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Hello there. If you are here, you have probably been referred by me to this page, because you asked me a commonly asked question. Rather than repeat myself, it is simpler for the both of us to direct you to these thoroughly thought out answers to your questions. If you still have questions, feel free to ask me on my talk page. :-)

Frequently Asked Questions

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I didn't do it

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Q: I edited, or did something I shouldn't have done, and I should explain myself.

A: For some reason, this is a rather common occurrence. I sometime get complaints from users about edits, or actions, I've made on pages I've never even heard of. With that being said, you probably mistook me for another user and you should make sure you have the right user.

Q: I edited, or did something I shouldn't have done, and I should explain myself.

A: If I made a mistake somewhere, I will gladly reverse it, if you point it out. I either made a careless mistake, or carried out an action, or edit, that seemed like a reasonable decision at the time I made it. I usually don't edit without a reason to do so.


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Q: How can I run the bot on a set of pages?

A: You can use this tool to do just that. List the articles you want the bot to analyze, each on a separate line, then click the "submit" button. Your list will be assigned a job ID and placed in the queue until a process is able to work on it. It can then be tracked in real time on the interface.

Q: Why is the bot reformatting citation templates? The link already has a working url.

A: Chances are the working url was an archive, so the bot placed the working url in the correct parameter, "archiveurl". Alternatively, the template may have contained an archive URL that was not compliant with policy and the bot made it compliant. This is to maintain consistency among the various citation templates being used. Archives should be placed in the "archiveurl" parameter, and the original url should be placed in the "url" parameter. Archives are required by policy to be in long form format.

Q: How do I stop the bot from persistently messing with a citation?

A: If it's inaccurately tagging a source as dead or adding a bad archive, then you should help the bot by using this tool, which lets users review the URLs the bot has encountered and fix any errors it's made. This increases the bot's reliability. If the bot is breaking the syntax, or is misformatting the citation, you should report that here. All bugs will be fixed.

Q: The bot is making many bad edits and I don't think it's worth having it run on this specific page. How do I stop the bot from editing the page completely?

A: Be cautious about this. Are you sure the bot is harming the page more than it is helping? If it is breaking the formatting of the page, please report the problem here, as that's a bug that needs fixing. Otherwise, if the bot is mistagging sources or providing bad archives, you may decide the cleanup required outweighs the improvements. In that case, place {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} on the article, or use {{cbignore}} on an individual citation. This will keep the bot away from that page or citation, but also means it will be more vulnerable to link rot until the tag is removed. If possible, please help the bot become more reliable by fixing bad data with this tool and this tool.

Q: Cyberbot tagged a source as dead, but the source isn't dead. What happened?

A: The site may have been down temporarily but long enough that it failed to respond to three consecutive checks. Also, the site may have blocked the bot. In either case, the bot erroneously tags the site as dead, and you should report it with this tool. This tool will in most cases correct the issue. If it does not, it will be reported to the interface roots.

Q: The bot mangled the page.

A: Please report this here, and do not apply {{cbignore}} or {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}}. If the page is accessible to the bot, it can be used to replicate the bug and make the bot more useful for this page and others like it.

Q: What does it mean to rescue a source, as described in the edit summary?

A: It means the bot fixed the citation in some way - repairing it, reformatting for consistency, or adding a working archive URL.

Q: The number of links rescued is different from actual links rescued.

A: This can happen but has no lasting effect.

Q: The bot left a message on the talk page saying the revised links need to be "checked". What does this mean?

A: It means you should check to see if the archive URLs it added are in working order and whether or not the original URL for each is dead. There are lots of variables that can influence the bot's decisions and sometimes it doesn't get it right. If you do find an error, you can use the tools provided here to fix it. IABot will remember a URL it encounters and try to permanently associate an archive snapshot with it. These tools allow a user to tell IABot that a URL is not dead and/or that the archive for it works. They also allow a user to change the archive snapshot. This will help IABot to become more reliable in the future and helps other users and myself greatly. If you need help using the tools, call for help by using the {{{needhelp}}} parameter on the talk page. As a courtesy, please set the "checked" parameter in the bot's message to true so other users know you have reviewed the edit.