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Chatroulette declines. But aren’t we supposed to share ourselves online?

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I probably find this story more interesting than I should but so it goes. Chatroulette, in case you don’t remember the craze of a few months ago, is a web site where you are randomly paired up in a video chat with another user. If you want a different person, you hit a button and are reassigned. It got crazy popular and was found to be the work of a Russian teenager. Now the numbers are in a decline. But why? Lots of possible reasons: it was chock full of naked people, sure, there’s that. But also, do you really want to share a personal experience with a total stranger? And if not, what does that say about the shared web experience that Mark Zuckerberg and so many others say is the future of the web? Because make no mistake about it: when you use the “share with everyone” setting on Facebook, which is still the default, you’re still giving that information to the same naked weirdo on Chatroulette.

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