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Just curious, what does bots=1 on the contributions page do? --Spikey 02:48, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's "bot" not "bots". It displays a contributions page where all the rollback links have been turned into super-rollback links. Rollback links, in case you are wondering, are only visible to sysops. Clicking on the super-rollback links retrospectively hides the edit from recent changes. If you're reading this shortly after I wrote it, compare [1] with [2] to see the effect it has. -- Tim Starling 03:08, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)


If 'vandalbots' are a problem, then why not use graphically distorted text as a means of verification? Today's computers can't recognize the pattern, so bots are no longer a problem (?).

This is only partially true. It's possible to launch "man-in-the-middle" attacks on these verification schemes, additionally, nothing prevents the person who uses the bot to sit and be the "sucker on the other end of the man-in-the-middle". What is true though is that it would considerably slow down the vandalisation process in general, as well as deter your above average but not brilliant vandalist. -- jkroon

Erasing the Slime Trail[edit]

After seeing 50 offsite links to cialis /rogaine whatever appearing several times on my Wiki, I wonder if the spammers don't care that we immediately rollback or protect pages: Don't the history pages persist with all those spam links? That's what they seem to want. I see lots of archived Chinese Spam on the history of Main page here at WikiMedia. What's the process to purge the history of those links?

Your own bot[edit]

How do you make a bot (not a vandalbot)?--Anon

en:Wikipedia:Creating a bot - 11:48, 15 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I fear an attack is immanent[edit]

I think somebody is gearing up for an attack by making a ton of crap user names on my very young wiki. How can I:

  1. delete all of those new, fake accounts
  2. find the ip from which they were registered
  3. & make a human test for registration

to prevent this from happening or happening in the future?

You should ask on MediaWiki's wiki, but in short: Add a captcha to user registration with mw:Extension:ConfirmEdit. You could delete the accounts with mw:Extension:User Merge and Delete, but that's not needed if you block the accounts.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 13:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Bad Behavior[edit]

I'm really getting hit with vandalbots -- creating accounts and then scuffing up every page of the wiki they can get their hands on. I think some kind of Captcha test or else edit throttling in core or ?? would be really helpful. I don't understand how wikipedia manages. About captchas, I ran across this page which might be instructive. Any other ideas?

- John

Update: I'm give the "Bad Behavior" extension ([3]) a try.

Bad Behavior should solve some of your vandalism problem, but by no means all of it. As the name implies, it looks at the behavior of the user-agent, rather than the content being submitted. Even so it's quite effective and I'm still working on improving it further. (Strangely though spammers have yet to even touch my own MediaWiki installation...) Error 06:50, 21 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]


3. If the bot already received "bot" privilege by bureaucrats, append "&bot=1" to the contributions page URL (or ?bot=1 if the URL does not already contain ?). Approved bots do not show in recent changes.

This doesn't look right. Why would a bureaucrats assign bot status to a vandalbot? I suppose this is meant to explain the use of &bot=1 rollback that all sysops have. -- 06:42, 15 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Clearer now?  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 13:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]


The nutshell summary banner says "vandalbots are illegal". Is that true? It may be against the terms of use, and perhaps that could open the operator of a vandalbot up to a civil lawsuit, but it's not clear to me that it's illegal. I suppose the thinking is that it runs afoul of the w:en:Computer Fraud and Abuse Act but I'd like to see a more detailed argument for that. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:44, 23 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

We should definitely sue them because I think (according to the next post) that the projects will collapse before 2030 if they don't stop. JackPotte (talk) 09:23, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What if the foundation wikis captcha seems to be bypassed?[edit]

I don't know if someone creates dozens of accounts every day to launch a bot on them, but on the English Wikibooks it's worst since yesterday: we've got several waves of logged vandalbots, which I've blocked with their IPs as well.

Their messages are not treatable with the abuse filter (which had already prevented them from posting their external links), so I can't figure out how to avoid spending one hour per day on this task. JackPotte (talk) 22:24, 29 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

And 12 more vandal bot accounts were spamming Wikibooks today. JackPotte (talk) 08:41, 19 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

This is still ongoing no matter how many IPs I've indefinitely blocked. And it looks like a warning because if they begin to post one message per second, as it had happened one time on the French Wiktionary, the project will be almost impossible to clean by ourselves. JackPotte (talk) 09:34, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]