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What Does Your User Agent Say About You?

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A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.

Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.

Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".

(Source: Mozilla.org)

User Agent String

Browser Data

Reddit Api User Agent

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 30 July, 2021
• 12 min read

Last Updated: 26-05-2020 Reddit is a network of communities based on people’s interests. Users can subscribe to multiple Subreddits to post, comment and interact with them.

reddit memes api secret user scraping python agent client programming
(Source: medium.com)

Contents

In order to implement a Reddit bot, we will use the Python Reddit Wrapper (Draw). This GitHub page) describes the procedure, but it hasn't been updated in 4 years, and when I attempt it, the token request call pulls up an HTML web page vice a JSON response.

There's a Python wrapper called Draw, but it seems to be a bit messy, and it's also not clear if it's current. TLD: When I want to automate actions on a site, such as logins or forms, or scraping pages with JavaScript, I manually inspect each web element I need and begin writing a script.

When you've finished drawing boxes, a working python selenium script is generated. I made this project over the course of a day as a quick and dirty proof of concept.

I originally thought about monetization (web extension etc) after finishing this POC (**sigh I know I’m a greedy bastard) but now I’m in 2 minds about it! Since this idea is quite fresh I’m still ironing everything out before making that (big) decision.

**Final edit: The community has spoken, I WILL BE RELEASING V2 AS OPEN SOURCE! V1 wasn’t intended to scale, but I will add it so people can see the thought process and its pretty heavy limitations.

reddit python build bots makeuseof using agent setting access api
(Source: www.makeuseof.com)

For the sake of brevity, the following examples pass authentication information via arguments to draw. If you do this, you need to be careful not to reveal this information to the outside world if you share your code.

It is recommended to use a praw.ini file in order to keep your authentication information separate from your code. You may choose to provide these by passing in three keyword arguments when calling the initializer of the Reddit class: client_id, client_secret, user _ agent (see Configuring Draw for other methods of providing this information).

The act of calling a method that returns a does not result in any network requests until you begin to iterate through the . If you have a Draw object, e.g., Comment, Message, Editor, or Submission, and you want to see what attributes are available along with their values, use the built-in vars() function of python.

Draw uses lazy objects so that network requests to Reddit ’s API are only issued when information is needed. When we try to print its title, additional information is needed, thus a network request is made, and the instances ceases to be lazy.

In this section, we go over everything you need to know to start building scripts or bots using Draw, the Python Reddit Wrapper. Client ID & Client Secret These two values are needed to access Reddit ’s API as a script application (see Authenticating via OAuth for other application types).

reddit memes python app scraping api create programming better
(Source: medium.com)

To use Reddit ’s API, you need a unique and descriptive user agent. The recommended format is ::(BYU/< Reddit username>).

Read more about user agents at Reddit ’s API wiki page. With these prerequisites satisfied, you are ready to learn how to do some of the most common tasks with Reddit ’s API.

A complete listing of possible APIs is available in the Reddit documentation. Invoke the Reddit using the POST HTTP method.

It will also monitor all comments to recent posts, and if it finds one that says “I hate Python”, it will post a link to /r/learn python and ask the commenter to ask a question there. Only a basic knowledge of Python is required, as building bots is fairly easy.

A software bot is a program that can interact with websites autonomously. The bot runs in the background and monitors a website.

redd reddit raw batteries wrapper api included
(Source: recordnotfound.com)

When it sees a change (like a post on Reddit), it can reply to it, up vote, or do any other task it was programmed to. You can use web scraping tools like Ellis or Beautiful soup any anything similar.

Bots can make thousands of requests a second, and this can overload servers. I have been banned from Google for hours, had my Gmail locked till I entered a dozen captchas, my mobile and the name of my first cat.

If you want to do this properly, stick to any rules the website has. Reddit provides an API, and unlike some websites, it’s actually quite easy to use.

It’s based on REST and Jason, so in theory doesn’t require any fancy setup. The important thing is to follow the rules they set.

You can’t make more than 1 request every 2 seconds (or 30 a minute) You must not lie about your user agent Libraries like Python’s Ellis are severely restricted by Reddit to prevent abuse.

reddit headlines nltk sentiment analysis client toolkit python language natural secret location
(Source: www.learndatasci.com)

Reddit recommends you use your own special user agent, and that’s what we’ll do. You make a REST request, and this can be done via urllib2 (as long as you set the user agent properly).

The problem with this approach is that you still have to make sure you rate limit your requests. Jason is easy to parse in Python, as it’s essentially a Python dictionary, but if you actually look at the Jason, there is a lot of data.

[Update Dec 2016: Reddit and Draw now force you to use OAuth. You have to choose a redirect URI (for some stupid reason, stupid because I'm building a bot, not a web app, but whatever).

Now, you need to update your draw in file to remember these settings. Otherwise, you’ll have to put them in your script and that's dangerous (as others might see them).

You will find the file in your Python install folder, under Lib\Site-Packages\draw\praw.ini I don’t recommend modifying the package-level praw.ini as those changes will be overwritten every time the package is updated.

reddit account api create user
(Source: www.reddit.com)

This is recommended, because once your code is out there, people might abuse it. Not ideal, but you have to accept that your code may be misused by spammers.

We create a Reddit instance using the values we saved under bot1. This does not indicate the temperature there is high or that there are racy swimsuit models.

Self text is the optional text you can put on posts- most posts don’t have these. Learnpython is unique in that most posts do have text (usually the poster asking their question), which is why I’ve chosen it.

Run the script, and open Reddit in a browser at the same time. Next time we will look at how to send a reply to a post on Reddit.

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. Last month, Story bench editor Ales Bajaj and I decided to explore user data on nootropics, the brain-boosting pills that have become popular for their productivity-enhancing properties.

reddit
(Source: github.com)

For the story and visualization, we decided to scrape Reddit to better understand the chatter surrounding drugs like modafinil, Newport and paracetamol. In this Python tutorial, I will walk you through how to access Reddit to download data for your own project.

When following the script, pay special attention to indentations, which are a vital part of Python. An IDE (Interactive Development Environment) or a Text Editor: I personally use Jupiter Notebooks for projects like this (and it is already included in the Anaconda pack), but use what you are most comfortable with.

These two Python packages installed: Draw, to connect to the Reddit API, and Pandas, which we will use to handle, format, and export data. The very first thing you’ll need to do is “Create an App” within Reddit to get the OAuth2 keys to access the API.

Also make sure you select the “script” option and don’t forget to put http://localhost:8080 in the redirect URI field. Hit create app and now you are ready to use the OAuth2 authorization to connect to the API and start scraping.

Draw stands for Python Reddit Wrapper, so it makes it very easy for us to access Reddit data. Each Subreddit has five different ways of organizing the topics created by editors: .hot, .new,.controversial, .top, and.gilded.

python memes reddit
(Source: medium.com)

*Draw had a fairly easy work-around for this by querying the Subreddits by date, but the endpoint that allowed it is soon to be deprecated by Reddit. Our top_subreddit object has methods to return all kinds of information from each submission.

For the project, Ales and I decided to scrape this information about the topics: title, score, URL, id, number of comments, date of creation, body text. This can be done very easily with a for lop just like above, but first we need to create a place to store the data.

Panda makes it very easy for us to create data files in various formats, including CSVs and Excel workbooks. Now, let’s go run that cool data analysis and write that story.

Felipe is a former law student turned sports writer and a big fan of the Olympics. He is currently a graduate student in Northeastern’s Media Innovation program.

There's no “standard” way of writing an user agent string, so different web browsers use different formats (some are wildly different), and many web browsers cram loads of information into their user agents. Some mobile web browsers will let you change what the browser identifies itself as (i.e. “Mobile Mode” or “Desktop Mode”) in order to access certain websites that only allow desktop computers.

app client required api documentation exceptions praw raise message reddit attribute configuration missing setting format example under stack
(Source: stackoverflow.com)

English French German Spanish Portuguese Slovak Reddit is a social sharing website that categorizes into smaller communities called Subreddits.

Users, building blocks of Reddit, join these communities and submit their thoughts and experience. It provides an API for natural language processing (NLP) tasks such as part-of-speech tagging, noun phrase extraction, sentiment analysis, classification, translation, and more.

Before we start collecting data for sentiment analysis, we need to create a Reddit app. Visit this page to create an app and get the required authentication and details.

The next step is getting data in each Subreddit: post title, comments, and replies. Posts on Subreddit are divided into two parts, the title and the comment section.

Some titles have a small description which represents a view of the post author. I have replicated the entire comment section of the Subreddit post using recursion.

reddit analysis vader sentiment worldnews max
(Source: towardsdatascience.com)

Title and comment section of Reddit PostSubreddit data required is now available for sentiment analysis. From the polarity score, we will categorize the sentence into positive, negative, and neutral.

Follow the same procedure for the VADER tool, pass the data, and store the sentiment in sub_entries_NLTT. If you print sub_entries_NLTT and sub_entries_text blob variable, we will get the total count of positive, negative, and neutral sentiments.

In this article, one can learn how to fetch information from Reddit using the Draw python library and discover the sentiment of Subreddit. Also, learn how Textbook and VADER tools are easy to implement for sentiment analysis.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Parse User Agent Javascript
02: Parsing User Agent String
03: Get User Agent In Javascript
04: Get User Agent Java
05: Get User Agent Javascript
06: Get User Agent Php
07: Tablet User Agent String
08: Example User Agent String
09: Robots.txt User Agent
10: Robots.txt User Agent Disallow
Sources
1 searchfacts.com - https://searchfacts.com/robots-txt-allow-disallow-all/
2 qodeinteractive.com - https://qodeinteractive.com/magazine/wordpress-robots-txt-file/
3 stackoverflow.com - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/22080016/what-does-user-agent-disallow-mean
4 www.fixrunner.com - https://www.fixrunner.com/wordpress-robots-txt/
5 www.contentkingapp.com - https://www.contentkingapp.com/academy/robotstxt/
6 www.theproche.com - https://www.theproche.com/2020/05/03/robots-txt-to-disallow-subdomains/
7 yandex.com - https://yandex.com/support/webmaster/controlling-robot/robots-txt.html
8 webris.org - https://webris.org/robots-txt/
9 seo-gold.com - https://seo-gold.com/stallion-wordpress-seo-tutorial-disallow-wp-admin-via-a-robots-txt/
10 getflywheel.com - https://getflywheel.com/wordpress-support/all-about-robots-txt-on-flywheel/