Gosh-Darn bots on Yahoo Chat (mild)

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.

I wonder if any chat room bots talk to each other…

Yup, and they run up humongous bills in each others’ pay chat rooms.

Apparently, they’ve got software to crack them now.

So then, does a real chat room exist with a large base of people without bots?

Is there a way to set up bots to talk to one another?

Interesting idea; I wonder if you could program a Republican bot and a Democratic bot, and just let them hash it out at high speed for ten thousand lines.

Isn’t that pretty much what we’ve got now? :smiley:

“The only way to win is not to play the game.”

I resent that. Hey, check out my webcam, guys! I do everything! LOL!

Yahoo chat rooms have been bot-filled and useless for years. I don’t even know why they bother.

I’m not really into chat, despite being an Internet old-timer. I wonder how IRC is doing nowadays; seems like so many Internet services that aren’t connected with the Web or email are fading into obscurity.

J.H. Christ. I’m amazed that the spam can (presumably) generate enough revenue to justify the amount of effort involved.

They must do it all the time, since the Yahoo bots sent unsolicited PMs out all the time. There’s a “Report as Spam” button when you get an unsolicited, but AFAICT, it doesn’t work. I used to have a lot of fun in those rooms, now it’s rare to find more than 2 or 3 real people. The NM room has a core of people that still go in there, but they’re a rather inclusive group (although they’re still nice to outsiders). I hop in once a month or so, but I really don’t understand why they can’t eliminate the bots.

In that same vein, I don’t understand why CraigsList can’t eliminate some of their bots, either. Especially the ones that post a link to a known adult web site. Heck, they don’t even let me post two identical ads in different cities when I’m selling motorcycle parts, I don’t know how the bots are able to do it in the same cities with the same message and the same website in the ad. Lame.

Yeah, esp. if the rooms are so crowded (with bots) that nobody goes there anymore.