Popular Video Chat Website Omegle, Announces Closure After 14 Years Of Operation

A well-known social media platform Omegle, was shut down on Thursday after years of using the Internet to bring people together.

14 years after its launch in 2009, Omegle is a video chat website that allowed users to meet new people from all around the world closed.

The news was made on Thursday by Chief Executive Officer Leif K-Brooks, who said that the “battle” to keep the service afloat “has been lost.”

In the announcement, which included a picture of a gravestone with the word “Omegle” written on it, K-Brooks emphasized that the service had achieved a number of noteworthy milestones over the years, chief among them being the creation of strong global relationships.

He did, however, add note that some users of the website “committed unspeakably heinous crimes.”The statement read in part, “Over the years, people have used Omegle to explore foreign cultures; to get advice about their lives from impartial third parties; and to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. I’ve even heard stories of soulmates meeting on Omegle, and getting married. Those are only some of the highlights.

“Unfortunately, there are also lowlights. Virtually every tool can be used for good or for evil, and that is especially true of communication tools, due to their innate flexibility. The telephone can be used to wish your grandmother ‘happy birthday’, but it can also be used to call in a bomb threat. There can be no honest accounting of Omegle without acknowledging that some people misused it, including to commit unspeakably heinous crimes.

“Omegle’s moderation even had a positive impact beyond the site. Omegle worked with law enforcement agencies, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to help put evildoers in prison where they belong. There are ‘people’ rotting behind bars right now thanks in part to evidence that Omegle proactively collected against them, and tipped the authorities off to.”

Despite the efforts invested in ensuring the service keeps functioning, K-Brooks admitted that operating the service was no longer “sustainable, financially nor psychologically”.

“Unfortunately, what is right doesn’t always prevail. As much as I wish circumstances were different, the stress and expense of this fight – coupled with the existing stress and expense of operating Omegle, and fighting its misuse – are simply too much. Operating Omegle is no longer sustainable, financially nor psychologically. Frankly, I don’t want to have a heart attack in my 30s.

“The battle for Omegle has been lost, but the war against the Internet rages on. Virtually every online communication service has been subject to the same kinds of attack as Omegle; and while some of them are much larger companies with much greater resources, they all have their breaking point somewhere,” he wrote.

A user took Omegle to court in July 2022, claiming the app matched her with a pedophile when she was just 11 years old. The complainant asserted that the predator continued to abuse her sexually, threatening her for three years and requesting images of her in her underwear.

The court decided in the plaintiff’s favor, holding that Omegle is ineligible to assert a defense under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of the United States. The purpose of the law was to shield corporations from liability for content published by third parties on their platforms.