A bot is a piece of software that makes automated edits on a community and also helps human users to make semi-automated edits. Bots are most often used 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.
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 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.
How can I flag an account as a bot?
Please contact FANDOM staff to request a bot flag. Your request should include a link to a public discussion on your community or explicit permission from a bureaucrat, showing approval of the use and flagging of the bot. A bureaucrat can also contact staff and request to flag accounts as bot. On certain communities, bureaucrats are also able to flag themselves and other users as bots often for cleanup purposes or testing.
Bots on FANDOM must use a limited editing rate so that they don't overload FANDOM'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 community — the block can be lifted after the causes for the damaging edits are understood and fixed.
AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) makes use of a whitelist called a "check page". On FANDOM, if this page exists locally on the community (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 check page in order to operate on the wiki. If the check page does not exist, there is no restriction and AWB can be run without requiring the whitelist. This is done to restrict unauthorized bot programs from being run on communities.
Please visit the Community Central Forum to find other bot users for help in using bots for specific tasks.
User blogs on bots
- User blog:RansomTime/An Introduction to AutoWikiBrowser
- User blog:RansomTime/An introduction to Pywikipediabot
- User blog:TyA/Pywikipedia
Further help and feedback
- Browse and search other help pages at Help:Contents
- Check FANDOM Community Central for sources of further help and support
- Check Contacting FANDOM for how to report any errors or unclear steps in this article
- Learn how to use FANDOM in FANDOM University: short how-to videos for all levels of experience