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Digital wellbeing charity Cybersmile reports 900% increase in support requests from Chatroulette users

© Mateus Campos Felipe

Users of popular online chat website Chatroulette have surged to Cybersmile’s support services since the start of the lockdown in March.

The reported increase, totalling more than a 900% surge, has been the result of a large volume of Chatroulette users seeking guidance and help related to anxiety, depression and revenge porn topics.

With its growing popularity among young internet users, Chatroulette is making headlines again as people flock to the platform during lockdowns around the world.

The website allows users to randomly connect with one another through video chat sessions which can be ended at any moment.

Many young internet users have turned to social media and chat websites in the past several months as they spend significantly more time at home while a majority of schools and universities have been closed.

The increase of users requesting help and using Cybersmile resources such as its AI smart assistant reveals a worrying trend. And as more people look to connect with each other online, sites like Chatroulette are proving popular – especially with people below the age of 18.

The Cybersmile Foundation releasing a statement today said: “Many of these platforms do have policies to support users under 18 years of age, however we must reiterate to parents that there are very real risks for users – especially for the young and vulnerable.”

As peer-to-peer video streaming between strangers becomes the new normal, other services like Google Meet and Zoom are also contending with the associated risks involved when younger users are able to access their platforms – while speaking to complete strangers.

Does there need to be more guidance for people that use platforms like Chatroulette? Share your opinion with us: @BritainDailyHQ