Explain Forum Bots

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LightWanderer
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PostExplain Forum Bots
by LightWanderer » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:45 pm

GRcade is currently being visited by MSNBot, BingBot and GRcadeBot. Reddit has a TON of bots, like RemindMeBot etc. What are these exactly? Reddit okay, maybe someone's coded it so they can give automated replies to something but on GRcade? Doubt big internet companies like Google really would have spent the time coding something in GRcade, so what is it exactly? What do bots do? If someone was to PM a bot are they conscious and will PM back?

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Ironhide
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Ironhide » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:14 pm

There's numerous reasons for bots probing forums, from improving search results to collecting data and even stealing steam keys from the trading post (this does actually happen).

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LightWanderer
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by LightWanderer » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:18 pm

Ironhide wrote:There's numerous reasons for bots probing forums, from improving search results to collecting data and even stealing steam keys from the trading post (this does actually happen).


But is the bot a bunch of code or is there someone actually operating it; logged in as the bot and hacking everyone's keys?

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Ironhide
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Ironhide » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:36 pm

It's just code, usually the bots just lurk and gather whatever data they're programmed to collect but occasionally you'll get bots that actually post in threads, usually trying to advertise stuff or get people to visit scam sites.

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Oblomov Boblomov
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Oblomov Boblomov » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:56 pm

Some bots have been known to reignite old fads, such as Hot or Not threads. Some bots just want to watch the world burn.

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Peter Crisp
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Peter Crisp » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:09 pm

It's aliens. It's always aliens :shifty: .

They're here to collect our important research in whether to sit or stand and decide if it really is over there by the beefburgers.

Last edited by Peter Crisp on Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LightWanderer
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by LightWanderer » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:44 pm

Ironhide wrote:It's just code, usually the bots just lurk and gather whatever data they're programmed to collect but occasionally you'll get bots that actually post in threads, usually trying to advertise stuff or get people to visit scam sites.



Ah, okay. Almost like being in Big Brother! (the dystopian novel, not the Rylan Clarke show)

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Ironhide
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Ironhide » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:57 pm

LightWanderer wrote:
Ironhide wrote:It's just code, usually the bots just lurk and gather whatever data they're programmed to collect but occasionally you'll get bots that actually post in threads, usually trying to advertise stuff or get people to visit scam sites.



Ah, okay. Almost like being in Big Brother! (the dystopian novel, not the Rylan Clarke show)


Not sure which of those I'd dread the most.

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Skarjo » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:03 pm

They call them bots for PR reasons.

Each one is actually an exhausted Chinese child from Guangzhou and he's paid 0.01 social credits for every post he searches.

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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Vermilion » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:37 pm

Peter Crisp wrote:It's aliens. It's always aliens :shifty: .


Like that time we used up a whole bog roll in a day?

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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Jenuall » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:46 pm

Vermilion wrote:
Peter Crisp wrote:It's aliens. It's always aliens :shifty: .


Like that time we used up a whole bog roll in a day?

Bots still have to visit the little boys room.

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Kezzer
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Kezzer » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:47 pm

I wish I was a bot

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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Gemini73 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:10 pm

Hugo is a forum bot. Turns up once in a blue moon to tell everyone that they're wrong then disappears.

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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by OrangeRKN » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:26 pm

LightWanderer wrote:GRcade is currently being visited by MSNBot, BingBot and GRcadeBot. Reddit has a TON of bots, like RemindMeBot etc. What are these exactly? Reddit okay, maybe someone's coded it so they can give automated replies to something but on GRcade? Doubt big internet companies like Google really would have spent the time coding something in GRcade, so what is it exactly? What do bots do? If someone was to PM a bot are they conscious and will PM back?


Those named bots you see are used by automated programs that crawl the forum (i.e. click through every link, read every page of every thread) to index them. This means that they are adding everything they find into their respective organisation's records so that they can appear as results in search engines.

The bots come built in to phpbb, the forum software that GRcade runs on, as they make indexing easier, and usually it's desired behaviour for a site to appear in search results as it's how sites get found and generate traffic. I believe supporting the bots reduces the impact on the GRcade server from being indexed too, but I'm not sure.

Forum administrators can turn them off if they like. There are conventions too (generally, on the internet) for requesting certain webpages not to be indexed - but if something is publicly accessible there is little you can do to enforce this, instead only relying on good faith.

To answer your questions specifically, they aren't written for GRcade specifically because they come as a built-in feature of phpbb, and I'm pretty sure they won't reply to any PMs (I'm not even sure if you can PM them to be honest!)

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Moggy
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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Moggy » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:29 pm

Gemini73 wrote:Hugo is a forum bot. Turns up once in a blue moon to tell everyone that they're wrong then disappears.


That’s not true.

His software is also programmed to praise Rez at every opportunity.

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PostRe: Explain Forum Bots
by Gemini73 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:44 pm

:lol:


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