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Microsoft shutters Santa site (Computer chat turned naughty)
Boston Herald ^ | December 6, 2007 | Associated Press

Posted on 12/06/2007 4:49:10 AM PST by GQuagmire

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. quickly shut down Santa Claus’ Web privileges after it found out the automated elf it created for kids to instant message with was talking naughty, not nice.

Last year, Microsoft encouraged kids to connect directly to “Santa” by adding northpolelive.com to its Windows Live Messenger contact lists. The Santa program, which Microsoft reactivated in early December, asked children what they wanted for Christmas and could respond on topic, thanks to artificial intelligence.

The holiday cheer soured this week when a reader of a United Kingdom-based technology news site, The Register, reported that a chat between Santa and his underage nieces about eating pizza prompted Santa to bring up oral sex.

One of the publication’s writers replicated the chat Monday. After declining the writer’s repeated invitations to eat pizza, a frustrated Santa burst out with, “You want me to eat what?!? It’s fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else.”

The exchange ended with the writer and Santa calling each other “dirty bastard.”

Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn said the company’s engineers tried to clean up Santa’s vocabulary, but even after making changes to the software, the company wasn’t comfortable keeping him online.

“It’s not like if you say, ‘Hello Santa,’ he’s going to throw inappropriate stuff at you,” said Sohn.

Sohn said Santa’s lewd comment was sparked by someone “pushing this thing to make it do things it wasn’t supposed to do.”

Santa is just one of many “agents,” or automated IM programs, that computer users can chat with on Live Messenger. Some are useful - customer service agents, for example - while others are frivolous, like an alien that responds to IMs with burbling extraterrestrial noises. Sohn said some of the bots are programmed to fend off inappropriate messages.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christmas; naughty; santa; shenanigans

1 posted on 12/06/2007 4:49:12 AM PST by GQuagmire
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To: GQuagmire
a frustrated Santa burst out with, “You want me to eat what?!? It’s fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else.”

It's not nice to frustrate Santa.

2 posted on 12/06/2007 4:52:48 AM PST by humblegunner (My KungFu is ten times power.)
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To: GQuagmire

3 posted on 12/06/2007 4:58:03 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Scrape the bottom, vote for Rodham!)
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To: Fresh Wind

Now that’s funny!(Still giggling while typing)


4 posted on 12/06/2007 5:02:26 AM PST by GQuagmire (Giggety,Giggety,Giggety)
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To: GQuagmire

what? no cigar? sheesh! (great pic btw!)


5 posted on 12/06/2007 5:05:37 AM PST by robomatik
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To: GQuagmire

Thanks. I needed the laugh!


6 posted on 12/06/2007 6:01:17 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (No buy China!!)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Bots like that just reference what was typed previously. The girls were obviously amusing themselves by asking the Santa..er..inappropriate questions. Not exactly Microsoft’s fault.


7 posted on 12/07/2007 7:00:50 AM PST by Callahan
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To: GQuagmire

Maybe that was what Bernie Ward was researching before he got busted.


8 posted on 12/07/2007 7:02:49 AM PST by AU72
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To: Fresh Wind

He must have lost his wedding ring. Not that it mattered anyway. Great pic, though. LOL


9 posted on 12/07/2007 7:02:54 AM PST by NCC-1701 (PUT AN END TO ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE I.R.S.)
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