href is a user on soc.ialis.me. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
href @href

Got a reply from the person behind @mastodonanalysis

"Thank you for your note and I apologize for causing harm. As part of a class project I was trying to explore the topological structure of mastodon and identify structures for creating safe spaces in other online communities. I chose this name to alert admins to my intentions. I thought that the only harm caused by downloading data could be server overload which is prevented by API limits. The last thing I wanted to do is cause harm to your community and I have stopped downloading data."

@href If you have a minute, may I ask you if you could you link to the related story?

@ffeth @href there's no story, just someone scraping accounts with python scripts on many instances

@ffeth Not much, but look here: tenforward.social/@guinan/9898

Mosts admins banned/blocked the bot. I contacted the owner to learn more (see soc.ialis.me/@admin/9899166966 )

Note that he also poses an interesting question: "It seems inevitable that someone would do this; is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening again?"

He concluded: "I plan to post a short message soon. Thanks for your support; this definitely should have been done with more transparency and more community input. I'll take some time to consider how to move forward and if it's feasible".

@marsxyz not sure, he didn't reply this specific question / privacy. However he just scrapped the account endpoint so name bio following followers. public stuff.

@marsxyz IMO it's a non issue. That's why I decided yesterday to first contact the bot owner before taking any action.

The bot owner stopped his research for now & will try contacting the community.

(IMO a topology/research of the fediverse network would be an AWESOME research.)

@marsxyz lot of admins saw the bot as agressive and evil.

@href if he access the same URI style every X times, just make a fail2ban jail for that :D

@dashie That would prevent him. He already stopped.

That would not prevent any kind of real, privacy sucking, bot. Doing a stealth one is a breeze on the fediverse.