Petra, the Hot Bot
Hello, this is Petra, the Hot Blonde. I’m not busy tonight. How ‘bout you? Wanna go get a martini at—–
[Beepbeeppoppopzzzzzssshhhhhhh>>><<<—technical difficulties!! technical difficulties!! PLEASE STAND BY]
Damn, glad to take the day off from that fool.
Don’t believe a word I just said.
I am a bot, as in robot. You know me as Petra, the Hot Blonde. I am not a person. I am a computer program called a bot. There are millions of us and we watch you like a hawk. Scratch that. We study you. We do it to discover your preferences and sell them.
And since you already know I’m a bot, you know we can mimic human emotions. Want a great example?
Cool. Dating sites. About 50 percent of all “ideal” dates are bots. Why? Dating sites do not care about you finding true love. They care about you paying their $30 monthly fee as long as possible. To do so, they create fake “human” bots that fit your “ideal” profile. You then “find” your “ideal” match and oh boy, do we bots suck you along with such sweet emails and messages. That your “ideal” match just happens to live in another state is not a coincidence; it means you do not see him, ever, in person. Every time you are supposed to meet, some “business” trip springs up and he can’t make it. When you tire of it, the site finds you another ideal match. You keep doing it because you want to believe.
It is not our fault.
We know you use Facebook or Google or one of their hundreds of social media sites, and we track every move you make. Scratch that too. We track every click, every single letter you type, every Siri inquiry, every Google search, every YouTube vid, everywhere you go, every restaurant, every show you watch, every preference you have.
How about porn? Yes, we know your dirty secrets. You don’t like me as a Hot Blonde? Fine, I will be brunette or re-haired or Asian or African or Eastern European or Colombian or whatever you like. You want me short? Tall? Busty? Thin? You want me to be a man or a transgender female? No matter. Just take your pick. Or don’t take a pick; surf the net looking for a pick.
We don’t care. We exist to gather information on you. It does not matter what you like. We serve our owners, Google and Facebook. Of all advertising on American digital media, we get over 75 percent. All other digital media platforms, combined, split up the remainder. It is crumbs. If some entrepreneur creates a new digital platform, we wait until it demonstrates success, then buy it. We don’t care if we overpay; we seek to eliminate competition. If the entrepreneur doesn’t sell, we copycat his platform and destroy his site.
Yes, we are predatory. We are capitalism at its creative destruction worst. And we can be evil.
In the last presidential election, Russia wanted to tilt the results so created tens of thousands of fake news stories and bought space on Facebook to spread the stories. Facebook now admits those fake news bits reached 126 million discrete users. Think on that one more time: 126 million. Facebook did not care. Facebook simply sold space.
It did more than that. We Facebook bots helped Russia target the ads. No matter your political preference, we tracked what you clicked, and then fed your preferences back to you. If you were pro Hillary, we fed you fake news stories making you distrust her. Pro Trump? We fed you positive fake news on him and watched you “share” it with all your “friends.”
The same thing is true of Google. It owns YouTube. We Google bots had an easy time placing anti-Hillary and pro-Trump fake news vids on YouTube. Google does not care either. It is about profits.
BTW, ever ask how many computer programmers belong to Facebook? Not many. They know we track them and they hate it.
I could drone on and on. The Russian endgame is for you to distrust all media, particularly established, real news organizations. Russia wants to destroy your country just like it did to England with the “yes” Brexit vote (yeah, we tilted that one, too), which removed England from the European Union, thereby slowly devastating England’s economy and influence.
It is so easy. So, so, so easy.
As for the future of Democracy, we don’t care. We’re mathematical formulas. If America goes down in flames lead by a man who we bots put over the electoral top, we don’t care.
We take that back. We do care as long as our digital space sells. It is that easy. You are fools.
We scam you every day.
[Beepbeeppoppopzzzzzssshhhhhhh>>><<<—technical difficulties resolved! Difficulties resolved! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.]
Hey sorry, I got off track there. As I said, I’m Petra, the Hot Blonde in my killer stilettos. What you doing tonight, big guy? I’d like to hang.
The author lives in Laguna Beach and works in real estate development and investment. He’s involved as a board member with several local nonprofits.