Those of you, to whom this means nothing must, obviously, have been living under a virtual stone over the last couple of weeks – if that’s you, try typing ‘flatterbot‘ into Google and you’ll find getting on for 4000 hits for the flatterbot phenomenon… most of which are couched in terms of outrage and disgust.
i’ve gleefully observed the way in which the debacle has blossomed, from the very beginnings of puzzled residents bemused about strangers complimenting their appearance, followed by the sob story and inevitable request for linden bucks. Were these real noobs, somehow all afflicted by the same rl misfortunes; scheming alts, out to make a fast buck; or an emerging army of bots intent on fleecing good-natured avatars? As momentum gathered, the debate ranged widely – some doubting the veracity of the stories, with others posting detailed transcripts of increasingly familiar chat logs. Something, quite definitely was afoot!
And then, a public outcry, when all was revealed… an evil genius scripter, hiding behind an army of bots, making oodles of hard cash – if the facts are indeed true – from the simple expedient of complimenting people’s appearance, followed up with a straightforward request for money.
Harsh words and strong opinions have been voiced – fraudster; confidence trickster; law-breaker; beggar, and more beside. There have been demands for the Lab to crush this rogue, calls for justice and even veiled threats of law-enforcement.
What a complete load of moronic twaddle!
i just know i’m going to get lambasted for this post, but what the heck – i’m thick-skinned enough to handle it. Don’t misunderstand me, i disagree with some aspects of the scallywag’s mode of operation – i’m sure that if i was a store owner, (yes, i know that technically i am, i’m just not selling anything yet!), i wouldn’t want these pesky bots harassing my customers, but there’s a pretty simple answer to that for landowners, but at the end of the day, what is all the fuss about? i have to admit to a certain grudging respect for this entrepeneur, who has managed to utilise their scripting ability and social engineering skills to rake in the cash, and i’ve no doubt at all that we’ll see a rash of copycat botting now, which will almost certainly be the death knell of this particular venture, for good.
Is flatterbotting really that much different from club hosting, or poledancing, or sl photography studios, or any number of similar ventures, in which money is offered in return for a, sometimes dubious, service? If you’re willing to part with your hard-earned lindens because somebody compliments your hairdo, or takes their top off and shakes their boobies in your face, or welcomes you to their club, then why complain? Nobody’s forcing you to fork out your readies.
i accept that the whole ‘I had to leave sl because my boyfriend told me to and then I found out he was cheating on me with another avatar behind my back so I took a couple of years off but now I’m back although I’m oh so poor and you’re oh so gorgeous please would you give me L$300 so I can look a teeny weeny bit as good as you’ line is perhaps just a little underhand – of course it’s not the truth and it’s deceiving, but let’s face it, there are probably about a bazillion other untruths and deceptions going on in sl every second – many of them far, far worse – and i bet you’re guilty of a few of them too!
My gut feeling is that a large amount of the vehement flatterbotter bashing is coming from those who have fallen prey to this particular scam or know that, put in that position, a bot would have no problem plying their sensibilities and extracting a handful of cash, in exchange for a flutter of the eyelashes and a vacuous compliment… the outrage, i fear, is fuelled by the embarrassment of realisation just how shallow, and what a bunch of suckers, many sl residents really are! Let’s face it, if somebody’s going to feed you the line these bots are peddling, no matter how convincingly, you have to be pretty shallow to a) fall for it, or b) not see through it instantly – to be fooled is downright embarrassing. Personally, if a complete stranger asks me for cash, sex, or a helping of my blood, they get pretty short-shrift – either a firm ‘no’ or the simple, but always effective expedient of being ignored.
As for the calls for the Lab to put a stop to this outrage, do i really need to remind anyone that the power to instantly put a stop to any bot’s antics lies within our own hands? Landowners: boot them, ban them and block them… the rest of us, if you find it impossible to ignore the blooming things, mute them, block them, derez them and, by all means, if you really don’t mind looking stupid, AR them! But please, please, please, please stop whining about the damn things!
Those of you who feel your SLives have been cruelly tormented by this plague of bots will be pleased to know that i have just started up a new therapy service – i will undertake to pay you a compliment inworld, in exchange for money, for as long as it takes for your ego to become re-inflated. No underhandedness, no fake sob-stories, just compliments for cash. [Full disclosure – if you’re daft enough to sign up for this, i will milk you for every linden i can 😀 ].
/me braces herself for the backlash!
Every day is so wonderful
And suddenly it’s hard to breathe
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, feel so ashamed
Lemonheads – Beautiful