressed her fears regarding Omegle after discovering the platform does not allow users to block, filter or report content.
The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the names 'You' and 'Stranger' with a webcam and audio switched on.
Zoe said: "Omegle is a video chat platform that's based on a desktop where people can go and connect with strangers.
"From what I've seen on the site there is quite some quite graphic adult content going on and if young people go on this platform it doesn't look like there are any filters.
"I can't see that there is anything to filter, block or report any graphic content or anything that goes on which is a little bit alarming.
"If children using Omegle see anything like that they need to reach out to an adult or guardian so they can report it."
Omegle was launched in 2009 and around 25,000 people use the platform.
As a result of the Omegle hashtag trending on the popular video-sharing site, TikTok, the sites visits have increased from 34 million to 65 million visits over the last year.
It has been reported that the site is home to lots of explicit webcamers.
Content such adults exposing themselves to the camera is available for all users to see which means children could potentially be connecting to random people online and viewing this explicit content regularly.
There is no way to report content (from what myself or Zoe could see) - nor is there a way to filter content to block pornographic live webcam content. There also doesn't seem to be a way to contact Omegle.
When asked how parents and guardians can keep children safe on the platform Zoe said: "I think understanding what your young person is doing online is really important.
"Keeping up with the latest trends is key and looking at the internet and safety services that are online is really important.
"I know life is busy and its challenging right now with home schooling but we should understand what children and young people are looking at online.
"We need to understand what people are looking at online. Omegle has become so popular due to a new trend and TikTok need to look at that and see if they are responsible for this hashing and young people's safety online.
"I would definitely not let children and young people look at this website, it is not at all controlled or filtered and there is no way to block and filter people on the platform."
It appears that Omegle does not have a traditional customer support service and they don't have many options if someone wants to contact them.
The only thing people are able to do if they are having an issue, is to leave a feedback to the Omegle integrated messaging system on their Omegle website.
There is also no press contact for comment.