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Bots edit Wikipedia, clean up your nonsense

Jamie Rigg , @jmerigg

Wikipedia, a triumph of human effort, knowledge and collaboration... or so we thought. Turns out that along with the tens of thousands of brains regularly editing the online encyclopedia, hundreds of bots also patrol the virtual aisles keeping us in check. Some of the bots take care of the boring stuff -- organizing, formatting and other admin. Others correct the wrongdoings of wiki-villains, such as removing off-topic vandalism and naughty language. In the beginning, pages were even created by select bots, pulling data from various sources to create bare bones records for our keystrokes to flesh out. They do a pretty good job, but there are fears that a rogue bot will one day ruin a lot of hard work, although due to the privileges needed it would have to be an inside job. So now you know -- the machines not only have access to the largest single collection of human knowledge, but they edit it for us too. Don't say we didn't warn you.

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