If you don't like the looks of things, click "next" and the site shuffles you to someone new. During a recent CNN test of the site, a man from France popped up on the screen wearing a jester's hat and telling jokes in French.Two men dressed as skeletons were having a dance party to techno music and flashing lights.On Chatroulette, every interaction is an adventurous gamble.
A complicated legal environment also surrounds Chatroulette.
Ryan Calo, an attorney and residential fellow at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society, said some activities taking place on the site, such as men masturbating in front of the camera, may be illegal.
No way to tell who will appear on the other side of the camera.
This stands in contrast to sites like Facebook, Twitter and online dating sites, all of which are organized around existing social networks, creeds, interests or location, said Adam Ostrow, editor-in-chief at the blog Mashable.
And online dating services like Woo Me use similar features.
But, in all of those instances, people choose who they will talk to -- or at least what kind of person they'd like to chat with.Conversation shuffle Still, many of the interactions on Chatroulette could be charitably described as fleeting.In New York magazine, Sam Anderson wrote that after logging onto the site one day he was rejected immediately by the first 18 people he encountered."My guess is that there's a lot of superficial, but that every once in a while people will strike up a friendship," he said."That's something that's always valuable and important." He said people increasingly are forming relationships online, as opposed to only using the Internet to deepen friendships with people they already know.One guy just stared into the camera and flipped me off.