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i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?  
11:06pm 03/16/2006
 
 
Tesseractivity™
There is now a community devoted to this phenomenon and its participants, willing or otherwise. Go there, join up, and discuss your experiences/theories. themissinghat

So I got an IM from what I thought was some random user, at midnight last night. The message was this:

"i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?"

The user was thegreathatsby

I messaged the user back when I got home from work today, where I met with a lot of confusion from the person on the other end. After a few minutes and a screenshot, I figured out what was happening.

The IM I received was from a relay bot. It scours LJ and records the listed AIM names of users. Then, it IMs two users with the message:

"i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?"

Both users see the message as coming from the relay bot (im my case, "thegreathatsby") and when the users respond, they see each other's messages.

Example:
UserA sees this -

thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
UserA: I haven't seen it.
thegreathatsby: Huh? Who is this?
UserA: Um... you messaged me.
thegreathatsby: No I didn't.
UserA: Yes you did. Look.
UserA: thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
thegreathatsby: I've got this... UserA: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?

UserB sees this -

thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
thegreathatsby: I haven't seen it.
UserB: Huh? Who is this?
thegreathatsby: Um... you messaged me.
UserB: No I didn't.
thegreathatsby: Yes you did. Look.
thegreathatsby: UserB: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?
UserB: I've got this... thegreathatsby: i say, old bean, have you seen my hat?

The relay bot sends the same message to two users, then translates any entry of "thegreathatsby" (or whatever name it's using) into the other user's name, creating confusion and annoyance between the linked parties.

It took a little while to figure it out, but that's the way it works. I don't yet know who has done this or why, but that's what's happening.




Update: The "Relay Bot List" is now being maintained on themissinghat's info page. There is also a Wiki article with a list.

Feel free to comment if you have anything to add - you may find membership with themissinghat more gratifying, though. More discussion, less confusion to sift through. The comments to this entry are a little overwhelming.

The Hatmaster's sphere of influence is expanding. There's the Hatline, at (530) 6784931. There's a Missing Hat .swf. There's an email address. And now, there's a CafePress Store featuring Missing Hat merchandise, again courtesy of ROY.
Mood: amusedamused
Sound: Harvey Danger - Old Hat
 
    Hyperobjects: 432 - - Link
 

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(no subject)
 penguingod
 
04:25am 03/17/2006 (UTC)
 
 
max: Come to Daddy
I say, old bean, have you double-checked your HTML?
Avatar: Come to Daddy
 
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
(no subject)
 djl4c
 
05:55am 04/07/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Stars Hallelujah
Huh, yeah, that *is* really clever.
 
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(no subject)
 jpamp
 
04:23am 03/21/2006 (UTC)
 
 
jpamp
holy shit, the same fuckin thing happedn to me and this girl from rhode island, it was really weird, and she was sur i was some stalker... then she found this post and i was off the hook... i wouldnt mind strangeling the person who thought this up..
 
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(no subject)
 snowdaysroq
 
06:44am 03/13/2007 (UTC)
 
 
Snow Queen
I'm so glad I found this post! Who thought this was a good idea? I have had three of these today from the user doktorhat. I wonder if there is a way to report this to LJ abuse teams or something?
 
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(no subject)
 patmorita
 
07:54am 03/21/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Beep Beep Beep
Hello. I just sent you an instant message. I'd wait for a reply, but I think I'm going to lose the internet soon, so I thought I'd ask here.

I had this same thing happen to me just now. I see what happened and how it happened; I get all of that. What I don't get is why it happened. Do you know?
 
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(no subject)
 hamactor1
 
03:21am 04/16/2006 (UTC)
 
 
nobody you know
That's Jeff!
 
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(no subject)
 dijit
 
10:23pm 03/21/2006 (UTC)
 
 
dijit
I've been in a conversation with someone the past 30 mins or so, lost in confusion, and I thought something was up. Things were getting confusing.

Then I googled "thegreathatsby" and found this. I may have something to add: anytime the text "thegreathatsby" is typed, it replaces it with their screen name. It's a bit weird.

But thanks for getting this out there.
 
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(no subject)
 jackieenvy
 
12:02am 03/22/2006 (UTC)
 
 
evil crazy sexy redhead
thats SO AWESOME
it happened to me
and the other person was so freaked out
 
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Hah!
 catwoman69y2k
 
03:23am 03/24/2006 (UTC)
 
 
It got me too! I only found your LJ to explain this when I googled "the great hatsby." I thought it was my friend playing a trick.

-Kat

Mine was the greathatsby64
 
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(no subject)
 whample
 
08:06pm 03/26/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Unrealistic Whample: More Velvet
I just recieved this today. I googled the phrase to see if one of my friends was randomly messaging me with a quote or lyric as they are wont to do and came up with this explanation linked through another explanation.

Thanks.

referrer: http://opalcat.livejournal.com/1967316.html#cutid1
Avatar: More Velvet
 
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(no subject)
 road_to_hell
 
06:21pm 03/27/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Love's Executioner
Heh, you rock so much. I was trying to figure it out, and using google found your entry. Thanks :-)
 
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(no subject)
 daysunknown
 
08:26pm 03/27/2006 (UTC)
 
 
daysunknown
you're not the only one. this happened to me last night, and thanks to the help of this lj entry, the girl I was talking to and I figured out what was going on. we need to figure out who's doing this and why, but in the meantime, this lj entry is a great resource. thanks for figuring things out, haha.
 
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(no subject)
 daysunknown
 
08:40pm 03/27/2006 (UTC)
 
 
daysunknown
oh, and I also found that the girl I talked to on the other end had the same birthday as I do. maybe this is one of the bot's filters?
 
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(no subject)
 ali_marie_2003
 
03:29am 03/28/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Yeah, thanks for this post. I got a message from bananahoedown and it ended up bein someone in California. Too bad I didn't look this up before closing the window. I'm sure the other person is really confused right now.
 
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
(no subject)
 sandramort
 
07:50pm 04/04/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Scrubtronics IM'd me, too... odd.
 
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(no subject)
 toreador93
 
09:01am 03/28/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Mike
I found this through another LJ (found with google) that linked here. I was the victim of Scrubtron. However, there was a person on the other side (unlike mike's experience above), who was as confused as I. That person's info had a link (http://www.ricedoutyugo.com/), and I don't know if this was a coincidence, but the second post of the site mentions a "missing hat."

Additionally, the person said their message was from a "Toreader93. However, this person didn't say whether "Scrubtron" was their SN or not (I IMed him with what I received).

The plot thickens...
 
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject)
 telecart
 
10:56am 03/28/2006 (UTC)
 
 
Shay
just happened to moi.
The other dude had a link to the ricedoutyugo site in their personal details too.
 
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(no subject)
 bad_machination
 
08:56am 06/13/2006 (UTC)
 
 
BMACH
That same guy was matched with me.
 
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