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"It completely goes outside of your comfort zone," he said.
"Especially with Twitter and Facebook, you're used to associating with people who are like you, whereas on Chatroulette ... "It certainly reminds you that not everyone's like you -- that's for sure. Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, said new friendships could come out of these random interactions.
But it's hard to say for sure who would be held responsible for any potentially illegal content on the site, and what would be enforced.
That's because so many legal jurisdictions could be in play, and because the site chooses video chats randomly, so it may be difficult to prove someone intended to cause harm, or to view illegal images. It may raise them for people that are misusing or abusing the site," he said.
Two of the first four video chatters randomly selected for CNN by Chatroulette were naked when their pictures appeared.
The fifth person simply held a sign up to the screen that read: "Please show me your boobs." For better or worse, Chatroulette is going viral on the Web in a big way.
A complicated legal environment also surrounds Chatroulette.
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.The site has been called many things: the new Wild West of the Internet; a speed-dating replacement; a cesspool of porn; a voyeuristic follow-up to Alfred Hitchcock's film "Rear Window"; a way to get people from different social groups to interact.Jason Kottke, a prominent blogger, wrote that Chatroulette "is pretty much the best site going on the Internet right now." But even the haters seem to agree that the site generates a certain potentially addictive intrigue -- whether it comes from the rush of meeting a new person, or the fear of seeing a stranger who's not wearing any clothes.A slouched-over man in Tunisia said he was tired because he'd been on the site for four hours.But the stranger Chatroulette sends you could just as easily be naked -- or even masturbating in front of the camera, which is the case rather frequently.
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.