How Bots Are Making It Impossible To Get Your Hands On Hyped Streetwear

by MR Magazine Staff

As you’re probably well aware, we live in a world full of bots. All of those women you’ve never met following you on Instagram, the reason you can’t get decent seats to a concert, half of your likes on Twitter—all bots. And if you’re a streetwear fan, then you’ve no doubt encountered those bots snatching up your Supreme goodies before you can even get them in your cart. But where do these bots come from? And how do they always seem to stay ahead of the companies that try to deter them? Wired recently did a deep dive on a few of the botmakers out there who’ve targeted brands like Supreme and Nike, and the moral of the story is: Unless you’re actually using a bot or are physically at the store, good luck getting any of that hyped gear. The first bot prototype—basically patient zero for the current breed—was launched in 2012 in response to a release of the Air Jordan Doernbecher 9. The sneaker was a collaboration with an 11-year-old kid named Oswaldo Jimenez, who was a patient at the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. It was part of a series of Jordans created to raise money for the hospital, and due to the special and limited-nature of the sneaker, it was getting a lot of attention from sneakerheads. Knowing this, Nike tried a technique where instead of just selling the shoe in stores or on its website, it announced the shoe in a tweet, and then to reserve a pair, you had to direct message back via Twitter with your name and size. Unfortunately, a number of sneakerheads figured out how to game the system by writing scripts that would scan Twitter API streams for keywords like “Doernbecher” and “RSVP now,” and then automatically replied as soon as the tweet went live. Read more at Esquire.