How to Avoid Flashers on Chatroulette

Chatroulette is a website that allows chatting via live video with strangers. It has gained popularity and has even become an internet meme to show people's reactions to odd broad-castings.[1]

While this can bring you closer together with someone from anywhere around the world, it can also bring some less savory elements into your living room, such as someone who decides to flash you. The following suggestions are provided as a way to help you reduce the likelihood of being exposed to a flasher on Chatroulette, although the potential will continue to exist at present.


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    Know what you're dealing with. Chatroulette is a relatively new phenomenon and one which apparently proves irresistible to some exhibitionists who can't keep themselves from exposing more than anybody else wants to see. The anonymity of the feature encourages a "trenchcoat-wearing subway flasher" mentality for some (mainly) men.[2] Being prepared for the possibility and being ready to disconnect is probably your best defense.
    • If you don't want to risk it, perhaps the best solution is not to use Chatroulette at all.
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    Note what Chatroulette is trying to do to combat flashers. Make up your own mind whether or not you think Chatroulette's handling of the problem is sufficient enough to quell your concerns.
    • The site is using face recognition software to try to cut or censor any instances of non-face appearances. A warning also goes off for the site managers if a user is being constantly skipped, presumably enabling them to deal with it promptly.
    • The site has added a site notice informing all users that it is against US and UN law to expose themselves to minors and that the Chatroulette site is cooperating with law enforcement agencies.[3]
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    Try to avoid the channels more likely to involve flashing. In addition to the above attempts to remove flashers, Chatroulette has added new channels - some "adult-themed" channels and a local dating channel.
    • Avoid the adult-themed channels if you don't want to risk flashers. Flashers are more likely to be using them.
    • Use the local dating stream for dating conversation and a decreased likelihood of flashers. Theoretically, people looking for a date will be doing so in earnest rather than considering exposing themselves!
    • None of this is foolproof. A flasher will go wherever a flasher feels like, so remain vigilant for moving on as fast as possible!
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    Switch to the next person or switch off. If anything unsavory starts occurring on your screen, go to someone else who isn't abusing the chat, or switch it off altogether.
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    Get support. For some, especially children, it isn't pleasant seeing somebody exposing themselves, or images depicting graphic violence and can be extremely troubling. If you experience shock, anxiety, panic, disgust, etc. after seeing a flasher, it is important to work through your upset. Find someone you can trust to talk to, whether it be another family member, a friend, a counselor, or someone else whom you feel safe talking with.
    • Try to keep it in perspective by realizing that such people are mentally unhealthy and this isn't meant as a personal attack on you. You're an anonymous victim.
    • If you find flashing is happening to you frequently when on Chatroulette, seriously consider not using Chatroulette at all.
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    Report incidents of flashing to Chatroulette. This will enable the site managers to track down the IP and other details in an attempt to have the offender caught and dealt with by law enforcement officials. The more that people understand that this is a high likelihood, the less tempted they will be to try.


  • The site now warns: "Broadcasting inappropriate content to minors is a violation of both US and UN law. We are actively cooperating with law enforcement agencies." It is not clear how far the site managers intend on enforcing this yet, so be vigilant and proactive yourself.


  • It is advisable to keep children away from and off Chatroulette. You can't control what's about to happen, and they won't be able to wipe the experience from their memory, so just don't expose them to it in the first place. Consider parental controls to block the site from your computer altogether.

Things You'll Need

  • Chatroulette access

Sources and Citations

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