I haven’t looked at a chatroom in years. But, I saw it was a feature with my Yahoo account, so I checked it out.
Now, I didn’t expect a level of discourse on par with the SDMB. But, I thought it might be interesting.
What did I find? Every single room I entered, regardless of subject – science, sports, hobbies, even a chatroom about being adoptive parents – was chock full o’ bots.
They pretended to be women desperately eager to have men look at their webcams. How do I know they were bots? First, several of them used the exact same wording in their come-ons. Second, when a contact window from one of them would pop up, I’d do my own little Turing test. I’d say, “I’ve got a pillowcase full of little puppies here. Unless you say otherwise, it’s in the river they go!” The response would just be more of a set of stock phrases, such as “It’s getting hot! I might have to take something off lol!”
So, how do they get in? In order to enter a chatroom, I had to type in some distorted alphanumeric characters. I guess that’s the only part requiring the human touch; somebody does that for each of his bots, and they do the rest.
As far as I could tell, not a single one of the chatrooms is being used for its intended purpose. Given the many message boards available for legitimate discussion of different interests, are chatrooms obsolete? I’m more puzzled than pissed off; it’s not like I feel deprived of a proper chatroom experience.
Fuck a duck. Has the chatroom world really been abandoned to bots and (presumably) perverts? Makes me think of the mall at the end of Dawn of the Dead.