Omegle, a popular video chat platform, is shutting down due to increasing misuse of the platform.
Founder and programmer Leif K-Brooks announced the closure of the site Thursday in a blog post where he said the stress of running the site was too much for one person.
“Operating Omegle is no longer sustainable, financially nor psychologically,” he wrote. “Frankly, I don’t want to have a heart attack in my 30s.”
Omegle, which was introduced in 2009 as a video chatroom that connected users based on specific interests, saw a surge of popularity quickly becoming one of the most popular chat sites online.
However, controversy followed as users criticized Omegle for the proliferation of abusive activity on the site, leading to numerous lawsuits.
In his blog post, Mr. Brooks said that the COVID-19 pandemic brought a surge of new users to the site, something he was not prepared to handle.
“As much as I wish circumstances were different, the stress and expense of this fight — coupled with the existing stress and expense of operating Omegle, and fighting its misuse — are simply too much,” he wrote.
He laments the death of his site and of the internet that once was.
“I worry that, unless the tide turns soon, the internet I fell in love with may cease to exist,” he wrote. “And in its palace, we will have something closer to a souped-up version of TV — focused largely on passive consumption, with much less opportunity for active participation and genuine human connection.”