Black bots 1/5

Length: short

“Curiosity kills the cat” they said. And they were damn right.
When did this story start?
Ah yes… that damned comment! I was on Youtube watching the usual time-wasting videos when suddenly a notification arrives: a response to a comment of mine. I opened it and reading the message I couldn’t help but reply.
I don’t call myself a “troll”, but I admit that I love to provoke people on the internet. “Edgelord” would be the correct term to describe me, because I write things so annoying and extreme that others feel compelled to respond, and from there a long and nerve-wracking conversation arises, often on a topic that is not even important.
I enjoy angering those people, especially if they are religious or nationalist people because they are the easiest to anger.
A while ago I wrote a provocative comment below a video, but the only one who answered me was a channel with a strange name. I didn’t notice at first, everyone has “strange” names on the internet, but that channel was constantly changing his.
It was a name made up of letters and symbols that I don’t have on my keyboard, and each time the symbols were different.
I responded to his answer of course. I thought I had lured another mindless idiot to make fun of for a while, and he went along with it. He gave the answers I was hoping for, leading me to write exactly what I wanted to write.
It is difficult to explain, but when I provoke people I often do it to attract the attention of someone to whom I can express my opinions. It’s childish, but that’s what drives me to be a “troll”. I just want someone to listen to me and debate with me.
That channel listened to me, and responded just as I wanted… as I hoped. Every response from him was an invitation to keep writing, to keep opening up.
He attacked me, but not directly; he defended himself, but often “admitted his mistakes”, making me feel satisfaction and pushing me to keep writing to him; he asked me devious questions, questions that eventually led me to express my true ideologies and fantasies.
Each of my comments was longer than the previous one while his were always the same length…. but I realized it too late.
It was him the troll in the end.
But not a normal troll.
At midnight I got the last message from him.
“It was a pleasure to talk to you, Luke”.
“Luke”. He knew my name! But I never told him!
I started re-reading the messages to make sure I didn’t write it by mistake, and in doing so I realized that he had deleted all of his replies. The strange thing? The tags were also missing! I had tagged him, I had tagged his channel name, but on each of my replies his tag was missing.
I also tried looking for that channel, but I couldn’t find it. I didn’t remember the channel name, and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to replicate it with my keyboard.
I felt fooled.
But that “Luke” … that “Luke” tormented me. How did he know my real name? Had he taken it from my email? No, it’s not written there either. So where did he get it from? Who told him?
I started doing research the next day because I was afraid I ran into some super hacker intent on breaking into my bank account, but every answer gave the same results … it is impossible to get sensitive information from a simple comment on Youtube.
So how did he know my name? Did he just take a guess?
I made a last attempt by writing my experience on Reddit. I received few responses, half of wich made fun of me, but one stuck in my mind.
“You came across a black-bot. An artificial intelligence created to scare people. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious, it happens to many since these type of bots are becoming more and more numerous. In the past they only hung out on the dark web, they were a sort of joke … now they seem to have risen to the surface. If you have a similar experience again, please let me know. “
I have asked for further explanations, but have not received any.
Since then my internet activity has dropped a lot. I no longer responded to people. I no longer commented under the videos. For a while I stopped being an edgelord, and for a while I even forgot about this event … until it happened again.