We started our process at Chatroulette Map, an awesome new site that plots screenshots from random Chatroulette sessions on a map.
It’s a little-known fact that anyone you chat with on Chatroulette can determine your IP address using a program like Wireshark.
The good news, however, is that a roulette wheel is the statistician’s best friend.
The central limit theorem tells us that a large set of random observations allows us to draw high-confidence conclusions about the underlying data set.
As an added bonus, the file name of each image is a UNIX timestamp of when it was taken. (Note: we tried contacting the creators of Chatroulette Map to participate in this story but did not receive a response.) Once we had photos, times, and locations, we needed data on what was happening in each chat photo.
We coded up a quick webpage that displayed a random photo from the data set and asked some basic multiple-choice questions about that photo.
So, if you’re looking for women on Chatroulette, be forewarned: you’re more likely to encounter an empty chair.
Also interesting is the prevalence of groups on Chatroulette.
We soon had detailed data on 2,883 Chatroulette sessions that tied users to geography, gender, appearance, and more.About 20% were under 20 and about 10% were 40 and older. There were no groups whatsoever of people 40 or older.When we combine age with the gender statistics that we tracked above, we learn even more. 47% of the Chatroulette participants measured were from the United States.However, this means that if you do encounter a female, there is about a 1 in 3 chance that she will be part of a group.In contrast, the chance a male will be part of a group is only about 1 in 12.
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