A wiki bot is a software tool that helps perform automated or semi-automated edits on the wiki. Bots are most often used for carrying out repetitive and mundane tasks across many pages. Operating a bot on the FiM Wiki requires setting a bot flag.
Bots may make many edits during their run, which can overwhelm the wiki activity and recent changes pages, making it difficult to see and respond to manual edits from regular contributors. For this reason, a bot flag is set for the bot account, which hides bot edits from the recent changes list by default. Bot edits can be displayed by clicking "Show bots" in the recent changes page header. Automated or semi-automated editing is not permitted without such a flag.
Flagging an account as a bot
Any contributor may request a bot flag for a bot account by creating a thread in the forum, where the request will be discussed by the community. There are no explicit requirements, but a healthy contribution history and prior experience with bots are beneficial.
Once consensus is reached about awarding the bot account a bot flag, the contributor must either register a new account or choose an account that has not been used for manual editing on this wiki, and will only be used for automated or semi-automated edits. A bureaucrat may then set a permanent bot flag on the account.
Users who routinely perform large-scale edits that may overwhelm the recent changes page, such as manually and quickly categorizing many images in a row, should apply for a bot flag for a large-scale editing account which will be treated the same way as a regular bot account, or alternatively apply for the image control group for a temporary bot flag.
Please note that bots should always be supervised to make sure they doesn't disrupt the wiki or perform non-constructive edits. Large-scale tasks should be tested on a sandbox or on a few pages before being executed globally. Administrators may block an actively running bot for non-constructive edits, and the bot will remain blocked until the issue is resolved.
If you need to manually use rollback for many edits from a bot account, you can add ?bot=1 to a Special:Contributions page to mark any rollbacks from that page as bot edits. Otherwise, they will not have a bot tag.
Temporary bot flag
Contributors in the imagecontrol, administrator, or bureaucrat groups may grant or revoke bot flags for their own user accounts from the user rights page. High-frequency edits with assumed or explicit consensus should be performed with a bot flag; contributors should be extremely mindful of not making "bold edits" while having a bot flag, and should avoid having a bot flag while making any edit that might be disputed.
Popular wiki bot software includes AutoWikiBrowser, a Windows tool designed for semi-automated tasks, and Pywikipediabot, a more low-level tool without a GUI. Custom software is permitted, but may be subject to more rigorous testing before being approved by the community.
Common bot tasks
On this wiki, bot accounts perform a variety of repetitive tasks. They include:
- making the wiki reflect new official information, like replacing placeholder names with official ones
- making the wiki reflect changes in official information, like adjusting the spelling of a character's name
- adding new templates to all applicable pages
- moving a group of pages to a new category
- adding a group of images to all applicable categories
- harmonizing spelling and formatting across the wiki
- deleting unused redirects and unused images
Contributors who do not have a bot account may request that other bots perform these tasks via the bot to-do list. Bots may only perform tasks under explicit or assumed consensus, and should never perform bold edits, which must be done manually.
- Large-scale automated or semi-automated tasks may not be performed on accounts without a bot flag.
- Bot accounts need to labeled as such on their user page and talk page, with a link to the operator's user or talk page.
- Bot accounts may may only perform tasks for which there is explicit or assumed consensus.
- Bot edits must have a descriptive edit summary.
- Bots must have their edit rate throttled to one edit per second or slower.
- Bot accounts may be given the same user rights as their operator's main account.