Chesterfield mum issues warning over online chat site after daughter is asked to expose herself on video
A Chesterfield mum has issued a warning to other parents over a potentially dangerous website which allows children to video chat with strangers.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, discovered her 10-year-old daughter had been accessing Omegle – a video-chatting website that uses the strapline ‘Talk to strangers’ – after she began to use 'adult’ words and it was revealed she had been threatened into sending explicit messages.
Intended for mature audiences, the website states "you must be 18+ or 13+ with parental permission" but offers no checks other than selecting 'OK' to confirm you are over 18.
Users are then randomly linked with strangers for virtual video and text chats, with an unmoderated section which brings the warning that users "are more likely to encounter sexual behaviour".
The worried mum said: “My daughter mentioned some words which I thought were very adult words and I asked where she heard them from and she said her friend, that she’d been on Omegle and that my daughter had been on Omegle too.
"I’d never even heard of Omegle and she said it was like Tik Tok, where you talk to other people, strangers. She’d seen it on YouTube and Tik Tok advertising as well.
"She went on there and men said to her, do this or we want your address and we’re going to come to your house. My daughter got very frightened and felt like she had to do it as it scared her. They were telling her to show parts and do stuff.”
The woman has since spoken to her daughter’s school, Brimington Junior School, which said they are aware of the issue and have “taken steps to inform all of the parents of children who attend our school.”
But it’s not just isolated to Chesterfield with others also voicing concerns over the website which warns on its homepage that “predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful.”
Recently, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden penned a hard-hitting letter to the US firm to demand the sickening abuse and grooming be stopped.
In the letter, the Cabinet Ministers said: “We expect Omegle to take steps now to protect children.”
They said this must include “efforts to stop the live-streaming of abuse and stop grooming and predatory behaviour”.