Omegle, the site that paired up strangers for 1-on-1 chats and, uh, other stuff, has closed: ‘Frankly, I don’t want to have a heart attack in my 30s,’ founder says

Do you remember Omegle? It launched in 2009 as a chat service with a twist: Instead of picking a server to join or people to talk to, users were randomly paired up for one-on-one chats with anonymous strangers from around the world. That sure sounds like a terrible idea, doesn’t it? And sure enough, racism and discrimination, pornography, and child abuse were all persistent problems the site faced. Yet it continued to operate for more than 14 years, until earlier this week when site founder Leif K-Brooks announced that he’s pulled the plug.

“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,” K-Brooks wrote in a lengthy shutdown announcement. “I’ve even heard stories of soulmates meeting on Omegle, and getting married. Those are only some of the highlights.”

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