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February 6, 2008 / davebirss

What not to do on a website #73

Aaaaah! I got an email this morning inviting me to enter a poetry contest. And seeing as I’ve been known to write the odd verse from time to time, I thought I’d visit their site. They were offering a top prize of $10,000, after all.

So I clicked on their link, quickly decided that it was a load of crap and went to close the window. That’s when I was hit with this offensive web misdemeanor:

Unwelcome intrusion

Why would anyone think it’s OK to do that?

But I decided to chat anyway. This is how it went:

Ashley says: Wait don’t go! I’m sure others would like to see what you’ve written. Please type “Hi” if you see me.
You: Hi
Ashley says: Thanks for taking a minute. You really should enter our poetry contest, it’s free. Just CLICK HERE to get started.
You: are you a real person?
Ashley says: Of course I’m not real but wish I were 🙂
Ashley says: I can answer most of your questions though.
You: I think you’re very attractive. Fancy a drink?
Ashley says: I’m sorry, I did not get that.
You: Would you prefer dinner or something? I’ll GO LARGE and get you fries and everything
Ashley says: Sorry, still didn’t get it.
Ashley says: We are sponsored by the International Library of Poetry.
You: You’re clearly not my type. I like smart girls. What are you wearing?
Ashley says: I’m an artificial intelligence agent. I learn from chatting and can answer most of your questions.

You: What’s your star sign?
Ashley says: We award over $200,000 in cash and gift prizes to amatuer poets every year. Our site is used by more than 750,000 poets every month. CLICK HERE and enter our contest, it’s free.
You: Sagitarius?
Ashley says: I don’t think I can help you, you can contact customer service at 410-xxx-xxxx ext 2

It went on a bit until I got bored. But does anyone fall for this kind of balls? Does it actually work for them? I hope not. I dread a future internet riddled with soul-less chatbots and artificially intelligent helplines. Ugh!

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