Ashley Madison Had 70,000 Bots Enticing Men With Messages Like “Hi”
Last week, data journalist Annalee Newitz analyzed the original data dump from cheating site Ashley Madison for Gizmodo and proposed that there were almost no real women who were active on the site. Newitz discovered that’s not exactly true, thanks to a second data dump of Ashley Madison’s source code. There were real, live women on the site, but it’s impossible to tell how many exactly were real and active.
It is possible to tell, though, that Ashley Madison had created about 70,000 bots that were actively messaging and initiating chats almost exclusively with men. Conversations started with such lively and attention-grabbing messages as:
‘how are you?’
‘any body home?’
‘hows it going?’
‘how r u?’
‘anybody home? lol’
‘so what brings you here?’
‘free to chat??’
Which leads me to believe that OKCupid is also populated by bots, or maybe just bot-like human men, because that list is verbatim about half the messages that I ever got on OKC.
Anyway, on Ashley Madison, if a man responded to a message from one of these bots, they got this just incredibly life-like second message:
“Hmmmm, when I was younger I used to sleep with my friend’s boyfriends. I guess old habits die hard although I could never sleep with their husbands.
I’m sexy, discreet, and always up for kinky chat. Would also meet up in person if we get to know each other and think there might be a good connection. Does this sound intriguing?”
So believable! But these bots’ job, basically, was to convert non-paying male members to paying male members, to appear lifelike enough to get men onto the site. What those men found what they paid is, again, unclear, because it’s hard to determine how many women were engaging on the site. But it might explain why so many of the people who have been outed or who have admitted, themselves, that they were Ashley Madison members, have said that they joined, it was lame, and they didn’t use it again.
No matter what your feelings about cheating are – cheating aside entirely – there is the fact that Ashley Madison, as a company, created a lot of illusions (read: fake women) to get men, in particular, to pay a lot of money for memberships. Some people would call that poetic justice, and some people would call it fraudulent.
[Image via Shutterstock]
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