How Ashley Madison Hid Its Fembot Con From Users and Investigators

The developers at Ashley Madison created their first artificial woman sometime in early 2002. Her nickname was Sensuous Kitten, and she is listed as the tenth member of Ashley Madison in the company’s leaked user database. On her profile, she announces: “I’m having trouble with my computer ... send a message!” »9/08/15 4:25pm9/08/15 4:25pm


Ashley Madison Code Shows More Women, and More Bots

After searching through the Ashley Madison database and private email last week, I reported that there might be roughly 12,000 real women active on Ashley Madison. Now, after looking at the company’s source code, it’s clear that I arrived at that low number based in part on a misunderstanding of the evidence. Equally… »8/31/15 3:50pm8/31/15 3:50pm

Writer Goes on Stalker-y Mission to Track Down the Women in Twitter Bot Profile Pictures

There are a lot of personages floating around social media sites, a disconcertingly significant number of them with no more life or substance than a discarded shell whose hermit crab tenant abandoned it a long time ago. These "bots" are used to help athletes and celebrities bolster their Twitter accounts, or trick… »8/07/12 11:55pm8/07/12 11:55pm

Facebook Is a Great Place to Network with People Who Don't Exist

The other week, I got a random Facebook friend request from a suspiciously modelesque shirtless dude who sent me a message that read "I wish to accept friendship." We had no friends in common. My coworker Dodai got a similar request with the same message but from a totally different person. Were we among the chosen… »8/02/12 6:00pm8/02/12 6:00pm