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.: June 2007 --> Who are Prof Gilzot, Spleak, and Sharethisdotcom and why are they in my AIM buddy list?

Who are Prof Gilzot, Spleak, and Sharethisdotcom and why are they in my AIM buddy list?

» Two days ago, I opened my chat client and discovered some new buddies: Prof Gilzot, Spleak, Sharethisdotcom, and WSJ. A little investigation showed that they had been inserted into numerous buddy lists—though not my husband's, for some reason.

I'm just assuming that AIM has devised a great new revenue scheme that involves putting selected chatbots into users buddy lists. It's intrusive, and ill-conceived—I believe will put people off to discover that AOL is willing to insert strange new "buddies" into contact lists that users consider to be both "private" and "theirs".

But whatever. I deleted the strangers from my list and thought no more about it. Imagine my surprise to discover Prof Gilzot, Spleak, and Sharethisdotcom in my buddy list again this morning! To insert them once was annoying (and thus, from a business point of view, stupid). To re-insert them after I deleted them is unforgivable.

I wonder if I should switch to another chat service?

 [ 06.14.07 ]


I chat through Google Talk, and have had no problems with it.


Thanks for linking to my post about the AIM bots. Sharethisdotcom I find to be more interesting than the others - when it first showed up in my buddylist, it did not respond. Now after reading up about it and trying it out, it appears to be the first major AIM bot I've come across that you have to register to use. They are doing a good job mashing up many different medium such as MySpace and delivering through AIM.

Really though, Trillian Astra is already doing this (well, sort of - they are in Alpha), so you won't need a special bot.

I've had the same problem. My biggest dilemma is that while my tolerance of AIM's abuses are low, all of my contacts have much higher tolerance levels and are not as keen to switch. In many cases AIM is the only way to reach them with any chance of speedy response.

It happened to me as well. There are a few googlable articles on it. Maybe it can be traced to the use of a web-based aim client in the past?

I've never had any of the bots added to any of my buddy lists (I use one name, but have two older names linked to it so that old contacts can find me). If it helps, I use the "AIM Classic" version of AIM.

I have indeed used services online such as AIM Express in the past, and still haven't had this happen.

Yes! I love Google Talk and have talked a lot of friends into switching.

And thanks for the link :)

I was annoyed by this but did not have them come back (yet) after I deleted them.

I'm not a bot fan and I certainly don't want AOL dropping bots in without my permission.

I happened to me too -- although they've yet to return. I recently tried out the iChat/AIM prototype for the iPhone, so that may jive with Bill's comment.

I definitely agree it's a pretty obnoxious way for AOL to behave, and it does over-step the bounds of what the user considers their 'private property/domain'. Bad form.

I was happily surprised to have these bots on mybuddy list. My kids think Prof Gilzot and Spleak are fun and harmless and I am now using the Moviefone bot. I hope they add more!!!

I don't mind them...It's not like you HAVE to talk to them, and if their being there bothers you, just minimize the "AIM Bots" section...Prof Gilzot actually looks really helpful. Honestly, I don't see a problem.

Hello, I stumbled here searching for information on exactly the subject.

I found something interesting; it seems that if you do not have the 'Buddies' group, the crawler or whatever program distributes the bots does not know to add them to your list. Perhaps renaming it would keep them away.

Dear Rebecca,

Use Pidjin (ex-Gaim).

Yeah I use Pidgin too

It just has an "AIM bot" group that I can delete



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