I got a spammy message via my contact page from “PostBy AI” trying to sell me on adding a chatbot to my site to answer customer questions, generate leads, yada yada. Annoying, but not a big deal in itself.
The part that really bugged me, though, was “I went ahead and created a custom chatbot tailored for your site, and want to let you try it out for free.” I find that to be a really creepy practice if they actually had their software train against the text on my site, so I replied with the email below. I’ll update here based on how they reply.
— gRegor Morrill via email
Was this message generated by a chat bot? It doesn’t seem like a human looked at my website at all. I have no need for any of the things listed because it’s not a business site and there are no sales. It’s just my personal site that I share things on.
I think it’s a creepy practice to create a chatbot tailored to my site without my request or permission. If you have scraped information from my site or trained an LLM against its content, please remove all such data from your systems immediately.
Also please let me know what user agent your software uses so I can add it to my robots.txt disallow list, or let me know what other methods your software respects to let a site opt out.
Oof. They responded to me:
You're making a lot of demands for someone who did something nice for you. It's your responsibility to add your own robot files, not mine.
However, I've destroyed the bot and removed you from any scraping on my end.
I just wrote back:
What an absolutely unprofessional response. “Please remove my data” is a polite request and should be understandable for your business, regardless of whether you think you’ve done something “nice” for me.
Yes, robots.txt is for me to update. That’s why I requested what user agent your software uses so I can update accordingly. Please let me know.
I got a spammy message via my contact page from “PostBy AI” trying to sell me on adding a chatbot to my site to answer customer questions, generate le… gRegor Morrill · Aug 7, 2023
Maybe this person doesn’t know what a robots.txt is or how it works, and just assumed it was more like a firewall that autodetects the bot?