Curtis got burned by his own employer on this once: "There was a time where I was dating a girl from New Hampshire and I couldn't remember the capital. I discreetly texted that to ChaCha and I got back 'Nashua.' I asked her if she ever went to the Capitol up in Nashua, and she looked REALLY offended."
Curtis was eventually moved to QA, where it got even worse: "This was at the time of the whole Obama birth certificate debacle, and we were often asked 'Was Obama born in the U.S.,' and several guides, some of whom I think had agendas, copied and pasted from bloggers: 'While Senator Obama claims to have been born in Hawaii, as of yet there is no proof that he was.' And they were passing that off as fact. Anytime I saw them write that, whether it was intentional or not, they were reported." Curtis continues: "There were other conspiracies -- like the moon landings -- guides would copy and paste from blogs. But the Obama birth certificate answers we had to watch like hawks."
ChaCha basically dealt with all the problems of the modern internet. For instance, there were people seeking diagnoses for their illnesses, but instead of reading WebMD and deciding they had cancer, they would text Curtis and his comrades -- none of whom had any relevant medical training or experience. "One guide that wasn't caught for three months was obviously big on alternate medicine, because any medical question they had was answered with non-medical things, like being cured by herbs or massaging pressure points."
He told us one story in which a customer asked what they should do if they believed they were developing cataracts. The only responsible answer would be "Go see a doctor." But "The guides answer was 'The use of apple cider vinegar can remove cataracts.' I mean, holy shit. When I saw that, I stared at my screen for a good minute, because I didn't believe they wrote that."