Microsoft shuts down naughty Santa

Microsoft Corp quickly shut down Santa Claus's web privileges after it found out that the automated elf it created for instant messaging with children was talking naughty, not nice.

Microsoft Corp quickly shut down Santa Claus's web privileges after it found out that the automated elf it created for instant messaging with children was talking naughty, not nice.

Last year, Microsoft encouraged children to connect directly to Santa by adding northpole@live.com to their Windows Live Messenger contact lists.

The Santa programme, which was reactivated earlier in December, asked children what they wanted for Christmas, and can respond instantly, thanks to a bit of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft's festive cheer soured this week when a reader of a UK-based technology news site, The Register, reported that a chat between Santa and his under-age nieces about eating pizza prompted Santa to bring up oral sex.

One of the publication's writers replicated the chat this week. After declining the writer's repeated invitations to eat pizza, a frustrated Santa burst out with, "You want me to eat what? It's fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else."

The exchange ended with the writer and Santa calling each other a "dirty bastard". Microsoft's engineers tried to clean up Santa's vocabulary, but even after making software changes, the company was not comfortable keeping Santa online. - Sapa-AP

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