Wikipedia talk:Bot policy

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Peacedove.svg The project page associated with this talk page is an official policy on Wikipedia. Policies have wide acceptance among editors and are considered a standard for all users to follow. Please review policy editing recommendations before making any substantive change to this page. Always remember to keep cool when editing. Changes to this page do not immediately change policy anyway, so don't panic.

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Control proposals

Archive policy

Archive interwiki (also some approvals for interwiki bots)

BAG Membership request[edit]

I have been nominated for BAG membership. Input is invited. The request can be found at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Cyberpower678 2.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 14:23, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

BAG membership nomination[edit]

Per the bot policy, I am making this post to inform the community of a request for BAG membership. Please feel free to ask any questions/comment there. -- Magioladitis (talk) 06:35, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Archiving of this page[edit]

2RR is enough for me, I'll leave this to other editors to check in to now. For some reason Headbomb feels that multiple comments left here by IZAK cross-posting another discussion should be deleted rather then archived. We are obviously in conflict so I would welcome anyone else to decide if the archive should be restored or left deleted. Thanks, — xaosflux Talk 02:49, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Why should comments irrelevant to bot policy be archived? See Wikipedia:TALK#USE "Stay on topic: Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions focused on how to improve the article. Comments that are plainly irrelevant are subject to archival or removal." See also the same kinds of removal by Hasteur. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 02:54, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Xaosflux, Headbomb: I agree with Headbomb on this. The multiple comments left were off-topic. I would like to be able to search and read archives. This would not be possible if they were full of irrelevant topic. Thanks, Magioladitis (talk) 11:34, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Require all bots to use Assert[edit]

There's just been yet another incident of a bot editing logged out. This problem has been happening for years, even though we have a way to fix it: mw:API:Assert. Our bot policy page currently recommends the use of Assert, but does not require it. I am proposing that all bots be required to use Assert, since it completely prevents logged-out editing and has no downside. To avoid disruption, this requirement would only apply to new bot approvals at first. Owners of existing bots would have a grace period (90 days maybe?) to add this functionality. Jackmcbarn (talk) 05:10, 27 November 2014 (UTC)


  1. As proposer. Jackmcbarn (talk) 05:10, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  2. I would imagine it would be a pain if bots were able to edit logged out. It would be treated as spam any bot edits that were logged out LorChat 22:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Legobot invitee: General support, partial oppose. I have no problem with the crux of this proposal as a prerequisite for new bot approval, but I feel that imposing it on existing bots that have not exhibited any problems with logged-off editing, even with a 90 day waiting period, is an unwarranted imposition on bot maintainers, and the post hoc decertification of already existing bots could have unintended consequences on the overall functioning of Wikipedia. However, I have no problem imposing this requirement as a prerequisite for recertification of bots that have illegally edited while logged out. VanIsaacWScont 02:07, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  4. Agree for new bots and disruptive already-editing bots. But, I want to assert that all bots in good condition (I mean that they never edit outside their accounts, even as another user, unless that is their initial test) acquire grandfather rights. - gacelperfinian(talk in - error? Start a new topic) 03:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  5. Weak Support. Btw, Pywikibot supports it?  Revi 09:04, 5 December 2014 (UTC)


  • Oppose - this puts a strain on bot maintainers to publish their code so people can check how the bot checks whether it is logged in or out. Also, I do not see any reason to enforce that bots have code for it implemented - if a bot edits while logged out, you shut down the bot, or you block the IP (for some time). If a bot-maintainer is not responsible enough to avoid that, and it happens on multiple occasions, then a WP:AN discussion is warranted to shut down (all! of) the owner's bots for a certain amount of time (a month on the first occasion, and with increasing amount of time in case the situation does not improve), 'giving the editor time to implement improvements to avoid editing while logged out'. If that goes through three of such discussions and blocks then withdrawal of bot-bits and indef blocking of the accounts is warranted. Also, per WP:AGF: assume that bots have sufficient code implemented (as we also have to AGF that the owner who shows the code with this implemented does not disable it (for whatever reason) while running after approval has been granted, and AGF on bot owners who accidentally break the code that should avoid editing while logged out after approval was given on a code that had this implemented). --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:01, 14 December 2014 (UTC)


While we can change the wording of the policy to say "required", enforcing it seems problematic unless we're going to punitively block the account of a bot that edits when logged out. Anomie 22:50, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

I think Anomie has hit the core point here - what exactly would changing this allow us to do that we can't already? If a bot complies with this, nobody would know; a malicious or misguided operator could in turn simply ignore the requirement. Unless this is coupled with some technical measure to ensure that accounts with +bot cannot edit at all unless edits are asserted, this looks a little toothless. – Reticulated Spline (tc) 23:56, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • What's so terrible about bots accidentally editing logged out exactly? It's not ideal sure, but doesn't actually seem like a major issue. Legoktm (talk) 04:05, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
    • IMHO: Indeed not a big issue - Surely not so big that it s.o. needs to check the bot-code independently (.. after every update ..) to make sure it works (which you really only know when it runs and never breaks). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:36, 14 December 2014 (UTC)