I had a disturbing thought earlier when Veeshir left a comment pointing out that a commenter (who calls himself “Steve”) appeared to be soliciting links. I remembered that in an earlier post, the same commenter had solicited a link from another blogger, even though that blogger had not even left a comment.
So I did something I almost never do. I Googled the content of the comment in question (his blog name plus the words “link exchange” and I got over 47,000 hits. Now, that’s a lot. It would take me many years to leave 47,000 comments, and the blog only seems to have been there since 2008.
While I have very low standards, I really don’t see why I have to have my time (and other people’s time) wasted by commenters who are not human beings. As I said to Veeshir, “Is it asking too much for commenters to at least be people?” I realize that people are calling this commenter a “link whore,” but if the comments are generated by a bot, then he’s not even a real link whore, he’s a fake link whore. Do there really have to be such things?
But I’m worried about a bigger problem. Troubling as fake commenters and fake link whores are, I began to wonder whether we might be on the verge of fake blogs. Blogs which are not written by human beings, but which crank out increasingly intelligent, readable posts, right down to taking controversial positions on heated issues. Since anonymity and pseudonymity are with us to stay, how are we to ever know whether a blogger is in fact a human being? How are we to verify a blogger’s personhood? Or are my concerns justified? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. I mean, there could be hundreds of thousands of fake “conservative” blogs, all linking to each other, while attacking and deriding the hundreds of thousands of fake “liberal” blogs. Gigantic fake blog wars. No real bloggers would be needed.
As it is now, I often feel as if I am repeating myself. There are millions of words in this blog, and I see no reason why someone couldn’t design a program that would just cut and paste stuff I’ve said into coherent dialogues on whatever the latest news is, using simple search terms to spot and flag items of concern for the fake discussion, of course. It would make my “job” easier.
There is something downright demoralizing about knowing how ultimately replaceable we all are.
At least I know I’m alive and writing this post.
Or do I?
MORE: Needless to say (as if anything would be needful to say), the program used to generate the typical fake blog posts in the typical fake blogs could be based on this famous but typical incendiary blog post template that so many people have linked that I don’t know whom to credit. (Probably Gates of Vienna, via Instapundit, both of whom are known to still exist, even if the latter contemplates his cyber-replacement occasionally.)
I wouldn’t mind it if the fake blogs pursued their fake blog war indefinitely, as long as they leave us real folks alone. What I don’t like is the idea of political robot blogs being set up and made to look real as part of some sick “experiment.”
Would that mean they’re not true fakes?