On 4 February 2014 10:30, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 4 February 2014 14:03, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> ..
> > The vast majority of users who do a lot of bot edits are still merrily
> > working away on English Wikipedia.
>
> As someone who has made around 3 million automated edits on Commons
> and uploaded over 200,000 valuable educational images there, I would
> love to do similar work to benefit the English Wikipedia. I do not
> feel in the least bit encouraged to even try to set up a content
> creation or even an uncontroversial en.wp house-keeping project in
> 2014 considering how much of my volunteer time would be lost it debate
> any proposal there is likely to create, compared to the simplicity of
> other Wikimedia projects.
>
> Knowing what happens to anyone who becomes "of interest" and has a
> large number of edits, along with the associated endless repeated
> attempts to find any single problematic edit out of hundreds of
> thousands of perfectly good content creation, I find the word
> "merrily" a poor choice. The extraordinary case that Sam mentioned has
> been a widely discussed lesson to all bot-writers, many of us
> carefully do our work in a way that avoids ever attempting to put our
> heads above the parapet and risk becoming targets of depressing
> damaging witch-hunts, reputation ruining bad faith allegations and
> extreme effectively *years*-long sanctions from those with big
> hammers. So rather than "merrily" one might better chose from
> "cautiously", "covertly" or even "fearfully" and "not".
>
> Risker, out of interest, considering my long track record of useful
> bot-work on Commons, would you support my proposal to let Faebot do
> some sensible non-controversial work on en.wp or do you think I am a
> danger to Wikimedia?
>
> I'd defer to the opinion of the Bot Approval Group, Fae.  Bots have done
(and continue to do) extremely useful work on English Wikipedia. They've
also been involved with some difficult-to-fix harm (usually unintentional,
by poor programming or without understanding of underlying content issues),
and unfortunately there has been a pattern of a handful of bot owners not
cleaning up those sorts of problems.  This has resulted in the bar being
raised for everyone.

The issue of bot article creation is one that will vary widely from project
to project depending on the culture and philosophy of the community. If we
think a bit, we're all likely to come up with a project or two that
expanded rapidly with the use of bots, only to find that the content added
had to be removed because it didn't meet copyright requirements or was of
very poor quality.  On the other hand, we've also seen brilliant successes.
And yes, there was some fairly significant early expansion of English
Wikipedia through bot article creation.  Some of those articles have barely
been touched since - except by other bots.

Risker
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