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What are "Robots Online Now"?

  1. Jan 27, 2016 #1
    I happened to notice MEMBERS ONLINE NOW and see there were also 143 robots listed.

    What are they doing snooping around here? Who let them in? Is this the beginning of the end? Are they from the NSA?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2016 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Gold Member

    :woot:

    Among other tasks, robots scan websites for content consumed by the likes of Google.
    Without them the Webernet would not work.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2016 #3
    Oh good grief.
    Worse than I feared.
    Do I have to change from my Jammies to pants?
    Sheeeesh.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2016 #4

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Have you seen Iron Man II (it was on last night here...)? You see, when Hammer Industries went belly-up after that unfortunateness at the Stark Expo, their patents for the Hammer Drone became indefensible. PF Labs in Palo Alto has been adapting them for forum auditing, so you'll often see them pop-in while beta testing. But don't worry, they don't have any authority at this time.
     
  6. Jan 27, 2016 #5
    :DD Haha! Is this real?
     
  7. Jan 27, 2016 #6

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Due to confidentiality agreements, I am not at liberty to confirm or deny the existence of the PF Labs Spammer Drone.
     
  8. Jan 27, 2016 #7

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    How do you think the Mentors get all that Mentoring done? Without my 'bots, I would be way behind... :cool:
     
  9. Jan 27, 2016 #8
    They used to be called web crawlers in the early days, they aren't something new and spooky.
    Mostly they're just search engine agents looking for content.
    I'm pretty sure website admins can elect to make their site inacessable to selected or to all bots, but usually it's not in their interest to make the site invisible on search engines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  10. Jan 27, 2016 #9
    My Google+ account has 30,000 views. Google coerced me into opening that account and I've made it as unwelcoming as I could. Must be robots.
     
  11. Jan 27, 2016 #10

    OCR

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    Only when you're looking ... lol
     
  12. Jan 28, 2016 #11

    Borg

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    A Spammeroid Attack just doesn't have the same ring to it though. :oldtongue:

     
  13. Jan 28, 2016 #12
    So what we gain from these robot snoops? For example, if they count how many users open advertisements in the forums and the forums can thereby sell ads, all well and good, I guess. Can we snoop on the snoopers...identify who is snooping?
     
  14. Jan 28, 2016 #13

    Borg

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    The robots don't see what you are doing - they see what pages are available on the web site in order to provide links to those pages in search results.

    User-specific advertisements are generally handled by cookies that track what you look at and click on. Robots have nothing to do with the ads in this respect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  15. Jan 28, 2016 #14

    DaveC426913

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    The internet would not work (well) without them.
    When you Google or Bing or whatever, the results that come up are compiled by programs that use the findings of the bots.
     
  16. Jan 28, 2016 #15
    They are just web crawlers that index new content into search engines. Their number and even existence is really not important to anyone but administration.
     
  17. Jan 28, 2016 #16
    yeah, right.

    Now I am even more worried.

    That's too much like
    "We're from the government and are here to help you." or
    "We respect your e-mail address."
    When has THAT ever happened!!
     
  18. Jan 28, 2016 #17
    Worried about what exactly? Sorry I think you are being paranoid over nothing. How do you expect search engines to function?
     
  19. Jan 28, 2016 #18

    DaveC426913

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    To be clear, your online activities ARE being monitored. It's just that it's not the robots.

    Try this: do a search for, say, telescopes. Now go on to Facebook. Notice some of the ads are now for telescopes.

    This is done via cookies, as Borg pointed out in post 13.

    Robots look at website content, not at users.
    Websites (and browsers) look at user activity.
     
  20. Jan 28, 2016 #19

    dlgoff

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  21. Jan 28, 2016 #20
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