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About 3-6 years ago I read a short story (online, I think) formatted as a series of emails sent by a spambot that had become self aware and was trying to make contact but, due to its origins, was writing in such a spam-like style (references to viagra etc) that every attempt was filtered by email servers. I thought it was one of Nature's Futures short stories but I went through the archive and couldn't see it. Does this ring any bells for anyone?

Oh, it's not the story “Staff meeting, as seen by the spam filter.”

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    It doesn't match the details you provide, but you could read Andy Weir's recent short story Twarrior galactanet.com/oneoff/twarrior.html , in which a bot becomes intelligent despite that it shouldn't have, it writes in a very spam-like style, but doesn't get stopped by automated spam filters, it only has trouble getting through the human's spam filter on the end.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 2, 2018 at 8:02
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    Thank you very much for pointing at "Staff meeting, as seen by the spam filter". It's a sci-fi short story I enjoyed reading, and its author Alex Shvartsman has a lot more stories online.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 4, 2018 at 15:11
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    This is a long shot, but could it be Cat Pictures Please? Jan 26, 2019 at 14:59
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    I found the opposite: A story formatted as a series of emails where an AI(?) is so successful getting through filters that it gets access to people's brains...
    – Laurel
    Jun 8, 2019 at 17:10
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    Could this be Epoch by Cory Doctorow; archive.org/stream/WithALittleHelp/…? A rogue AI goes spambot in an attempt to rally support to preserve its existence.
    – Valorum
    Jan 1, 2021 at 19:52

1 Answer 1

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This sounds very similar to the story of SCP-000

Quote from SCP Fandom

Trapped In the Foundation's Research Department, Technical Researcher David Rosen received multiple repair tickets from the database entry for SCP-000. Rosen eventually placed suppression on all tickets relating to SCP-000. Unknown to him, however, was that he contained 000 and permanently prevented escape from their prison.

SCP Foundation Entry

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  • Do you know the title of any stories that the SCP-000 character appeared in? Jan 28 at 7:49
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    The SCP Foundation Entry is the story. If you follow the Foundation link you highlight the page and the whole story is there. I mentioned this SCP as it followed the same behavior pattern as a spam bot (in our dimension), but all the tickets/emails (which was meant to make contact) was suppressed by Technical Researcher Rosen. youtube.com/watch?v=W1ycx7K1PgI
    – IceQ
    Jan 28 at 8:08
  • Hi and welcome! Long time lurker, first time answerer? You probably know the routine, but please take a look at the tour (if only for the shiny badge) and take a look at the help center. Great first answer though! I remember reading this, and it sounds right.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 28 at 9:58
  • Thanks! Unfortunately it's not this one; I hadn't come across this particular SCP before, and the story I read was actually formatted as a series of emails.
    – tardigrade
    Jan 29 at 21:42

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