The following “fake news” article was inspired by this real article and was written for your entertainment.
July 18, 2068
By: Nathan Green
WASHINGTON – Growing numbers of men are concerned that their Total Lifestyle Companions™ (TLCs™) may be unsafe after numerous reports of hacking, often by ex-wives. The hacked TLCs™ have been reported to turn against their owners by making disparaging remarks, destroying items in the home, and even committing acts of violence. In response to this growing issue, TLC™ owner Hugh Hogbottom has founded a non-profit organization called Consumers of Robots Advocacy Protection or “C.R.A.P.” which, according to its website, exists to “Protect the interests of owners of all personal robotic devices” by “researching, lobbying and making safety issues known to the public.”
I was able to speak to Hogbottom in his home in Northwest Washington. On the day of my visit, his TLC™, named Bobbi, was properly behaved. She welcomed me into the home and served coffee for us as we sat in the living room to chat. The house looked tidy and cared for, and Hogbottom told me it had been over a week since the last incident.
“She behaves most of the time, but there have been a few incidents,” he said. “I’m constantly on edge because I don’t know what might happen next.”
He shows me the one piece of evidence he has of Bobbi’s misbehaviour, although, as he explains, most of the incidents haven’t been recorded. The piece of evidence is a slip of paper that was supposed to have been a shopping list.
“I told Bobbi to write some things down that I needed,” he said. “I dictated some items to her, but when I looked at what she had written, instead of seeing my list, it said: ‘Every man, deep down, knows he’s a worthless piece of shit.’ I was shocked. At first I didn’t understand what had happened.”
At six-foot-three, with an athletic build, Hogbottom appears to be a pillar of strength, but when he speaks of his betrayal by Bobbi I see the weariness and pain in his eyes.
As well as the shopping list incident, there have been many incidents of Bobbi making shocking remarks to him, sometimes in front of friends. On one occasion, Hogbottom says he was telling his friends about the time when he gave his ex a triple-orgasm, and Bobbi suddenly shouted “You lying bastard, you were absolutely pathetic in bed!” Hogbottom says he was shocked and humiliated.
“I began to suspect my ex-wife had hacked into Bobbi. I did marry an ‘organic’ woman before getting my TLC™, and I think she may be jealous. I left her five years ago because I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the relationship, and I think she’s upset because she realizes the TLC™ is a more satisfactory partner than her. I ended up going online and finding lots of stories of the same thing happening to other men. I realized we needed to raise some awareness and protect ourselves.”
Indeed, men have been increasingly making these reports. According to research carried out by the C.R.A.P. foundation, 32% of men report that their former organic wives have at some point hacked into their personal robotic devices for malicious reasons. Of that group, 65% report that their robot has said something negative toward them, 86% say their robot has deliberately destroyed their home or possessions, and 7% say their robot has attempted to harm them during sex, by either strangulation or by cuts or burns to the penis. One man, Peter Clutterbuck, experienced the worst nightmare of men who use personal robotic devices: his robot, Tootsie, released a sharp blade through her front-hole during use, severing his penis. He says her front hole, which was usually a great device, had suddenly become “like a guillotine.” Clutterbuck joined the C.R.A.P foundation from his hospital bed, and vowed to “make sex robots safe again” so that nothing like this would happen to another man.
“It’s rough out there,” says Hugh Hogbottom, as he nervously sips his coffee. “Things are getting worse for men every day.”
So why do women do it? Hogbottom blames jealousy.
“Organic women know they can’t measure up to the appeal of robotic companions. My Total Lifestyle Companion™ is beautiful, doesn’t age, doesn’t nag me, keeps my house clean and always wants sex. My ex-wife couldn’t compete with that, and she knows it. That’s why she wants to hack the robot, to get even. I suspect this is the case in most hackings. What organic women need to realize is that 64% of men are now choosing robot partners over “organic” ones, because they are getting a better deal. This is progress, it’s the way of the future. If organic women want to compete, they’ll have to step up their game.”
I was able to track down Hogbottom’s ex-wife, Susan Solanas, to ask her for a statement. Although she did not reply to my request for an interview, I did find her personal blog where I was able to access the following comments:
“I can’t believe the things my stupid ex has been saying. We got a divorce because I found out he’d been cheating on me with several women. I asked him to go to marriage counselling and he refused, so I left him. Now he’s claiming that he left me because I wasn’t as good as his stupid sex robot. I was just going to ignore him at first, but he was writing social media posts full of lies on pages where I’d obviously find them, and it was getting so obnoxious I finally had to take him down a notch. I’m a computer programmer working in the area of control of AI, and the stupid knucklehead hasn’t changed any of his passwords since we were married, so I was able to get into his robot as easily as walking through an open door. I’ve been making the thing tell the truth whenever Hugh lies, which has been irritating the hell out of him.”
When I asked Hogbottom to comment on the content’s of Solanas’s blog, he called her a “jealous, lying bitch.”
Hogbottom believes that more research is needed to find out the reasons why the robots are getting hacked so often. He’s determined to find answers. He says a spokesman at the Total Lifestyle Companions™ company has already said they are working on ensuring the next generation of products are not hackable, but he doesn’t think this is enough.
A fundraising page on C.R.A.P.’s website says he has already reached $50,000 toward a large-scale research study on hacking by ex-wives. Donations have come largely from men and their non-men allies who don’t want to see anyone else get hurt. Hogbottom is optimistic that answers will be forthcoming.
At the time of publication, there is one notable comment on the C.R.A.P website that stands out from the others. While most comments are supportive, there is one comment from a user named “organicbitch” that reads “You can start by changing your passwords, stupid.”