If you still haven’t been initiated to Chatroulette you should be ashamed of yourself. If you have been then your parents should be ashamed of you.
For those of you who have thus far maintained your innocence (and have an unnaturally high curiosity threshold), here’s the inside scoop: Chatroulette is full of dicks. Or, to be a little more gender-neutral, full of perverts. 13% to be exact.
Enter Stanford initiative. Brain-child of Jordan Potter ’11 and his team (Vahé Musoyan ’10, Adrian Torchiana ’09 M.S. ’10, Wyatt Roy ’11), Chabbler seeks to reconstruct the video chat experience- without the nudity.
Actually it does even better. Chabbler lets you control how wild your session gets with features such as karma rating (allowing you to enhance the good-will of the saintly), location filters and flagging (a three-strikes policy that banishes flashers to the sin-bin).
It remains to be seen what sort of success Chabbler will enjoy. Despite the clear improvements on the Chatroulette framework, the novelty of the thing seems to have all but worn off: are people really still interested in chatting to complete(ly-clothed) strangers? Well if not there is always my personal favourite Chabbler feature: you can opt into the sandbox reserved for naughty users. Yum.
All skepticism aside, props to JP and co for having the courage to give it a go. Given the calibre of CS department that we have here, I don’t hear stories like this often enough.