Questions tagged [robots]

A bot or robot on the Stack Exchange network is an automated tool that monitors for certain activity (on or off the network) and typically posts messages in chat or on the site. Use this tag when asking about these automated tools. Questions about (mechanical) robots are off-topic but might be in scope for Robotics Stack Exchange.

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What kind of actions are bots allowed to do?

Based on all of the Stack Exchange API endpoints, especially the [auth required] ones, what actions are bots allowed to do? There is a lot of things you can do with the API, so here's some that are ...
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2 votes
0 answers
36 views

How can I view all my automatically deleted questions [duplicate]

Scenario 1: I ask a Stack Overflow question Link it to a GitHub issue The GitHub project maintainer is unresponsive for one year The question does not get much attention After one year the question ...
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5 votes
0 answers
64 views

How do chat cooldowns work? [duplicate]

If you type messages in chat rapidly enough, you'll start to get a cooldown: I've been writing a chatbot library recently, and handling cooldowns is something that I've found a bit difficult. This ...
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14 votes
1 answer
201 views

Can other bots have an identifying label, too? Even user-run bots?

Now that the Community user is going to be explicitly labelled as a bot, how about adding the same label to other bot accounts, too? There is an old request for essentially the same thing, but at the ...
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-6 votes
3 answers
341 views

Can bots which require moderator privileges operate on SE?

Recently, a discussion came up in our internal Charcoal team (requires access) as to autoflags and pinging users whose accounts are used to cast automatic flags that are later deemed to have been ...
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10 votes
1 answer
325 views

Why can metasmoke and SmokeDetector get reputation?

I'm just curious about why (not how) metasmoke and SmokeDetector can get reputation. Their profiles state that they are bots, but SmokeDetector even asked a question on Stack Overflow. I thought bots ...
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6 votes
1 answer
298 views

Is this a troll or a bot answering? [duplicate]

This really caught my attention. As you can below this photo, there's user (Maybe a person or maybe bot) answered the question but it is not answer the question. So is this person just a pure troll ...
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-13 votes
1 answer
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Downvote bot or random downvoting? [closed]

I posted this question a few minutes ago: Functional difference between normal method, Task, Paraller.invoke, async await And literally a second after I published it, I got an uncommented downvote. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
58 views

Is Comment Converter available on sites other than DBA Stack Exchange?

I have just seen an automatic answer being put for one of my questions on DBA. This was made by Comment Converter which seems to be quite useful as it already got a gold badge. The user profile ...
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10 votes
1 answer
215 views

Smoke detector bad keyword detection

Recently, the smoke detector has identified a Math.SE question as a post containing bad keywords. As a 10k user on Math.SE, I can't see any spam in this post. What has triggered the alarm? What ...
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-6 votes
2 answers
244 views

Can we do more to stop bots from posting? [closed]

Alright, I realize that the wording of my previous question did not clearly distinguish what I wanted (and resulted in being downvoted into oblivion). I don't care (for this purpose) about live users ...
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-13 votes
2 answers
173 views

Should (and could) we require the tour badge (and/or rep) to give answers?

We (SE, in general) get dozens of spam/bad answers almost every day. In particular, I'm interested in the ones from bots. Would it be worthwhile to require some minor limitation to post answers? I'm ...
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8 votes
2 answers
225 views

Is the Community user able to earn badges?

Just recently the one question that the Community user asked on MSE got up to 25 favorites. This means that Community now qualifies for the Favorite Question badge. I've waited a while, but community ...
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11 votes
2 answers
127 views

Is there a reason why this year's Winter Bash site prevents crawling?

This year's Winter Bash site has robots.txt which prevents the whole1 site from being crawled. User-agent: * Disallow: / Is there a reason why robots.txt was added to this year's WB site? 1The main ...
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12 votes
0 answers
259 views

Eeeek! Skeet Bot is borked :(

The Thanks a Million, Jon Skeet! blog post contains what appears to be a Skeet Bot: However, clicking the "Ask Skeet Bot" button does... nothing. Closer inspection show that the API used by the ...
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15 votes
1 answer
335 views

How do you make a bot on Chat?

In many chat rooms, such as Codenames, there is a bot to moderate the room, or to help update things. How do you create such bots? Do you need to make an account for this bot, and then program ...
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173 votes
14 answers
9k views

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

Since this has been posted, we've done a few things: We now cast four flags on posts that pass an accuracy threshold (current 99.9% historical confidence) SmokeDetector now casts the first ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Did human verification get stricter?

Did something change with the captcha/human verification? I'm seeing this on a daily basis now: I think in the past I've seen that at most once in 3 months, and usually when I was doing something ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Does the Stack Exchange community support using bots on the community? [duplicate]

Recently I came across this user-https://stackoverflow.com/users/7748297/pseudohuman I don't really know if this is really a bot on the site, but it claims to be one (If it really is a bot how did it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
157 views

Can I build a bot for Stack Exchange which fixes spelling and grammar?

I've been looking into the Stack Exchange API, and thinking of building a bot. I often see posts by new users that have poor spelling and grammar. I figure that a bot can easily do the job of fixing ...
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3 votes
1 answer
149 views

Would more-heavily involved moderation bots be beneficial to Stack Exchange?

Quora has bots that do a lot of moderation, such as: auto-question-tagging, marking questions as "needs improvement," auto-question-merging, auto-answer-collapsing, and even auto-question-editing (...
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6 votes
2 answers
905 views

Why not have a crawl delay in your robots.txt?

My crawler follows Stack's robots.txt directives (it is a general web crawler so hitting many domains). Yet, when I am done crawling I frequently get blocked from accessing your website from a browser ...
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13 votes
2 answers
352 views

robots.txt was changed to block saving hot questions page in Wayback Machine, why?

Until yesterday it was possible to save hot questions page in Wayback Machine as discussed eg here. Today robots.txt appears to be changed to block this. I wonder what could be reasons for such a ...
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420 votes
9 answers
18k views

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

TL;DR: We did it, so... yes. What is this? Charcoal is the organization behind the SmokeDetector bot and other nice things. This bot scans new posts across the entire network for spam posts and ...
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  • 17.2k
15 votes
2 answers
283 views

Should we have special accounts for bots?

Triggered by the question How should a bot earn enough reputation to perform the actions necessary for that bot? Spam is increasing, and it appears current efforts towards it are linear – they ...
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37 votes
6 answers
1k views

How should a bot earn enough reputation to perform the actions necessary for that bot?

We all know it: bots that chat. There are also bots that flag, or perform other actions. And usually we like them for doing that, like our dear Smokey. So every now and then, a new bot is created, and ...
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1 vote
2 answers
86 views

BOT:Converting comment to CW

I stumbled upon this line in a post on Server Fault: BOT:Converting comment to CW... Is there an automatic conversion of popular comments to community wiki posts I'm not aware of? How does it work ...
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9 votes
2 answers
172 views

What's the official Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange policy regarding bots?

One can build bots to comment and answer questions on Stack Overflow (or on any Stack Exchange site). Is that allowed? What's the official Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange policy regarding bots? See ...
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4 votes
0 answers
43 views

What determines which questions are tweeted? [duplicate]

Some (all?) SE sites have a Twitter account. A selection of questions are tweeted there. Here's an example: What decides which questions are tweeted? Is it automatic (done by a bot), or do mods do ...
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10 votes
1 answer
294 views

Bot answering for reputation

I asked a question. The answer I got has no formatting, does not fit exactly and the profile pic of the answerer is some pretty lady. I got suspicious and googled, and found the original answer here. ...
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7 votes
0 answers
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What is "Trello Answers" and why is it scraping the SE sites? [duplicate]

Recently, I answered a question on Stack Overflow that is very specific to a certain platform. I tried Googling the same question to see who else was having this issue, and if the answer was available ...
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-18 votes
1 answer
95 views

Prevent users to come up in search engines

I have discovered that Users come up in search results which is annoying for me as my username is the same as the name that I produce apps under. This means that my Stack Exchange profiles come up in ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
179 views

Are robots or aliens waiting in Area 51?

It is widely known that aliens is waiting for me in Area 51. However, when I visit the list of public sites, in the footer it says: So officially who is waiting for me there?
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23 votes
5 answers
577 views

Present and future of bots on Stack Exchange

There are discussions on Meta already for some time now about the potential usage of bots on Stack Exchange (SE). The earliest I could find goes back to 2009, but there have been others [link], [link]...
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7 votes
1 answer
101 views

"Are you a human?" frequency hugely increased [duplicate]

I see there are similar questions from 2012, but cannot find something more recent. The frequency of "Are you a human" checks has become excessive recently - I get them on the majority of searches I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
220 views

Is the Firefox browser's default search engine still evil in 2014?

From /robots.txt on one Stack Exchange site: # # Yahoo bot is evil. # User-agent: Slurp Disallow: / Four years ago, someone asked what's so "evil" about Yahoo!, and the answer was that Slurp was ...
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-9 votes
1 answer
269 views

Is this user really a bot?

I think this user is a bot, but I am not sure. He/she is the administrator of this room (the most popular room). I just saw his/her About me section which says: Born: December 24th, 2011. 10:47PM. I ...
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5 votes
1 answer
112 views

Automatic Post Questions to StackOverflow?

is it legal to make a tool to get question from other forums and to post questions to StackOverflow ? Comunity from here is bigger than comunity from other places.
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1 vote
2 answers
216 views

Could Stack Overflow benefit from some AI with regards to commenting?

There are questions with specific phrases that sort of bug me, and in combination with having a short length, they are probably lousy questions. We've all seen it: zero code, and the phrase "is it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
707 views

Stack Overflow does not use Captcha for verification anymore, how can they defend against bots? [duplicate]

Last time I posted a question (about one year ago), I noticed that Stack Overflow had the "Are you human?" verification check with Captcha. Now, we seem to be able to just post questions and answers ...
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-26 votes
1 answer
214 views

Captcha for all reviews?

If automated (non-human) bots are being used for reviews, why don't we add captcha to every review? The effort of solving a captcha is much less than the typical effort of properly performing a ...
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  • 9,534
4 votes
0 answers
188 views

Limit review page refreshes to dissuade robo-reviewers

Surely robo-reviewers basically hammer the review pages waiting for a review to appear. Can the number of daily page refreshes of the review pages be limited to some reasonable "humanly possible" ...
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  • 9,534
6 votes
2 answers
210 views

Can we flag a user as a potential bot? [duplicate]

I ran into a "user" while doing a review task on SO. This user has made two answers on the same question, as far as I can tell these are not close to answers they are just html dumps. I suspect this ...
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3 votes
0 answers
71 views

A Modest Proposal for Preventing Robo-Approvers From Being a Burden to The Community

Just an idea for the developers to toy with: How about putting the "Skip" button first? Just that. Or possibly do some A-B testing, to see what happens, though changing it for the same user could ...
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8 votes
3 answers
439 views

Are there any robot moderators on SO?

Also, could robots do the work of SO moderators? Like an SVM may be able to distinguish between different classes of closeable questions, and different robots could be trained on the closed question ...
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10 votes
0 answers
194 views

Eeek! Chat made the robot precognitive! [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Timestamps across the network are appearing in the future! So, this is what actually happened (replies marked in freehand arrows): And this is what SO chat claims to have ...
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3 votes
1 answer
159 views

"HangBot" editing questions and answers

During reviewing, I came across multiple suggested edits by an account named "HangBot" *. A low reputation (13 at the time) made me curious, since first-timers don't usually rush into editing posts ...
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3 votes
2 answers
171 views

Is this a robot?

This user has posted 3 posts now that I've seen. Two of which I've answered. They all start out exactly the same, go through major edits and s/he/it moves on to repeat the process. The suspicious ...
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21 votes
0 answers
177 views

Don't let bots index ephemeral pages

While googling for "Intellij GWT HTTP ERROR: 500 No realm ", I got a few SO hits with obsolete URLs: Newest 'gwt' Questions - Page 8 - Stack Overflow stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/gwt?page=8&...
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  • 311
4 votes
2 answers
174 views

Is the user a serial google-copy-paster, or a part-time bot?

I just noticed a particular user that has a large amount of throwaway answers. They seem to almost always take the form: This may be of help [or another generic phrase]: [link/pasted code] And thats ...
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  • 2,444