Salmon Can Type!
I got an IM from a coho tonight. In case you’ve never seen one, that’s a coho there, on the right.
How did this happen?! I mean, no thumbs. No fingers, even. You can’t fool me, I said, cohos can’t type.
I wasn’t all that surprised to get a random IM, although the fish thing did kind of throw me for a second. I post one of my AIM screen names online, so every now and then I get a message from a name I don’t recognize.
Salmon are Rude
So I wasn’t worried when I couldn’t place my good friend BunnyCoho when he or she IMed me. Being A) relatively polite to strangers and B) insatiably curious, I IMed back. Mistake. If I want to listen to a random person insult me, I’ll turn left from a right turn lane in downtown Salem. Then at least I’ll deserve it.
Oh, Disappointment, Salmon are Actually Just People
It turns out, this is not intended to be SPAM or general harassment. This is a social experiment. TheGreatHatsby is a bot that scoops LiveJournal account screen names, and randomly matches the users up. The insidious thing is that it’s done in such a way that each participant believes the other one contacted them first.
This is kind of a neat idea. I like to talk with new people, and I’m all for new methods of online communication. But if you’re going to initiate unsolicited communication between people without any advance notice of the experiment, you’re going to piss a lot of people off. So, unless the goal of the project is to create irritated misanthropes, you might have missed the mark a bit.
According to the Wikipedia article, this bot died out in 2007. TheGreatHatsby was replaced by the Salmon bots, which are essentially the same, but less private (your screen name may or may not be filtered) and more confusing (text is randomly edited). Screen names may appear as (adjective)Trout, (adjective)Salmon or (adjective)Coho.
Oh Good, I’m Not Crazy, Being Hacked or Being Spammed
Good luck to Project Upstream as well. I was glad to have a reason to learn about something new, and you can surely add one more misanthrope to your tally.
Image credit: red coho