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Internet bots, also known as web robots, WWW robots or simply bots, are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. The largest use of bots is in web spidering, in which an automated script fetches, analyzes and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. Each server can have a file called robots.txt, containing rules for the spidering of that server that the bot is supposed to obey.

In addition to their uses outlined above, bots may also be implemented where a response speed faster than that of humans is required (e.g., gaming bots and auction-site robots) or less commonly in situations where the emulation of human activity is required, for example chat bots. Recently bots have been used for search advertising, such as Google Adsense

A bot is a piece of software that makes automated edits on a wikia and also helps human users to make semi-automated edits. Bots are most often used in short runs to make repetitive edits to many pages, such as moving a group of pages to a new category, fixing links to disambiguation pages, or to search for misspelled words and replace them with correct ones.

Bot flags

As bots can make many edits during their run, their edits can overwhelm the recent changes list, making it difficult to see and respond to edits by human users. For this reason, bots that have been tested and approved by a wikia community can be given a bot flag. A bot flag is a setting in the MediaWiki software that hides bot edits from the recent changes list. Bot edits can always be revealed by clicking "Show bots" in the Recent changes header.

Showbots

How can I flag an account as a bot?

To receive a bot flag, please contact a member of the Community Team to request it. Your request should include a link to a public discussion on your wikia, showing that the community approves of the use and flagging of the bot.

Important notes

Bots on Wikia must use a limited editing rate so that they don't overload Wikia's servers. For most bot programs, a rate throttle is built in, so you don't need to worry about this. However, if you find your bot making more than one edit per second, then it's time to slow it down.

A bot account's User Profile and Talk Page should:

  • Clearly identify the account as a bot
  • Link to its owner's user talk page for questions
  • Encourage users to have the bot blocked by an admin if its automated edits are causing damage to the wikia — the block can be lifted after the causes for the damaging edits are understood and fixed.

Check Page

AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) makes use of a whitelist called a 'check page'. On Wikia, if this page exists locally on the wikia (in the format of Project:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage), the bot's username (or the username the bot will run on) will need to be on this checkpage in order to operate on the wikia. If the checkpage does not exist, there is no restriction and AWB can be run without requiring the whitelist. This is done to restrict unauthorized bot programs to be run on communities.

Resources

For more information on using and making bots, see AutoWikiBrowser, Pywikipediabot or Creating a bot.

Please visit the Community Central Forum to find other bot users for help in using bots for specific tasks.

See also

User blogs on bots

Further Help & Feedback

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