Asian Man Suffers Shocking Racist Abuse While Talking to Strangers on Omegle

A TikTok user has shared his experience with racism on Omegle, with a video of a young male hurling racial slurs at him and detailing the deaths of Asian people, seemingly excited.

Sean uploaded the video on June 27 to his account @seantanwanton. Using the popular video chat-roulette site Omegle, which pairs users with strangers across the world, he found himself chatting with a young male.

The experience swiftly turned into a negative one, as the boy can be heard reeling off racial slurs at Sean, who is from Singapore. The boy repeatedly asked Sean if he knew the meaning of the word, to which Sean said no.

He then called Sean a "zipperhead,"—a racist term coined during the Korean War.

After asking him if he knew the meaning, the boy excitedly detailed how tanks would be used run over people. In the video, the boy seems somewhat excited by it. "Do you enjoy that?" asked Sean.

At one point, an off-camera voice can be heard asking: "How does he not know his own racial slurs?" when Sean acted none the wiser. The boy continued to compare it to the N-word when explaining it further. The two boys then begin working through the list of existing racial slurs, targeting them at Sean.

Sean told Newsweek he was left, "pissed, angry and annoyed," by the encounter, but explained that it's far from a rarity on Omegle.

"The times I've been on Omegle I would always experience such things every time I am on the TikTok server," he wrote in an email.

Omegle has become popular on TikTok over the last year, with users citing 'TikTok' as their interest on the site, which pairs them only to other users who have done the same.

In the US, Google searches for "Omegle" peaked in December, but searches are still consistently almost double pre-pandemic figures. Doing so tends to pair users with a younger, less explicit demographic compared to the nudity-filled videos users may remember from the site's earlier days.

As the popularity of the 2009-born site rises however, so does the racism present on it.

In November, the Anti-Defamation League released a warning statement online about the hate on the site, writing: "White supremacists and racists use these roulette-style chat opportunities to 'troll' and harass women and minorities, and attempt to recruit others to their extreme ideologies."

Cyberpsychologist Dr. Joannne Meredith told i-D in 2020 that the behaviour demonstrated on Omegle is a consequence of people losing their inhibitions online.

"Due to various features of online interaction—including dissociative imagination, or the view that the online world is a kind of game—people become less inhibited and behave in ways that they would not normally."

Omegle becomes a hub for this, with the format of it allowing users to be paired with people they will never see again under the pretense that no one will likely see it too.

With mobile phones providing a way to capture the scenes, and TikTok providing an easy platform to host it on, what happens in Omegle doesn't always stay in Omegle.

The hashtag "#omegle' has over 124 million views on TikTok, and some users have posted similar videos to Sean, showing just how rife the racism on Omegle can be.

Some users visit the trenches of Omegle racism, selecting terms like "BLM" as their shared interest, and finding the most extreme of views there to share in their videos.

Omegle claims to be somewhat moderated, but reiterates on its homepage that, "no moderation is perfect," and that, "users are solely responsible for their behaviour while using Omegle."

"I hope the video teaches others to be respectful to different people from different countries," said Sean.

Newsweek contacted the founder of Omegle for comment.