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One of the problems I'm frequently having with my bot, John Cavil, is that he frequently confuses users when he welcomes them: people think he's a real person rather than a bot. I need to give him a name that unambiguously marks him as a bot, though I'd still like to keep "Cavil" or "John Cavil" in the name somewhat (those who don't get the "John Cavil" reference should look here. Also, do you live under a rock?)

The first time he sees a user in chat, he'll post messages like this one:

@Mr.Code Welcome to Root Access chat for Super Users! Please don't ask if you can ask or if anyone's around; just ask your question, and if anyone's free and interested they'll help.

90% of the time, the reaction is "thanks John :)" or similar. I'd prefer if people are made to really understand that this is an automated message. Maybe I should also edit the welcome message itself; this is doable, but I need to know what to alter it to.

Once I refactor the welcome message logic, I'm aiming for something like this:

  • User has less than 20 global rep and is unable to participate in chat (only read) ==> print message like "Welcome to Root Access, @name! Feel free to read chat, but in order to participate you will need to earn 20 reputation on your account." maybe with something else after that.
  • User has greater than 20 rep, is able to participate in chat, but is not a moderator or room owner ==> print the standard greeting like we have it now, maybe also including a "I AM A BOT!!!" clause (or similar; I don't want to use all caps but that's the gist)
  • User is a room owner or moderator ==> print a "funny" greeting, but still give an indication that Cavil is a bot
  • User is me ==> print a really weird/funny greeting (weird to everyone else; hilarious to me only)

Help me refine my twisted ideas. <:-|

  • 3
    If you change it to "I am a bot, welcoming you to ..." you'll still have a few people miss that disclaimer
    – random Mod
    Sep 24, 2013 at 22:23
  • Do you plan to remove the only-greet-each-person-once rule? If not, then you'll never get your customised greeting.
    – Bob
    Sep 25, 2013 at 5:51
  • 5
    I doubt that user named after a fictional character indicates anything, it's just too common. OTOH "SU Chatbot" is boring... does anyone here remember Short Circuit's Number 5? What about C3PO? OTOH those could again just be regular user names… Also, I'm not sure there's a problem to be solved. Maybe keep the current greeting(s) and only if someone replies (@JohnCavil; or 'john' shortly after you send the greeting to that person), then tell them "I'm just a bot"?
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Sep 25, 2013 at 7:28
  • 4
    If I were you, I would like seeing people getting all confused by my bot and wondering if it were real or not. If done right it'd be quite the accomplishment (and show). Sep 25, 2013 at 14:43

5 Answers 5

  • "John Cavil, bot for hire"

@Mr.Code Welcome to Root Access chat for Super Users! Please don't ask if you can ask or if anyone's around; just ask your question, and if anyone's free and interested they'll help. Just don't ask me, 'cause I'm a chat-bot.



You should name him ʇoqoɹ to make him extra annoying because it's harder to reply to him.

  • No! Bad! :P It needs to be easy for people to type. Silly. Sep 26, 2013 at 13:58
  • 1
    @allquixotic Why? It needs a ! to accept input, right? Sep 27, 2013 at 16:30

For users below the 20 rep limitation, you should shoot them a message when they try to post:

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.
  • That would be great, but the bot can only see messages that are already posted. A pity :(
    – Bob
    Oct 8, 2013 at 5:53


enter image description here

And you should change your name to Dr. Noonien Soong.


Keep it clear and simple: "John Cavil (Bot)" or "Cavil Bot" or "New User Advice Bot"

You could also consider beginning each message with "[Automated Message]" to help push it home.

It might be nice if the website could colour bot messages differently from normal comments. Although a new user might not notice that anyway.

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