Hundreds of articles and blog posts have asked whether Chatroulette is a fad or a good investment, and if it will change Internet culture forever.“The Daily Show” ’s Jon Stewart attempted to take his pants off for the NBC anchor Brian Williams while Chatrouletting on the air.He is thin and nervous, with light sprays of acne on his cheeks and a fuzz of dark-blond hair.He has a hard time making eye contact and learned English by spending thousands of hours chatting online, but he says that his passion is talking with people and “exploring other cultures.”Selling souvenirs to foreign tourists was an ideal job for Ternovskiy.More than a million people, most of them from the United States, clog Chatroulette’s servers daily.To “next” someone has become a common transitive verb.
On one of my first Chatrouletting attempts, I found myself talking to a man from Lyons, who had muted the sound.“I just couldn’t feel the value of the money.” He was fired within a month.The following summer, Ternovskiy holed up at home and began to toy with the code for a new site that would re-create the atmosphere of the store.When the actor Ashton Kutcher was in Moscow in February, as part of a U. State Department technology delegation, he berated Ternovskiy for what his stepdaughter had seen on the site. There is, for example, the video of the dancing banana, crudely drawn on lined paper, exhorting people to “Dance or gtfo!” (Dance or get the fuck out.) The banana’s partners usually respond with wiggling delight.
One box shows your own image, courtesy of your Webcam; the other is for the face of what the site calls, somewhat ambiguously, a “partner.” When Partner appears, you can stay and talk using your voice or your keyboard, or you can click “Next,” which whips you on to someone new.