Some people just can't take a hint — particularly, it seems, if you met them on a dating app. You try to bow out of a conversation gracefully, but they Just. Keep. Messaging. You. Now there's a clever new way to deal with this issue: Ghostbot.
Ghostbot is made by Burner, the app that keeps your phone number private. You can use Ghostbot to automatically send text messages when you've got an "unwanted, aggressive, or abusive texting situation" — that is, when you want to leave the conversation, but you don't want to escalate things. In these scenarios, Ghostbot will handle the texting for you, replying with reasonable-sounding excuses for why you can't meet up or chat at the moment. If your recipient's texts still take a turn for the nasty, Ghostbot also has appropriate conversation-ending quips to send, too.
“As we were thinking about this broken culture of dating and texting, we noticed that women disproportionately receive aggressive and inflammatory messages,” Ghostbot product designer Lauren Golembiewski told Macworld. “If they respond or don’t respond, even if they try to be diplomatic or let it go, the guys on the other side escalate that situation."
Here's how it works. You download the app Burner, if you haven't already. Burner gives you a "fake" phone number you can hand out, and then funnels all calls and texts directed to that number into its app. If it's time to "ghost" a particular contact, you can then switch on Ghostbot — just for that contact. From there, the bot will reply to the person's texts with responses specifically designed to end and de-escalate the situation. The app pulls from hundreds of possible text responses. If the language turns from aggressive to threatening, Ghostbot blocks the contact altogether. (And thanks to Burner, they never had your real number in the first place.)
One caveat: Ghostbot doesn't respond to photos, so if you were hoping you could use it to manage someone who's fond of sending dick pics, you're out of luck — at least for the time being.
You can get started with Ghostbot yourself here.
It is a shame that a tool like Ghostbot needs to exist. Why can't we be adults and handle rejection appropriately? Unfortunately, how unsuitable suitors respond to our messages is beyond our control. Thankfully, things like Burner and Ghostbot make it possible to navigate those sticky situations in a safer way.