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Opinion: The Porn Bots that comment on Collegian Articles are Master Rhetors

Piper Lehr

Contributor


The porn bots often found on articles are iconic talking points amongst staff from The Collegian, but has anyone actually tried to read one of them? Probably not, since we delete them pretty soon after they appear on any given piece. So, the questions still remain: what exactly is it that they are trying to say? And how well do they say it? As an English major who is currently taking a rhetoric class and who also frequents the opinions section, I feel that I have the perfect level of authority and practice to analyze their writing in this regard. And it just so happens that I have a screenshot of one of them stored on my laptop. Upon further examination, it is the opinion of this staffer that porn bots are master rhetors.


Screenshot of a porn bot found on a Collegian article about women's triathlon.

At first glance, one might be confused by the sheer lack of punctuation and resulting heap of run-on sentences found throughout this comment. However, I’d argue that this is actually a really smart strategy on their part. You see, by neglecting grammar at all, this porn bot actually entices the reader to pay more attention to it. They see the comment and ask themselves: why would someone do this? Did this person pass the first grade? And by proxy, they spend more time analyzing it than they would other comments. Take, for instance, this obviously very well-informed Greg Jensen comment on our College Democrats club profile:


Screenshot of a Greg Jensen comment on the College Democrats club profile.

Now, who has time to read a comment like that, which tries to make an actual argument backed up by quotes from the article itself? That would require detailed thought and an analysis of one’s own opinions on the matter. With run-ons and other nonsensical grammatical additions, however, one is not required to tire their brain out any further. This is because they know that even if they tried, they wouldn’t be able to make sense of it, so why bother? And that’s the beauty of it, my friends. Less good grammar = free clicks.


Another interesting way that this porn bot draws attention to itself is by capitalizing the words in its paragraph that it thinks are the most important. Whereas Jensen only does this to emphasize ASWU, which is already an abbreviation, as well as “exactly,” an emphasizing word in and of itself, the porn bot does this very frequently throughout. A reader of Jensen’s comment might only be drawn to those two words and then feel too lazy to keep on reading it, whereas a reader of the porn bot is led to believe that most of the comment is important and thus they are more incentivized to read it in full. Truly and obviously a very smart strategy.


As a side note, I’d like to thank this porn bot for drawing our campus’s attention to sex with its various references to things like “Black Panty-Hose,” “Lingerie,” and a “Mini-Skirt.” With Instagram accounts like [wuvirginityclub] running amok, as well as several posts by [wu affirmations] hinting that students by and large are not happy with people having sex in their dorms, it seems as if sex-positive reminders such as these are necessary every once and awhile. However, it is important to note that it is not just making these references and having the profile picture that it does simply out of the goodness of its heart. Rather, it is trying to make us pay more attention to itself by enticing us with the pleasures of the human body. Clearly, this is the perfect campus to attempt such a strategy.


At this point, one may be asking themselves what exactly it is that this porn bot is trying to draw our attention to. Well, if you zoom your focus in to the very bottom of the paragraph, you will find a section talking about a “TORRES EMPIRE Las Vegas SUPER HOP Car Show 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA on Sunday November 21, 2021 by mainstreaming TORRES EMPIRE Las Vegas SUPER HOP Car Show 2021 LOWRIDER Street Fashion Car Culture of Las Vegas, Nevada US” that it wants us to attend. Personally, I think that posting a comment on November 19th, 2021 - two days before said event - on an Oregon-based newspaper’s website where most readers would have to travel in order to make it to the Las Vegas setting - makes a lot of sense and I commend this porn bot for targeting the right audience at the right time.


Taking all this into account, it’s clear that the broader campus has a lot to learn about forming a compelling argument from the porn bots often found on The Collegian articles.


Note: I would like to personally thank Jeanne Clark for equipping me with the tools to write this article. I’m sure she’d be happy to know that this is how I’m applying the knowledge from her class. Also nobody tell her I focused on this instead of the homework last night.


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