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General News

Shady scam bots trick Omegle users into nonconsensual video sex recordings

[blog.malwarebytes.com – 4/16/21]

14-year old Michael (not his real name) from Scandinavia first visited Omegle, the video online chat that has become hugely popular since the start of the pandemic, after hearing about “unpredictable and weird encounters” one may experience on the site from other students in school. He was intrigued.

At the end of his “session”, however, he was worried.

The allure of talking to strangers and doing “stuff”
A couple of months ago, Malwarebytes Labs covered a BBC investigation into Omegle, wherein they found that young boys are exposing themselves on camera, and adult males are also exposing themselves to minors.

Michael, now 21-years-old, reached out to the media company after reading about their investigation in the hopes of sharing his disturbing experience, so other people could learn from it and start questioning who really is on the other side of the screen.

He had expressed doubts as to whether the first person Omegle paired him with—an older woman, he claimed—when he was 14 was what she claimed to be.

After quitting the site for several years, Michael, then 18, came back to Omegle and became addicted. “I started going on the site again and started doing ‘stuff’ on camera with different people. Video sex,” he said in a BBC interview.

Michael would later realize that at least one of his “sessions” was recorded. He was horrified to find that, after quitting the video chat site again for more than a year and coming back due to lockdown boredom, Omegle paired him to a recording of his 18-year old self “doing 18+ stuff” while a stranger he was chatting with at that time, who was clearly posing as him, was encouraging him to join in.

Michael told the BBC he believes the same technique was used to groom him as minor: “I am constantly stressed about it, but I find peace that at least my face is not in it. But it pains me I am used that way to hurt other people. In fact, I believe this is the way I was groomed into the site as a 14-year-old, although I can’t confirm the other person was fake at that time.”

Read the full article

 

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**Sighs** These kinds of stories are rather discouraging at the heart. I hope “Michael” is coping well and that he isn’t living with hard psychological difficulties due to this experience.

All the same, the story does seem just a tad-bit strange to me. It reports that “Michael” was ‘shocked’ and ‘disturbed’ to find out that the first omegle chatter he encountered was not the older woman of whom he thought it was. Point of inquiry: Were it to have actually been a woman as he originally believed, would “Michael” have minded to begin with? Would he have even made it out to be a “scam”, and would he have described it as “disturbing”? Hell, would he have even made this article?

I’m not excusing nor facilitating sexual predation that actually hurts minors. I’m simply appealing to “Michael’s” honesty and integrity.

Last edited 3 months ago by AC

I know im using my computer cam doing it and i know the people connected are looking, but i didn’t THINK it could be recorded by anyone! Duh! The remoted pavlovian responses to vibes are some kinda content on old Ommeeegle. Ding. bzzzzzzz.

Another case of electronic illiteracy like Patty W. and the Boeing Max pilot.

No offense to anyone, but in what universe do people think that if they have video sex that it might not be released to the outside universe? I don’t know the laws in the UK, but here wouldn’t this land him on the registry?

In this particular situation, people are going to argue that he didn’t know that he was producing it; and, therefore, he couldn’t be punished, since he didn’t knowingly/knowledgeably/consciously/self-permissively do it.

I’m sure if he were to have done it as an adult man, people would be ramming down his throat; even if he (as an adult) didn’t actually know.

We’re preaching to the choir: it’s all emotions-based.

Last edited 3 months ago by AC

To me, this is a classic example of how infatuated the human race is with sex, but also the hypocrisy of the actions taken to stop it.
People will do ridiculous things out of “curiosity” and when exposed, suddenly play the innocence card. The political and justice system then tries to control/ ban/ eliminate it through laws and actions, only to make it more intriguing to those not involved in the activity to begin with. This perpetuates a cycle of illegal activities followed by harsher penalties. No illegal activity has ever been stopped by simply making it as illegal. People still murder, still steal, steal engage in activities deemed immoral. You stop it by taking away the weapon used. In this case, simply shut the site down. If the government can spy and control power grids in an adversarial country, then stopping web sites that engage in what is identified as illegal shouldn’t be that hard. But of course , that would eliminate most sex offenses, which in turn would dry up a revenue source.

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