ClueBot NG, as the bot is known, resides on a computer from which it sallies forth into the vast encyclopaedia to detect and clean up vandalism almost as soon as it occurs.
It is one of several hundred bots patrolling Wikipedia at any given time. Its role in repairing the Supreme Court article illustrates how bots have quietly become an indispensable – if virtually invisible – part of the Wikipedia project.
“Wikipedia would be a shambles without bots,” a Wikipedia administrator known on the site as Hersfold writes in an email.
English Wikipedia alone surpassed four million articles this month. It contains an estimated 2.5 billion words, equivalent to millions of pages, and it is 50 times larger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But the project is so vast, and its maintenance so labour-intensive that it defies the capability of its human administrators and editors to keep it in order.
That is where the bots come in.
Keep reading: BBC News Magazine – Meet the ‘bots’ that edit Wikipedia