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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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High Tech Realm: Are You on the Map?

Last week my column featured chatroulette.com, which essentially is a disturbing indicator of where humanity is headed with the advent of anonymity and webcams.

Well, actually scratch out the part about anonymity.

A new site now  crawls Chatroulette and takes snapshots of the users while collecting the IP address (unique numbers assigned to computers on the Internet for identification) to place the image on a map linked to the users location. This miracle site – at least for Chris Hansen, the host of NBC’s show Dateline “To Catch a Predator,” is simply called chatroulettemap.com

As always, I’ll add the standard boilerplate that the site is not safe for work, and even if you’re old enough to go on Chatroulette as per their terms (16-years old), you’ll need to be 18 to go on Chat Roulette Map (…sorry to any freshmen unlucky to be reading this while 17).

I checked around Stony Brook and didn’t find many photos, however when clicking other areas, I found a fairly even mix of male genitals, and people with a glazed look – the one where your mouth and eyes are wide open. I’m dying to know what image or video the Chat Roulette Map showed to its lucky viewers.

Now, Chatroulette isn’t going down without a fight. Andry Ternovskiy, the creator of Chatroulette, who also happens to be a Russian student still in high school, said in an interview on the New York Times Bits blog titled One on One, he is planning to add additional privacy features to Chatroulette in the future to help preserve privacy.

For the creeps out there hoping that this will further protect their wares,  Ternovskiy also mentioned that the report feature on Chatroulette bans users after they are reported three times.

While the cont-inued anonymity dampens hopes of having a special edition of “To Catch a Predator” devoted to Chatroulette, there is another site which helps to bring out the humor of the chaotic site.

The website is ChatrouletteTrolling.com, which is a part of the I Can Haz Cheeseburger network of sites. According to the founder Ben Huh, during a 2009 interview, the I Can Haz Cheeseburger site is centered around  “making at least five minutes of a person’s day happier.” While ChatrouletteTrolling.com was not a subject in the interview, overall the site lives up to the missions of its sister sites, such as failblog.org, verydemotivational.com, and failbooking.com.

ChatrouletteTrolling is a collection of online question and answers, and, of course, very humorous screenshots of Chatroulette encounters. While the site is currently light on content compared to the sister sites, it’s certainly worth a look.

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