And So It Begins

I finally broke down and went to Medium support to ask for help in ending or at least slowing the follower bot attack that has been plaguing my account for almost two weeks now. I sent a very short email asking (politely) if they could let me know what they are doing about this ongoing issue. The reply I received is in the image below.

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I have had a correspondence with “Gerald” previously (see link below). I can’t talk shit too badly since “he” was the “person” who eventually resolved my issue. However, my first interaction with him was bizarre to say the least. At the time I was left dumbfounded and practically speechless. This does not happen very often as you might imagine.

But maybe I have figured it out. Gerald is actually a bot “himself.” What else could possibly explain the contents of that initial reply? The complete lack of empathy, understanding, caring, or feeling of any kind. Totally workmanlike and machine like. I have known a number of IT specialists in my time including many in the user help field who were very good, but that is some Ph.D. level help desk shit, truly classic. Not helpful in the least, not informative at all, and yet still it somehow makes you, the user, feel stupid for asking. The beauty of the reply is that it actually has me questioning myself. Maybe I am an idiot? (Please do not take me to the woodshed in the comments, yes, I know, I am) Maybe Gerald is right? What bot attack? It is nothing more than an increase in followers, that’s a good thing right?

Below is my reply.

I will assume you are being serious and are not a bot yourself, though from the reply I am not certain of either. If you are an automated system please ask your human handler to help you as this is clearly beyond the scope of your capabilities. Of course you are not sophisticated enough to have any clue what I mean and no doubt these requests only gets elevated to a real person after a certain number of back and forths without resolution.

Therefore, to answer your question, I am only referring to my account though I am quite certain many other accounts are impacted as well. Yes, I have seen a huge spike in followers and while I would very much like to attribute this to my winning personality and fascinating articles I am afraid this is not the case. I would estimate ~50–75% of my new “followers” are bots. I suppose it is possible that Uranus Yoda who is new to medium and hasn’t been active on Medium is following 152 people and has 1 follower is a real person but somehow I doubt it. I also have my doubts about Ucaca Wa though again I have no proof. I am also fairly certain that welcome to me Chandigarh escort girl portal is a bot though again I have no proof. I could go on with over 300 more but I think you get the idea. Please help

Kind regards,

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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