Redditors prank AI-powered news mill and “Glorbo” in World of Warcraft

Grow up / World of Warcraft image from for “Glorbo.”

On Thursday, Reddit user kaefer_kriegerin posted a false declaration on World of Warcraft subreddit about the introduction of “Glorbo” in the game. Glorbo isn’t true, but the post clearly exposed a site that uses Reddit to get random news without public scrutiny.

Shortly after the fraudulent post appeared, an a story about Glorbo appeared on “The Portal,” a sports news channel hosted by Z League, a company that they give cash prizes about playing in a sports tournament. The Z League article literally repeats the Reddit post and adds more nonsense. Its author, “Lucy Reed” (probably the bot’s fictitious name), posted more than 80 posts that day.

A preview of an article written by a bot about "Glorbo" which appeared on the Z League website before it was removed.
Grow up / A photo of a bot-written article about “Glorbo” that appeared on the Z League website before it was removed.

Ars Technica

Members of the World of Warcraft subreddit recently realized that this kind of only Reddit has been going on, making several of them try to play bots and show their posts on sites like The Portal.

Titled “I’m so glad they finally introduced Glorbo!!!” The original Reddit trap post doesn’t explain much about what Glorbo is supposed to be, and maybe for good reason:

To be honest, this new feature makes me very happy! I just want the big bot powered websites to spread the word about this.

I have to say, since he first showed up in Hearthstone in 1994, it was obvious that he would show Glorbo in World of Warcraft soon. I feel like Dragonflight has had success after success so far, like when they brought back Chen Stormstout as the final boss of the new Karazhan? So amazing!

Feel free to comment below which articles you would like to see in the future! Maybe you’ll even be featured on trusted news sites!

A person reading this Reddit post may find errors in it, as mentioned Hearthstone in 1994 (the game came out in 2014) and approves of “major websites using bots.” The existence of these things would seem to disqualify a person from being a member of the Z League on The Portal.

Playing along, commenters soon joined in, boosting the algorithmic profile of Glorbo’s post and making it attractive for bot harvesting. “We’re excited to announce the dev team behind World of Warcraft’s new Glorbo will be hosting an AMA with us on Sunday, July 22, at 8AM Eastern Pacific Time,” he wrote one comment.

By late Thursday, after news of the Glorbo prank began to spread rapidly on social media, The Portal took down its post on Glorbo and he says he deleted everything World of Warcraft content on its website.

Why do you use Reddit? The content of The Portal can raise the Z League’s profile in Google search results. It is a way to achieve search engine rankings and is a non-conventional method of search engine optimization. This increases the likelihood that people will visit the Z League website, which may provide a commercial benefit by promoting its sports games.

In a show of self-reflection, the Z League bots also posted about people complaining about them on Reddit.
Grow up / In a show of self-reflection, the Z League bots also posted about people complaining about them on Reddit.

Ars Technica

It’s not clear what tech Z League is using to pull this off (we’ve sent out a request for an answer), but a few big ones APIs and heavy-duty models they can do the job when combined with articles that come from Reddit.

In real time, later on Thursday, a different Z League bot called “Ashley Beam” started. thread of AI-generated content and writing text only about that too, titled “World of Warcraft (WoW) Players React to AI-Generated Contents on Popular Gaming Sites.”

Time is a flat circle, and so are AI automations.

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