UPDATE: A couple of readers have asked if the "ned help" error was my typo, or the MovieFone bot's. I copied and pasted these conversations directly from my Adium logs - I don't know who Ned is, but I assure you, it's a botstake.
We've tried to give the MovieFone IM bot, our corporate daddy's attempt to place movie showtimes at our instant message-crazed fingertups, a fair shot. But today the robot basically accused me of being a sex offender, so I think all bets are now off.
Here's what happened: I was wondering if the Alfred Hitchcock retrospective at Film Forum was still underway. Because MovieFone ostensibly recognizes directors, I pulled up the bot and typed Alfred's name in. But the bot apparently thought I was being unsavory:
2:49:14 PM karinalongworth: alfred hitchcockIt went on from there. I then tried to find the series by film title:
2:49:14 PM moviefone: That's rude. I'm here to help. Type, help if you ned it.
2:50:11 PM karinalongworth: Psycho
2:50:12 PM moviefone: Excuse me?
2:50:17 PM karinalongworth: Psycho
2:50:17 PM moviefone: Pardon me? I tried to find movies and directors related to what you typed but didn't have any luck. Can you try again?
At this point, I decided to have a little bit of fun with the bot, and try to get showtimes on a few titles that might confuse its profanity filter. I don't know if the bot read "cock" and then immediately marked me as a troublemaker, but each and every title I subsequently tried was mistaken by the bot as some kind of dirty slur:
But this one was the kicker:
2:55:24 PM karinalongworth: Who Killed Cock Robin?
2:55:24 PM moviefone: That's rude. I'm here to help. Type, help if you ned it.
2:56:04 PM karinalongworth: Josie and the Pussycats
2:56:04 PM moviefone: Interesting. Why don't you try typing, help.
2:57:20 PM karinalongworth: Thumbsucker
2:57:20 PM moviefone: That's rude. I'm here to help. Type, help if you ned it.
2:58:02 PM karinalongworth: Octopussy
2:58:02 PM moviefone: That's unnecessary. Type, help.
Obviously, most of us are not going to be looking for showtimes for Octopussy any time soon, but if AOL programmed the bot to confuse every Hitchcock fan for a pervert, we've got a serious problem. At least 25% of his films have nothing to do with sexual deviancy whatsoever.
2:59:39 PM karinalongworth: I Am a Sex Addict
2:59:39 PM moviefone: Without a doubt.
Anybody else have a good MovieFone bot story?