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I Say, Old Bean...

The Missing Hat
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
A discussion of the botting phenomenon.

This community is for those who have been hit by the fishbots/hatbots/tacobots/etc. What are these bots, you ask? Read on!

General Community Rules
1: Post conversations longer than a few lines behind a cut.
2: Post the name of the bot in the body of the post, before the cut.
3: Don't post requests to be botted in the community. Please use this link to request a fishbot. Also, don't use this community purely as a complaint board.
4: Abide by general decorum.
5: Don't post conversations involved with 'Project Terdstream,' another line of bots. For more details see this post.
6: Keep all posts relevant. The mods will delete your spam.

The Semi-Mini FAQ
Q: What is this?
A: It's like a three-way phonecall - but over an IM, with a computer program creating the link.

Q: How did they get my screen name?
A: These bots search the recently updated pages of web sites (LiveJournal, Xanga, deviantArt, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, etc.) to find screen names and connect random people.

Q: Did I just get h@x0r3d?
A: No, the bots aren't malicious. And you're not 1337, stop typing like that. They're completely harmless.

Q: Can the other person see my real screen name?
A: Simply, no. The bots disguise your true screen name.

Q: Can I use the bots to meet people?
A: Sure, but be prepared to get screamed at occasionally. Some people freak out.

Q: Did you know that they've been IMing Yahoo! screen names, too?
A: Yes.

Q: What are these trout/coho/other-type-of-fish bots?
A: The other fishbots are the same as the salmonbots--the only difference is the naming scheme. Currently the cohobots are the active ones.

Q: So are these groups just the same person appearing again and again?
A: Project Upstream claims no affiliation with any other group (besides the fish). We have no reason to believe they're related.

Q: How can I be connected with another bot?
A: The hatbots and tacobots aren't around anymore, but the fishbots still are. They have a request-a-connection page, or you could add some of the screen names on the coho list below to your AIM buddy list. Just IM a working screen name and voila!

Q: So am I automatically connected with someone after they IM me?
A: No. You're not connected with anyone until you respond to the bot. (This also means that if you don't feel like talking, you don't have to; you can just close the IM window.)

Q: Can I post my conversation here?
A: Yes, but please read and abide by the "General Community Rules" above before you do so.

Q: What cool lingo do you use? I'm so confused!
A: "Salmoning/Trouting/Cohoing" is being IMed by a fishbot (see, similarly: "salmoned"/"trouted"/"cohoed"). "Hatting" is being hit by--you guessed it--a hat bot (also see: "hatted"). "Project Upstream" is the name of the group that created the fishbots. The "Hatmaster"/"Salmonmaster"/etc. we use to refer to the creator of that specific kind of bot, and an "operator" is a person operating the bot (not necessarily the creator).

Q: Is tesseractivity responsible for all this mad bottery?
A: No. He just figured it out and posted it first. Also, none of the rest of the community is involved - that we know of. [insert ominous music here]

Q: Okay, who are The Botmasters, then?
A: No idea. You can email The Hatmaster at thehatmaster@gmail.com or call him at (530) 678-4931, though. (Note: This number may not still be working. Call at your own risk.) The Salmonmaster made posts in the community, usually asking for feedback, but that doesn't give us a lot of information. You can also talk to an operator of the fishing by IMing a working cohobot with your request. One generally responds.

Q: What's with all of the talk about offspring pianists, shoes, wheel of fortune, and the gong show?
A: Please see this post. These are filters the bot uses sometimes--it replaces certain words with the bizarre ones above.

Q: How do I opt-out?
A: There is a post outlining how to located here.

Q: Mind if I link to this community?
A: Please do! The more confusion we alleviate, the better.

Project Upstream Screen Names
Hat Bot Screen Names
In-Depth Hatting FAQ (created: 5/18/2006)