This story is over 5 years old.


A Q&A With the Redditor Who Made a Sexy Spam Bot Short-Circuit

If I was a bot, why would I be wearing this hat?
Rachel Pick
New York, US

Two days ago, Redditor mashermack was hit up by a sexy bot on Kik. (Images NSFW.) He proceeded to make the badly-written bot go haywire, creating some unintentional comedy gold. I reached out to mashermack in London via email to ask him more about his bizarre experience making a bot break down.

So what exactly happened here?

Since I have a really random username on [Kik], the only way for a legitimate person to reach me on Kik is because I give out my contact details. If someone who I don't know messages me, that narrows it down to a very patient person that is typing out random characters on the app, or a computer that is generating usernames to send messages to.


A normal person will generally start a conversation with "Hello", not "Are you here right now" which leads me to reply with "Hello bot." Its following response is confusing but hilarious to whoever has some basic understanding of coding: four potential responses on one line, delimited with a pipe character. It was very clear only one of those was meant to be sent.

Not only does the bot fail instantly to fulfill its purpose… but it also shows it is poorly coded. What follows is me trying to (successfully) break it.

Does this happen often on Kik? You seem to know a bit about how these bots function.

To be really honest I have no idea how a bot will function, I'll just figure it out while chatting. Being a web developer myself it's interesting to see what a bot does or what pattern it follows.

Sometimes it replies to certain words, sometimes it just follows a script no matter what you're answering. Only on one occasion I've found a real person behind it who replied coherently, before the usual script kicked in.

Where do you think these pictures were sourced from?

The original source could be anything, probably the girls in the pictures have uploaded pictures of themselves somewhere online, or they are revenge porn uploads from ex-partners. Only thing I am sure of is, whoever took these pictures, they are not aware they are used for scam purposes.

What kind of scam was this bot running? Do you think they ever actually work?


Signups for paid webcam shows, or tricking you into putting in your credit card details for a promised webcam show which very likely you will never get.

Someone in the comments on the post on Reddit pointed out that it does indeed work, however these bots can message up to thousands of users every day, if not more, [so] eventually someone not particularly bright will open the link.

"Not only does the bot fail instantly to fulfill its purpose… but it also shows it is poorly coded."

What actual human would feel sexy enough to take a picture of their butt after eating Chipotle?

I must admit the picture sent after the Chipotle message as shown in the screenshot is a bit nonsense… On the other hand, if you are able to send a decent picture of your bum after eating Chipotle you must be damn proud of your body.

Lastly, what does wearing a hat have to do with anything?

At first I thought it was some kind of a weird American joke that I wouldn't get. Later on, typing it into Google, I've found it's a quote from the movie Half Baked. Whoever wrote this bot has a really poor sense of humor.