[OSM-talk] bot vandalism

Apollinaris Schoell aschoell at gmail.com
Mon Oct 12 08:48:47 BST 2009

On 12 Oct 2009, at 24:05 , Frederik Ramm wrote:

> Apo,
>   I don't know about the specific case you are talking about. But on  
> a more general note, I am sure that we will be seeing stricter rules  
> for bots, where instead of *politely asking* for things to be  
> discussed before the bot runs & properly documented, we will in the  
> future *demand* that this is the case and threaten to suspend bot  
> accounts that don't play by the rules, and revert their edits.

this is exactly why I raised this again.

> I don't think that there will be an approval process for bots in the  
> near future (simply because of the manpower required for such  
> approval).

we need some process. doesn't have to be formal or same each time.  
Just a minimum > 1 user to make such a risky thing like a bot. If a  
bot user can't prove this was done and documented it will be blocked  
on any user request without waiting for feedback to keep damage under  
I am sure there will be at least 5 volunteers to check the concept and  
code for each bot if it's posted to talk. Still no guarantee but  
fundamental bugs will be fixed before any big damage.
a second step must be a dry run with verification of the changes done.

> We might also ask bot users to flag the relevant accounts as "bot  
> accounts", to allow easier filtering on the user side ("I am not  
> interested in changes done by bots").

this should be a requirement. maybe we should even monitor accounts  
for big edits across the planet in short time and block them  
automatically if they are not approved bot accounts.

> Bye
> Frederik

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