Watch Your Tweets Mentioning Clippy!
cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

You can tweet but you cannot hide.

If you mention "Clippy" in a tweet, that *#&$ing paper clip will hear you and reply, in that "I’m trying to be helpful but am annoying as biting ants in your shorts" way.

Try it.

Tweet something snarky about Clippy. Insult his bulging eyeball. Vow to Kill Clippy.

And for the sake of humanity, do not follow”>MSClippy

Next thing you know, Bob will be tweeting too.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Similar thing. I have had a couple of tweets mentioning the institution I am currently attending – Royal Roads University. Whenever I tweet the word roads, I get an automated tweet from Doc_Brown that says, “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” a quote from the movie Back to the Future. Considering I am working on a post-grad program, I thought it was actually kinda appropriate.

    But it does make me wonder if there isnt some kind of spam experiment going on by some resourceful programmer to automate sending out spam messages based on keywords in tweets.

    1. @Clint- There’s likely an array of things going on. I did get a series of ones that were obvious spam, sending me to some Windows software site based on my use of “reformat”

      I did issues a “Block and Report Spam” using Tweetdeck and those accounts are gone (most likely sprouted elsewhere).

      But there are also ones like you describe that are somewhat humorous (though I bet annoying after the first few)– not necessarily trying to lull you to some nefarious web site, but in some people’s book, spam since you dont really want it.

      And then I think the @MSClippy one I found may just be someone doing it manually, hard to tell. There is some possibility of people creating more intelligent agents that might provide help based on the context of a tweet– say, you sent a message like “Looking for Pizza in Brooklyn” and maybe @PizzaMave responds with “Try Luigis on 12th and Brown” with a link to a map. Or maybe you are researching for a paper and say “Looking for 1992 paper on Huerisitics by Harding and Jones” and @ResearchGuru responds with “found your paper at“.


  2. I had a similar thing happen earlier this year when I mentioned the “Spanish Inquisition.” Monty Python fans live! I haven’t tried it in a while – but the first time I got a “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” reply. Made me chuckle much more than clippy would.

  3. I’ve been followed by lots of companies after I mention their products. Kind of fun to just spew out a string of random products, and see how many followers you can pick up. 🙂

    But I have to admit that today I almost wet myself after yesterday’s Twitter DDoS attacks that pretty much shut the service down when Clippy Tweeted:

    @twitter It looks like you are experiencing a DDoS attack. Would you like assistance with that?

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