Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard

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This is a message board for coordinating and discussing bot-related issues on Wikipedia (also including other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software). Although its target audience is bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here. This is not the place for requests for bot approvals or requesting that tasks be done by a bot. It is also not the place for general questions about the MediaWiki software (such as the use of templates, etc.), which have generally a best chance of being answered at WP:VPT.


Could somebody knowedgeable with bots, bot flags and BRFA please have a look at User:Bababa67 and subpages? User seems to have a lot there concerning bots, including two subpages of python code (I don't know python at all, so don't know what they do). --Redrose64 (talk) 15:35, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Red, from my little bit of ability to read the code, it appears to be someone attempting to imitate User:Lowercase sigmabot III. I'd block the account and get some feedback from The Earwig and sigma on it. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Red I'd say blocking them is the best course of action, unless they are willing to remove the content, and seek approval from the BRFA before making any further bot edits. I can confirm, AFAIK, the code is a copy of LSBIII, so probably shouldn't be there. --Mdann52talk to me! 17:15, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
      • I don't see any need to block them; they just seem to be testing things out and not causing any tangible harm and haven't actually made any "bot edits". Why not just edit off the offending content and engage in further dialogue? –xenotalk 17:23, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
        • Agree, no disruptive editing at all is taking place, so no block is warranted. — xaosflux Talk 18:32, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd argue that an attempt to impersonate another user (Lowercase sigmabot III in this case) is grounds for blocking. I've made sure that Earwig and Sigma are aware, and I'll leave the rest to you all. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:42, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, fair enough. I've deleted all those pages and warned them on this: special:Diff/640019781. –xenotalk 01:03, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
    Seems ok, @Technical 13:; may be the lack of diffs, etc above--but these edits were all isolated to their userspace, still appears to be a type of testing, can you point to any specific diff of them impersonating the real account with an edit outside of their own userspace? (For blocking grounds). — xaosflux Talk 01:23, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, seems to be quacking..., may want to cross post this to ANI unless Xeno wants to keep running with it. — xaosflux Talk 01:50, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Looks like they've edited that bit off. Could be friends/siblings messing around. To me it still seems like they're just testing stuff and I don't really see a pressing need to tell them to get off our lawn just yet ;>, it doesn't seem malicious. But yes, if the situation worsens it should probably go to another venue because there's no actual bot activity/problem. –xenotalk 04:05, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you, all; but I think we should keep a lookout for a while longer --Redrose64 (talk) 15:55, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
fyi, Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Bababa67. --Mdann52talk to me! 17:30, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
This guy, whilst no longer pretending to be a bot, admin, rollbacker, autopatroller or whatever other hat that he's decided to give to himself this week, is clearly WP:NOTHERE - more than 500 edits, only about 20 of which are outside User:/User talk: space. It's even more so with his pages on meta: and commons:, etc. on all of which his User:/User talk: edits constitute exactly 100% of his total edits. I sent a note, but they didn't reply; although they certainly saw it. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:21, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

ClueBot 3 not archiving[edit]

I came across this after a report to ClueBot NG's page, apparently ClueBot 3 is not archiving?

ClueBot 3's contributions will show it's not archived since 5th January and I'm not sure why--5 albert square (talk) 21:43, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Possible Bot Issue[edit]

User:HasteurBot is removing useful categories from all AfC articles which was not approved in its bot request. I found this category quite useful and find it harmful that it is being removed where it is needed. Thanks! EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 06:19, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Clarification_of_CSD_G13, User_talk:EoRdE6#CSD_G13_Discussion, Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Articles_for_creation#Blast_from_the_Past, Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Category:AfC_submissions_with_missing_AfC_template,Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Articles_for_creation#Lecturing_to_the_choir_regarding_G13_and_Category:AfC_submissions_with_missing_AfC_template, Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Unauthorized_Bot_Use for all your WP:FORUMSHOPing/Harassment needs. Technically, I should never have tagged these pages because they were not identified using the originally authorized task. Since EoRdE6 decided to misuse the purpose of the identified category of that task I decided that enough drama had arisen from my unapproved use of the bot that I should remove the pages so that we can start the nice burecratic process of re-asking for permission (or not asking for permission again and forcing EoRdE6 to learn how to do technical things since they're so experienced with the project overall that they mess up CSD tagging on a frequent clip). Hasteur (talk) 06:45, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
And technically the unauthorized task was the tagging that occured under the auspices of Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/HasteurBot 5. Tonight's de-tagging was undoing the tags after I more a certain user decided to cause drama over this category. Hasteur (talk) 06:54, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm requesting further discussion here. As I stated on the talk page of the user who hatted this discussion, An unapproved bot task was reported, admitted to by the accused, and as a result, I think the misused bot flag should be removed from the bot until BAG can decide what to do about it. As such, I'm requesting exactly that. Please remove the bot flag from this bot until a member of BAG makes a statement on the behalf of BAG that it is okay cause disruption with a bot carrying out tasks that, using Hasteur's own comment, were not identified using the originally authorized task. Thank you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 23:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I see that this thread is a little dusty and the bot seems to be operating normally at first glance, but I need some basic info (just like reporting a bug):
  1. What are a couple examples of the unapproved behavior? WP:DIFFs help.
  2. Is the unapproved behavior still ongoing? Again, WP:DIFFs help.
--slakrtalk / 05:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Slakr [2] is an example of the initial unapproved behavior. The bot did not get it's list from User:Petrb/Weird_pages, it was me trying to be clever and bypass the "find the pages that are odd" list and go straight to tagging pages that might be eligible.
[3] is an exmaple of the second unapproved behavior. This was done because I had failed to adhere to the exact authorization provided in the BRFA. A side benefit was preventing a user who was deliberately misusing the purpose of the category from disrupting Wikipedia by nominating some of these pages directly for G13 when the pages had only been edited a few days previous and therefore ineligible (under the consensus at the time) for CSD:G13.
This behavior has not continued [4] therefore there is no ongoing issue (only editors seeking to stir up trouble for "opponents"). Hasteur (talk) 06:16, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Hasteur: So basically you ran an unapproved task and then tried to revert it, which made a giant mess of things and caused several editors to get frustrated and eventually outright angry. People get angry when unexpected things happen and they feel they have no recourse; this applies both to real life and here. Here, when an editor does something another doesn't like, someone can revert them with a few clicks. If a bot makes a mistake—whether or not another editor is making a mistake at the same time—there's no practical recourse for the editor (other than making thousands of clicks and/or learning a skill they neither already have nor possibly want to know). Case in point, because of this relatively minor screwup in the grand scheme of things, already one person has become frustrated enough to edit war—to the point of getting blocked himself—just because he was presumably, well, extremely frustrated, angry, and wanted someone to alleviate his concerns—something that could have been done had you filed a BRFA in the first place. (Facepalm3.svg Facepalm).
I, personally, would not recommend removing the bot flag or blocking the bot at this point because neither are urgently necessary given the information at hand; the actions are in the past, and there's no imminent threat of the bot doing it again—that is, provided I'm understanding correctly that that's the case from what you've said.
I, personally, am not going to take action against you, because I know you'll do things by the book in the future. This entire saga won't have to be repeated again, because you now know that even something small can cause unexpected and unintended consequences, and should mistakes happen, you'll consult others before implementing the fix (at the very least as a sanity check) should that fix have to affect numerous pages. I mean, all of that's entirely up to you, but I promise that if you can find the patience to deal with BRFA even with minor things, life becomes a lot easier when the torches and pitchforks come out. And, when bugs and unexpected conditions surface—and they will surface—WP:IAR becomes a geometrically weaker argument in proportion to the ripple of the waves that bug causes (i.e., the perceived damage/stress starts to feel, to the community as a whole, that it outweighs the marginal gain to the encyclopedia provided by whatever action the bot is doing). Again, that's why there's BRFA; it's a place to point to and say, "oh crap, we didn't think about that when we were discussing the thing the bot's supposed to be doing. We'll come up with something to fix it ASAP!" Et voila! Everyone's happy. Problem is pretty much as good as solved to a frustrated editor, and you get plenty of time to fix any issues that arise.
On a related note, you should be aware that this kind of stuff has gotten bot owners sanctioned by Arbcom in the past. Today you angered two people. Do it again, and more will join the bandwagon over time, because that's just what they'll expect. Future out-of-policy screwups, however innocent, will simply confirm ill-seated suspicions about you, and no amount of pointing out their own faults will put a dent in the oncoming tide of anger (not that I would suggest you even do that in the first place *cough*).
TLDR? There be dragons here, and we have precautions to help prevent you from being burned, prevent others from feeling burned, and as a whole keep everyone happy, calm, and cooperative, even if some of those precautions can be bureaucratically annoying.
Consider yourself warned; cue the ominous music. :P
--slakrtalk / 07:16, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Slakr This was already agreed to in the 06:54, 8 January 2015 (UTC) response, it was a deliberate and vindictive attempt by the user who keeps trying to get sanctions to stick that is prolonging this drama fest. Even further this understanding was reiterated in the 14:39, 16 January 2015 (UTC) response, yet the vindictive editor brings is up again and demands a pound of flesh. Now we'll go through the nice burecratic process of waiting months/years for someone to step up and decide that this dandelion is high enough to get attention focused on it from bot writers and editors to get a BRFA passed as I wash my hands of the task due to the vindictive and inappropriate uses of the output of the bot task. Hasteur (talk) 14:27, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, in that case, unless anyone else on BAG has any issues or disagrees, I consider this Yes check.svg Done. :P Others are obviously free to update it, but the archive bots will take care of this thread if there aren't any other responses. :P --slakrtalk / 21:08, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Slakr, This bot is still operating out of its approved scope. It was only authorized to Notify creator of AfC submission that their submission is being nominated. There is no task I can find where it is approved to notify other editors. Since it is posting on pages outside of its own userspace and preforming and unauthorized task, I do not consider this as done at all. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Technical 13 You are really going to nitpick over something that was requested nearly a year ago by Anne Delong, DGG and Martijn Hoekstra that is harmless, is usefull, doe not consume resources unnecessarily, performs only tasks for which there is consensus, carefully adheres to relevant policies and guidelines, uses informative messages, appropriately worded, in any edit summaries or messages left for users for users who have opted in to getting notifications for at User:HasteurBot/G13 OptIn Notifications? I note that in the place where we looked for ways to try and develop a solution YOU commented then and saw no reason to object then. Statue of limitations being long since expired, is it not reasonable that users who have opted in (unlike the exceedingly poor decision to use the Mass Message System to send out a bunch of holiday wishes)? Slakr, I ask that you close this out as NOT ACTIONABLE and strongly warn T13 that the next time he pulls something like this that he could be sanctioned more harshly than he has (and gotten out of) this time (See 48 hour Edit Warring Block, Removal of Rollback, and the paper thin "It's not my fault" arguments against the block). Hasteur (talk) 23:51, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Considering it is stacked on a long history of bot misuse and abuse, that you claimed has been completely fixed which is apparently not, I would suggest that you should leash your bot and make sure it does exactly what it was authorized to do and nothing more for awhile. If you want to accommodate requests to send these notifications, request a new task for that purpose or even better, have have it post the notifications to its own userspace on a page that users that want the notifications can transclude instead of clogging up page histories of multiple editors for this. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
        • T13, have you actually asked the two users who are recieving these notices to determine if they are "clogging up the page histories" before launching into this jihad? Probably not as your modus operandi is to accuse first and retract afterwords. I'm filing a BRFA since you're having such a tantrum about this. Hasteur (talk) 00:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
          • And I just approved it. T13, will you drop this now? Anomie 00:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
          • Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/HasteurBot 9 For your dumass records T13. Hasteur (talk) 00:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
            • Hasteur, I know T13 has been annoying you about this, but please keep it civil. Thanks. Anomie 00:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
          • This resolves the current concern about the bot, I'll take my increasing concern about the editor to the appropriate noticeboard. Thank you Hasteur and Anomie. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
          • Hasteur: Thank you for coming into compliance. I hope this will continue to be the start of a new era, and one with civility at its forefront too. —Sladen (talk) 00:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I made it clear that I personally very much wanted these notices, but it is also true that I, and I think everyone else who gets them, would very greater prefer them merged to a single notice. We've ask for this for a year now. Is it beyond everyone's abilities to program this? (I would suggest the logic flow, that if there was a previous notice on the page within , say, 12 hours, it merged it. Don;t we do something similar with warnings processed through huggle? DGG ( talk ) 06:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't mind taking a quick look, if I can find the code of the bot, and see if I can make a pull request. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 01:43, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Martijn Hoekstra, thank you for offering to share your time help Hasteur with the bot; there were some ideas in this Old revision of User talk:Hasteur#Hasteurbot batching if they're any use. Hasteur, would you be able to assist with pointing Martijn to the right place to locate the latest snapshot of notification source code? —Sladen (talk) 06:14, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Martijn Hoekstra/Sladen, though I think I need to re-design that bit of code so that the "interested editor" notifications happen independently of notifying (in case the notifying thread croaks as it's submitted on the batch cluster with ~300ish jobs). I'll toy with re-writing the code tonight. Question to Anomie: Because this is a functional change to what exactly gets put on the interested users pages, do I need to fill out a new BRFA? Hasteur (talk) 13:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome to batch the notification delivery without a new BRFA. You can also adjust the content of the individual notifications however you want, as long as it could reasonably be called "a short notice" and each individual notice is triggered as described in the BRFA. Anomie 00:57, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Labs disk maintenance[edit]

Labs has scheduled disk maintenance on January 15 at 18:00 UTC for up to 24 hours. Tools/bots may be affected during this time. Full details available on the Labs mailing list. --Bamyers99 (talk) 16:12, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Maintenance aborted after 2 hours due to performance issues. Will be rescheduled in the future when more disk space is added. --Bamyers99 (talk) 20:15, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Perhaps next time notification of this "scheduled disk maintenance" can be done maybe just a little bit more than two hours in advance? --Hammersoft (talk) 21:28, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
@Hammersoft: The mailing list can be subscribed to for more advanced notification. --Bamyers99 (talk) 21:50, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Will the people who scheduled that maintenance please restart Cyberbot I (talk · contribs), which went down at (presumably) 18:00 and is apparently not self-starting? --Redrose64 (talk) 21:34, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd rather not subscribe to the whole mailing list just to listen out for things like this, could notifications be given here a day or so in advance in the future? Sam Walton (talk) 21:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Concur. Perhaps (ironically) a bot could do the notifications for you across many language wikipedias? --Hammersoft (talk) 23:38, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Cyberbot I, which normally runs continuously, restarted at 00:00 and seems to be running normally. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:18, 16 January 2015 (UTC)


I don;t know what's actually happening but it seems like Legobot is malfuntioning. It is notifing Example (See User talk:Example) when GA reviewers start or pass/fails an article instead of notifing the nominator. I tried to contact the bot owner Legoktm (talk · contribs) on his talk page, but they haven;t replied. Thanks, Jim Carter 04:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The bot defaults to Example when it can't find the nominator, meaning that someone probably didn't set up the template correctly. Legoktm (talk) 04:45, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Bot tagging revision[edit]

We had a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 117#Bot tagging of edits, where there was pretty strong support to allowing bots to tag individual edits. Based on the discussions, I would say that bot owners should be encouraged to modify their bots to do so, if it would be appropriate. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 02:33, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

The ability for bots to do that doesn't actually exist yet. Anomie 17:16, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Inline template "Verify credibility" moved to "Unreliable source?"[edit]

The inline template {{Verify credibility}} has been moved to {{Unreliable source?}}. A redirect remains for the old template. Please update any bot actions accordingly. Jason Quinn (talk) 06:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Labs instances reboots[edit]

Due to a newly-discovered security vulnerability all labs instances will be rebooted today. Full details. --Bamyers99 (talk) 17:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)