Omegle, the famous random video call service with strangers, bids farewell after 14 years. Founded in 2009 by Leif K-Brooks, a programmer who was just 18 years old at the time, this website witnessed a wide range of experiences, some fun and others far less desirable.
Despite having attracted an impressive 50 million visitors last month, according to SimilarWeb, the decision to close Omegle was not made lightly. In an emotional blog post, K-Brooks himself reflected on the humble beginnings of Omegle and how it evolved into a platform that connected millions of daily users.However, the pandemic marked a turning point, and the misuse of the platform surged (in some cases, it was used to commit serious crimes). Despite efforts to implement improvements, this problem became insurmountable. The battle Omegle waged in recent years is a tangible example of the challenges facing the internet.K-Brooks expressed his concern about the transformation of the internet, warning of the possibility that it may become an enhanced version of television, focused on passive consumption and with fewer opportunities for active participation and genuine human connection.The closure of Omegle reveals how technological advancements are often exploited for malicious purposes. This underscores the urgent need to enhance online security, even if it may appear invasive to the privacy of many who use the platforms positively.We are faced with the dilemma that if societies do not act with respect and ethics, it becomes necessary to impose stricter surveillance, rules, and punishments, which represents a significant public expense. However, it is essential to protect the younger generation and maintain the integrity of the online experience.Ultimately, this leads us to the conclusion that a more humanistic education is necessary. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, but without cultivating ethical values and a sense of responsibility online, we risk our most brilliant creation, the internet, and the emerging new technologies, becoming a source of problems rather than solutions.The legacy of Omegle, with its ups and downs and ethical challenges, will serve as a reminder of the hurdles we face in the digital age and the need to address them with a balanced approach.