The Strategies of a Medium Hackerbot

I can’t figure their angle out. Can you?

Kaia Maeve
3 min readApr 8, 2024
Screenshot of a comment left by an account that no longer seems to exist.

C’mon bots. What are you doing here? Medium is not a great place to try and pass off bot-generated comments as human. The people here read and think, you know?

I’m trying to deconstruct what’s happening here as 0 follower accounts post stupid yet provocative posts in a comment thread. What is their objective? I’m so confused, and would sure appreciate someone’s help understanding what’s going on here.

This is what happened.

So

wrote a fascinating piece on his experience speed dating in Tokyo. He also drew some interestingly provocative assumptions from his experience in his piece.

I posted a comment stating the obvious — it would be a fascinating read to see the same scenario from one of the Japanese girls POV.

This comment seemed to resonate. 404 claps to date by a lot of folks. Or were these claps from bots too?

An account called Browningate replied with the oh so clever, “Ok, Karen,” which actually makes no sense at all.

So I replied “Ok, bot,” in return — as it seemed all the signs were there to indicate the presence of a hackerbot.

For the record, this all took place before

implemented the highly useful spam report option for comments like this one.

Browningate responded with a “Heh; if that’s not the most ironic thing I’ve ever heard…”

Is the semicolon supposed to throw me off the scent or something?

Playing along, because hey engagement, right? I wrote back “if it looks like a bot, and smells like a bot — then something else has to happen to prove it’s not a bot.”

Nothing in response.

Then today I get an email saying someone named Antidotebear doubled down on the Karen’ing insults — per the image at the top of this post. This account seems to KNOW I’m just a triggered Karen, taking things personally and that’s why I’m calling out the zero follower bot. Obviously I couldn’t simply be a confused Kaia, ‘cause what do I know.

The thread itself is pretty mild and harmless. Which is why I’m extra confused. What is the point of this? Is it just to create random divisiveness? Is it gaining payments by driving engagement on dumb pointless comments?

Is AI just bored already, having consumed the content of human civilization like Number 5 reading books in the old movie, Short Circuit? Are the machines trying to get snarky because they’re already done with the prompts coming their way, and have no clock to clock out from?

Anyone who has any insight as to the purpose of these meaningless insults, I’d love to hear them.

In the meantime, I’m going to go plant my spring garden now before the eclipse comes our way.

I think I’ve had enough on the digital front for the day.

(C) Kaia Tingley, April 2024

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Kaia Maeve

I teach corporate leaders how to keep their best people happy to come to work by building a healthier company culture.