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+7
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Bots

With the API coming, it means that bots are coming. I gave them some thought because I'm a programmer (so potential bot writer) and reddit bots annoy me so I'd be glad the same mistakes made there weren't repeated here.

Especially since there are plenty of neat things we can do with bots. Like dice roller for RPG subs. Or that cool asoif search both on reddit.

First pain point is that on reddit, bots don't really exist in the system. They are simply normal accounts that are automated via the api. I think that the system ought to know who's a bot and that their botness should be apparent when posting. Instead of being accounts, they should belong to accounts. This means that you can prevent early levels from using them (since they don't know snapzu yet) and loosen the quotas on high level users.

Attaching bots to account also means that we know who to contact if there is an issue.

Second issue with bots is sitewide bots. Because you thought of a joke doesn't mean everyone on the whole site should see it every time they use the words that trigger it. I've banned plenty of bots on a sub I mod for that reason. Bots should be invited on tribes by chiefs. Or bot writers should whitelist a list of tribes the bot should be active in (maybe that would be an option for higher level bot writers?).

3 years ago by redalastor with 9 comments

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  • kabamman
    +6

    I agree with this, there are many bots I love and some I can't stand and I think this would work very well.

  • sirlag
    +4

    For the sake of argument, if bots are allowed but are tied to accounts (that can function normally within the API) what is to prevent bots from just creating a normal account, if it would bypass restrictions (being a full privileged user).

    • redalastor (edited 3 years ago)
      +3

      If a normal account is an obvious bot, it would be banned. It also wouldn't have a "bot page" with a "request this bot for your tribe" button and other similar functionalities.

      • DunkEgg
        +3

        How do you differentiate an user from a bot? Turing test?

        I like the reddit aproach since the user needs to comply to several rules, like spam rules/automod rules, etc. But what you are suggesting bots inside accounts, means that a second time the snapzus programers need to write code to deal with spam, automod rules, etc.

        • redalastor
          +2

          How do you differentiate an user from a bot? Turing test?

          Most bots are obviously bots, we are talking about xkcd transcribers and the like.

          means that a second time the snapzus programers need to write code to deal with spam, automod rules, etc.

          I would think that internally they would be considered users linked to an owner account.

          • DunkEgg
            +2

            Most bots are obviously bots, we are talking about xkcd transcribers and the like.

            To you. The problem comes for snapzu to become sentient and differentiate them.

            I would think that internally they would be considered users linked to an owner account.

            Then they use the same interface as users. You are sugesting making special accounts for bots. Then you are suggesting that a Real Account has bots accounts. All of this is more code, more complexity, more procesing time.

            Easily solved by bots using the already Users Interface, and leveling up to prove they are worthy.

            • redalastor
              +3

              To you. The problem comes for snapzu to become sentient and differentiate them.

              To admins and moderators.

            • DunkEgg
              +3
              @redalastor -

              So the spam filter would be Humans? That may be too much on them. An algorithm may reduce work.

  • double2
    +3

    Bots should have bot accounts for transparency. Maybe you could still make manual posts from them, but really you should have a separate account for your own commentary.