Kathryn Lindsay
Updated June 21, 2016 2:58 pm

If you’re active in the modern dating scene, then chances are you’ve either ghosted or been ghosted at some point during your adventures. It’s stressful and can be time consuming, which is why Ghostbot, a bot launched on Tuesday by the mobile app Burner, is so handy. Ghostbot auto-responds to the people who just won’t leave you alone, evading their advances until they (hopefully) give up.

The Burner app creates a burner phone number to use when you don’t want to give out your real one. They created the bot in an attempt to help the 57% of women who have reportedly experienced harassment while using dating apps. Not only does a burner phone number provide an extra layer of protection, but the bot will extract you from text exchanges you’re not interested in continuing—potentially dealing with the harassment so you don’t have to. Since I’m lucky enough to not be in a position of needing to ghost an annoying suitor, I enlisted some of my coworkers to help me try out Ghostbot IRL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

First, I downloaded Burner and created my free fake number. This number is good for seven days and 40 messages (don’t worry, you can upgrade to more in the app).

Then, I went to the Ghostbot website and entered in my details. There, you can choose which contacts you want to Ghost, simply by clicking a button.

After everything was set up, I gave my coworkers my Burner number and told them to text me trying to get me to go on a date with them. Some were more persistent than others — their texts are in green, the bot’s are in grey.


An hour had passed and I hadn’t responded, but neither had Ghostbot. I text the helpline provided by Burner, and they got back to me immediately explaining that, in order to mimic being busy, the bot waits up to three hours before sending an automated response that it constructs based on the messages it’s receiving. Clever!

It was pretty effective:


All in all, if these weren’t my coworkers, I’d be pretty satisfied with the bot’s response. It doesn’t sound like a bot—it just sounds like someone who is busy and uninterested. Maybe some day I’ll be able to try this out on persistent jerks IRL!