Too much of a good thing, I guess. On Monday morning, the IP address used by the First Post Robot was banned from Slashdot. I made it easy for them... all the First Post activity came from a single IP address, out of curiosity to see what would happen. Here's what happened (typos and bad grammar/capitalization maintained):
Either your network or ip address has been banned from this site
due to script flooding that originated from your network or ip address -- or this IP might have been used to post comments designed to break web browser rendering. If you feel that this is unwarranted, feel free to include your IP address ([listed here]) in the subject of an email, and we will examine why there is a ban. If you fail to include the IP address (again, in the Subject!), then your message will be deleted and ignored. I mean come on, we're good, we're not psychic.
Since you can't read the FAQ because you're banned, here's the relevant portion:
I recommend reading the "relevant portion"... my robots didn't exactly violate the rules, but it would be hard to say that they didn't deserve it.
I sent a letter to email@example.com, as suggested. Here it is, for your enjoyment:
Subject: [my IP address]
From: First Post
Date: Mon, December 16, 2002 10:16 am
I am the author of a First Post Robot, and my IP address was just banned from the Slashdot server... rightfully so, I guess. I don't think I was "flooding" the system (in fact, I specifically designed it not to do so), but it would be hard to make a logical argument for un-banning the IP just so that the robot can continue beating out the "human" First Posters (goatse links and all).
I'm assuming that the ban was put in place manually, not automatically, since the code didn't hit Slashdot over and over until the "banned" page was displayed... it then went into a loop trying to log in, because I failed to include a "login failed" check. Sorry about that!
Additional information about the robot's exploits --which you may have already viewed -- is in the journal for Slashdot user "FirstPostRobot". Nobody else in the world has any information about the project besides what's in the Journal, though I will be happy to give you guys the source code on request.
I'll accept my punishment stoically, as the well-deserved consequences of my misbehavior. Please be assured that no other machine in my subnet has been used for this purpose, and that [my IP address] is the *only* IP address that needs to be punished.
Thank you for your time, sorry for the inconvenience, good luck, and God bless.
No word from the Slashdot admins. Meanwhile, I'm stuck with using the Anonymizer to access Slashdot using my real login -- the one with Excellent Karma. Oh, well...