I'm a mod on Ask Ubuntu. I've just been talking to somebody who wants to run a chat bot. They want to run this on all SE chat networks. Normally that would just need 20 rep on each site but they feel they need the "create room" privilege (100). Their approach to this is earning 200 reputation *as the bot* on our site to earn the cross-site 100-rep starter (so their SO and MSE accounts get 101 without any external work).

My main problem is that **this gives them power**. Power to comment. Power to  vote. They've already earnt the upvote priv with us and they've "accidentally" voted 28 times. They can do things. They could very easily create another bot now, rotating around SE sites (with their starter bonus) to avoid each sites mods noticing suspicious vote patterns.

They've explicitly said they won't abuse it but I'd rather not **need** to have to trust their word.

Chatbots are fairly accepted things but because they need reputation to work, their existence causes peripheral issues. I hate that they have to operate on the main site (like a real user) to earn reputation. I hate that they can vote.

I've got a few mutually exclusive ideas that might make things better:

 - Allow people to have a chatbot subprofile which can only do the things the main account can. Most importantly, it require the somebody to put themselves in the position to sockpuppet.

 - Create a dummy chatbot.stackexchange.com site where profiles (linked to the main profile) have their own chat profile with automatic and appropriate chat-only privileges. I'm not sure if that would actually work though.

 - Allow real accounts to be limited to chat-only privs, whatever their reputation. This would annul moderator fears of bots going wild.

 - Or finally —[something I've suggested before][1]— cross-user limits to stop "accidental" sockpuppeting happening.

I'm still not sure what to do *now*. I'm uncomfortable with the present situation, especially given the number of existing votes the bot account has already issued.

Should we allow bot wranglers to build up significant reputation under their bots?


  [1]: http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/225170/144180
  [2]: http://stackoverflow.com/users/3967621/nordehinu?tab=topactivity