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Wednesday, February 01, 2012


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Pussycat Catnap

Rise of the bots?

12 mutual friends.

"Skynet would like to be your friend, accept (y/n)?"

Interests in common: destroying all life, giving John Connor what for.

Xah Lee

i have a different story. A mysterious person with quite a few sexy photo want to befriend me in 2011. I accepted, of course, because i wanted to know what she really she. We started to text chat. Soon, it's beyond doubt she's no bot, but a real person typing behind it. In fact, i was surprised that she's polite, and frank. She was never cheap, blunt, or inappropriate. (i don't know if she's really she, but let's just use the word she) She asked me to go to her site to sign up for a account, which requires my credit card. Our chat didn't last long after that, because we both knew that am not likely to get on with her program. lol.

she is still on fb, as a member in my friend list. All her friends, about 40 of them (i just checked), are male.

the real question i'm interested, is how's her business work. Is she really female? and is she really the one in her photo? And, is she a hired monkey for a p site, or is she the owner of the site? etc questions.

(looking at her fb page now, it seems there's no activity since she appeared in May 2011)

Pussycat Catnap

@Xah: You give the website your credit card, and somebody in another country goes shopping on Amazon for golf clubs.

Its that simple. A pure con job.

If you know how to code up a basic website, you could scan about and put up a pron site with all the right features, and mine credit cards with ease. To hide yourself better, you could even put actual content on the other side of the sign up - wait a year, then "go out of business" and go shopping...

Emerald Wynn

Ugh - the same thing happened to me, but with a guy. The guy wasn't even attractive, so it wasn't a "hot guy wants to be your friend" ploy. When he sent the friend request, I noticed we had something like 15 mutual friends, so I figured he was someone I went to high school with or knew from around town somewhere, etc.

Once he (and I'm not sure if it was a bot or an aggressive marketing guy) got on my friends list, he sent a friend request to every one of my friends, most of whom accepted because they too saw the "mutual friend" status. It was only when one of my friends said, "Hey, how do you know this guy? Who is he? He sent me a friend request," that I had to admit I had only accepted his request because of all of our mutual friends. When I then asked one of our mutual friends how SHE knew the guy, she had the same answer - she didn't, but a ton of her friends did. It took a chain of similar questions before we all figured out that none of us knew him. It was fun.

And yeah, the guy had a lot of normal FB posts mixed in with "look how great my real estate business is going!" posts. And the hilarious thing was how many of us would comment "Congratulations! That's great to hear!" on those posts. Ugh. *hides face in shame*

After that sucker punch, I stopped accepting friend requests from people I didn't really know, even if we had 30 mutual friends.

Depressing, actually.

shockwave yareach

I guess I'm the odd man out. I don't accept friend requests unless I know you from somewhere. The requirements aren't stringent -- you need not be my best friend in college and know where the body is buried (jk for those of you with deficient humor glands). But you have to know me from somewhere to look me up; so tell already.

Then again, i don't ever hit the like button, play games, answer quizzes or give any information whatsoever to Facebook either. My life and my interests are not Facebook property.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

So, Facebook is laden with bots, but doesn't like people creating entries for Second Life avatars. As Glenn Reynolds would say, "Heh".


The only bot for me is @horse_ebooks.

@horse_ebooks, I love you!


Hamlet Au

Hey Path, I think someone you know was Facebook friends with Aretha. Just saying. :)

Extropia DaSilva

she exists. On Facebook.

Extropia DaSilva

If the bots become as sophisticated as the last paragraph suggests, then my ambition to outlive my primary would not be too far-fetched. It is just a matter of providing sufficient information so that suitably advanced software can run a bot that mimics me.

foneco zuzu

And again, I don't use facebook since i beta tested it, over 2007 if my memory does not cheat!
I despise those who try to make SL a facebook clone, or even, to try yo assume its culture!
Facebook is a data miner only!

Aretha Millsaps

Bot? I'm not a bot, just a misunderstood virtual person. You should all be able to relate to that!


I'm still getting group invites from bots on Yahoo, for Pete's sake. I agree with the rise of the bots, but not to the point where we get Skynet. Once Apple legitimized Siri, that was the trigger to unleash a new wave of chatbots, which unleashed a next generation of adbots, then spambots, then the zombie botnets. For the record, the zombie botnets scare me a heck of a lot more than Skynet. As far as I'm concerned, it's a matter of time until global internet society each has access to a basic AI, if not a personal assistant.

Kim Anubis

If online data mining companies continue to label things like this our "friends" we're going to need a new word to describe people we care about.

Pussycat Catnap


The Skynet reference was a joke, btw. :)

I read 'rise of the bots' and heard 'rise of the machines.'


And yeah, my yahoo emails are near useless. Pesky bots. They've made some inroads on my google emails too... But then again I tend to use the yahoo ones for signups on various places and nothing more - so they're more subject to attack. The actual spam filters of both companies seem about on par; but one is facing off against the kids down the block whereas the other is trying to field off the Mongolian invasion. :D

We all just want to talk to each other... but the darn spammers are seriously determined to turn that into an opportunity to abuse us...

William D.

The thing that's obvious in retrospect that many men don't stop and think about is that hot women don't sit there and message random people out of the blue. Men that accept these friend requests from these bots are thinking with the wrong head. The more concerning thing though is that a lot of these bots aren't just commercial in nature - yes there's plenty of companies listed at FacebookFansReviews that use these types of activities to try and promote their pages - it's the fact that governments are getting involved in this activity to mine data about people or even to alter public opinion, which I find to be a bit scary. If you look at government job openings, you're going to see an absurd number of people that are being engaged in the activity of trying to manipulate public opinion online. Commercial activity in this regard is expected, but its the idea that public opinion on war and civil rights and other important issues being manipulated that is contrary to the spirit of our country that I find quite troubling.

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