Stickam's terms of service have done little to silence the site's critics. In 2007, The New York Times ran a story about a former executive of the company claiming that the owner of Stickam's parent corporation also managed a company that provides pornographic content on the Web. The executive said that both companies used some of the same office space, equipment and even personnel to run the separate businesses.
Stickam executives have admitted that Japanese businessman Wataru Takashi owns Stickam's parent company, AVC, as well as companies that produce pornographic content for the Web. But they deny any link between the enterprises.
Even if there is no basis for complaint regarding Stickam's owner, users should still be aware that not everything on Stickam may be appropriate for all ages. By its very nature, Stickam provides members with a way to stream unfiltered video to other users. While displaying inappropriate content is against the rules, there's nothing stopping anyone from breaking those rules. And unless someone reports the abuse it will go unpunished.
According to an interview with Beet.TV, Stickam program director Andy Wombwell says that Stickam has more than 4.5 million members. It would be a daunting task for any organization to monitor the activities of that many people. Instead, Stickam relies upon its community of users to monitor the site for abuse.
Despite these controversies, Stickam remains a popular Web destination. And while some users may push the envelope harder than the rules allow, most use the site the way it was intended.
Stickam and similar services have made it easier than ever for people to create content or just hang out on the Web. As more people get access to broadband connections, sites like Stickam will gain more members. Who knows? In a few years you may skip calling your friends on the phone and just meet them face-to-face on the Web.
Learn more about social networking and streaming video on the next page.