WoW subreddit confuses AI article generators with fake "Glorbo" feature

WoW subreddit confuses AI article generators with fake "Glorbo" feature

Just as anyone who’s played even a little bit of World of Warcraft and they’ll tell you: The shadow of Glorbo hangs heavily across the entire game, from the time of the game’s original launch, all the way to the latest expansion. The introduction of Glorbo has been one of gaming’s most anticipated moment, and it’s finally here.

Except it isn’t. Because Glorbo isn’t coming. Glorbo isn’t even real. Glorbo was made up in a bid to confuse article-generating AIs which trawl the internet for stories to write about — and it worked.

Made-up on the r/wow subreddit by user kaefer_kriegerin, Glorbo was a trap placed specifically to tempt the bots many users suspected were prowling the internet for potential news, regardless of verification. The post was a breathless and enthusiastic celebration of the introduction of "Glorbo", and contained no context of who or what Glorbo was. Instead, kaefer laced the article with a number of (false) tidbits of Glorbo’s significance to World of Warcraft lore. Amusingly, he also included a number of false and easily verified facts, such as a 1994 release date for the Hearthstone card game (actually released in 2014), and Chen Stormsnout’s new job as final boss of the Karazhan dungeon. He even went as far as to say "I just really want some major bot operated news websites to publish an article about this."

Other World of Warcraft players got in on the joke, adding in their own elements, such as the mandatory use of "Klikclacs" and its impact on casual players, and the farming of "Zoop".

As transparent as this would seem to anyone with any knowledge of WoW, it was picked up by at least one website. In a now-deleted article (available on the Internet archive), the AI reported eagerly on the introduction of Glorbo and the positive and negative reactions of players to the addition.

The introduction of AI into workspaces has a lot of people in creative industries nervous about the future of their jobs and livelihoods, so it’s good to be reminded that while AI can consume and regurgitate content it finds on the internet, it can’t fact check and verify in the same way a human writer can.