Botting is the act of using a program to automatically refresh pages or perform other actions on Gaia, such as posting, polling, or playing games without a user having to be at a computer. While botting can gain users large sums of gold with minimal effort, it is against Gaia's TOS and will result in the permanent banning of all accounts involved.
The most common form of botting on Gaia is the use of an automated program to refresh a webpage on a timer, gaining the botter gold from lurking. A common program used for this purpose is the autorefresh add-on for Mozilla Firefox.
A recent form of botting has been the use of scripts and use of human written programs, that log in as the desired user or users the same time every day, and collect each daily chance with little or no human interaction to gaia whatsoever.
Other forms of botting include the use of a program to automatically post bumps or other messages on a timer set to avoid Gaia's flood control feature, and programs set to control Gaia's flash games such as fishing or slots.
If found guilty of botting, a user's account will be permanently banned (the exception being if an appeal is put in and accepted). Any other users who have received large amounts of gold in trades from the botter without giving anything in return are considered suspects as well and are judged by the moderators to be guilty or innocent. Profiting from botted gold will also result in an immediate permanent ban.
Some time in mid 2006, Gaian security increased dramatically, resulting in a large number of botters and users profiting from botted gold being banned. While this was a good thing because it stopped many users from unfairly becoming rich and flooding the economy with massive amounts of gold (which would result in inflation), a problem arose in which users who unknowingly received botted gold (or sometimes items bought with it) through a donation to their quest or other means were suddenly at risk of being banned without knowing they had broken the TOS. Since it is a difficult task to sort out whether or not a user knowingly participated in botting, the Gaia admins then began accepting appeals to bannings, in which a user could request that their case be looked over and their ban potentially repealed. Since this was a new feature, a wave of banned Gaians flocked to it to appeal their accounts, resulting in a large backup in the system. Due to a low ratio of moderators to appeals being sent in, it could take anywhere from the posted 7-14 days to several months for an appeal to be processed.