Bot

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A wiki bot is a software program that interacts with a wiki as if it were a real human editor; the most common case is editing wiki pages. It typically must be coded very specifically to a content management system, e.g. wiki code, so it is not usually possible to simply use a generic bot against a new wiki. For instance, a Mediawiki bot is specific to MediaWiki (and possibly GetWiki, which is largely compatible).

Harmless and approved wiki bots have been employed on Wikipedia and other large public wikis, mainly for maintainance and data-importing tasks. See e.g. w:Wikipedia:History of Wikipedia bots.

It was a Wikipedia policy at some point that bot code should be kept secret [1]. As of 2004, there is at least one publicly available "Wikipedia robot framework" [2].

A vandalbot is a malicious wiki bot that acts like a human vandal, to blank, revert or garble page titles and content. Vandalbots may cause denial of service and heavy server load.

Several typical vandalbot attacks were launched against Recyclopedia (which is based on GetWiki) in its first month of operation: these would blank pages and move them to random titles to maximize the difficulty of undoing the damage or tracking references to those pages. After several such attacks, the service exceeded its bandwidth limit, and the operators, discouraged, declined to volunteer for such abuse again. Many hours of time advertising and working on Recyclopedia publicity were wasted, and those interested in democratic and open means of operation were discouraged. This served only the purposes of those promoting highly centralized power structures, e.g. Wikimedia, and there is strong circumstantial evidence that those with access to bot technology via Wikipedia activity were responsible for these criminal acts.

The Consumerium Governance Organization must take a strong stand against the use of vandalbots or crapflood techniques to resolve political issues. If it is targetted by such tactics, it must be able to respond legally, politically and technologically in tandem, to stay as resilient as possible.