Wikipedia:Bots

A physical robot (right)

A bot (a common nickname for software robot) is an automated tool that carries out repetitive and mundane tasks to maintain the 54,245,516 pages of the English Wikipedia. Bots are able to make edits very rapidly, but can disrupt Wikipedia if they are incorrectly designed or operated. For these reasons, a bot policy has been developed.

There are currently 2,528 bot tasks approved for use on the English Wikipedia; however, not all approved tasks involve actively carrying out edits. Bots will leave messages on user talk pages if the action that the bot has carried out is of interest to that editor. Some bots can be excluded from leaving these messages by using the {{bots}} tags. There are 198 exclusion-compliant bots, which are listed in this category. There are 319 bots flagged with the "bot" flag right now (and over 400 former bots). There is also a range of tools that allow semi-automated editing of large numbers of articles.