“Parents beware—Omegle might just as well be called “Pedophiles R Us,” warned one reviewer on Commonsensemedia.org. “I found out by chance that my (just) 14-year-old daughter has been using this site. Her conversations involve guys asking her for sex and to meet her in hotels for sex.”
One father told WSVN-TV in Fort Lauderdale about catching his nine-year-old daughter on the site.
“I walked into my daughter’s room and she closed the lid on her laptop, and I lifted it up . . . She was chatting with someone, and it was a grown man,” Stephen Engasser, a U.S. Navy veteran, told the station.
His daughter told him a friend had found the website on TikTok. (TikTok has recently banned users from sharing links to Omegle on their platform.) He logged in to check what she’d been seeing.
“I immediately was connected to people all over the world, but most of them were grown men, and some of these grown men were not wearing clothes.”
Other parents on Common Sense Media report even more chilling content.
What is Omegle?
The free website’s name is “Omegle: Talk to Strangers.” And that’s just what some children are doing.
Although it claims to be restricted to those 18 and older, it does not require age verification. A BBC investigation earlier this year showed children as young as seven or eight participating in sex acts.
How to handle it
Experts suggest talking calmly with your child, explaining why the content they may find on the site is inappropriate for someone their age and can be dangerous. Because the site features sexual material, it’s important not to overreact, but to explain that their curiosity is normal. Stress the difference between healthy sexual activity and what they might encounter on the site.
Always know what your younger children are doing online. Also, look into site monitoring software or blockers for questionable sites such as Omegle.
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