Were you thwarted in your attempt to get Taylor Swift tickets? Are you pouting outside a Rihanna concert? Well, you’re not alone, and the New York Times has located a target for your rage: BOTS.
The Times reports that, according to Ticketmaster, bots “have been used to buy more than 60 percent of the most desirable tickets for some shows,” which explains why you couldn’t get Beyonce tickets. A rep from Bowery Presents told the Times they sometimes have 20 percent no-shows for sold-out concerts, and they’re prime tickets. “It’s speculators who bought a bunch of seats and didn’t get the price they wanted.”
Problem is, the company can’t just solve the problem by implementing better Captchas or some such: “As with hackers, you can solve it today, and they’re rewriting code tomorrow,” Live Nation’s CEO told the Times. “Thus the arms race.”
To flesh out its arsenal to fight this existential threat, Ticketmaster has hired a machine learning expert, who’s developed the technology to spot likely bots (lots less aimless, confused clicking around the website, for example). But here’s where it gets weird and reminds you why you loathe Ticketmaster: They don’t actually kick the bots off the site. They just slow them down.
Bot-fighting general John Carnahan told the Times that they’re not trying to stop anyone from buying tickets, but rather “We’re just trying to make sure that a fan can buy the tickets.”
Seriously? Quit being so wishy-washy, Ticketmaster. It is clear to all true fans that nothing less than total war will suffice. GIVE NO QUARTER TO THE BOTS STEALING MY BEYONCE TICKETS.