In March, I wrote about my robots.txt research and how I started proactively and defensively blocking AI Agents in my 🤖 On Robots.txt. Since March, I have updated my Django projects to add more robots.txt rules.

Earlier this week, I ran across this Blockin’ bots. blog post and this example, the mod_rewrite rule blocks AI Agents via their User-Agent strings.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
# block “AI” bots
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (AdsBot-Google|Amazonbot|anthropic-ai|Applebot|AwarioRssBot|AwarioSmartBot|Bytespider|CCBot|ChatGPT|ChatGPT-User|Claude-Web|ClaudeBot|cohere-ai|DataForSeoBot|Diffbot|FacebookBot|FacebookBot|Google-Extended|GPTBot|ImagesiftBot|magpie-crawler|omgili|Omgilibot|peer39_crawler|PerplexityBot|YouBot) [NC]
RewriteRule ^ – [F]

Since none of my projects use Apache, and I was short on time, I decided to leave this war to the bots.

Django Middleware

I asked ChatGPT to convert this snippet to a piece of Django Middleware called Super Bot Fight. After all, if we don’t have time to keep up with bots, then we could leverage this technology to help fight against them.

In theory, this snippet passed my eyeball test and was good enough:


from django.http import HttpResponseForbidden

# List of user agents to block


class BlockBotsMiddleware:

    def __init__(self, get_response):
        self.get_response = get_response

    def __call__(self, request):
        # Check the User-Agent against the blocked list
        user_agent = request.META.get("HTTP_USER_AGENT", "")
        if any(bot in user_agent for bot in BLOCKED_USER_AGENTS):
            return HttpResponseForbidden("Access denied")
        response = self.get_response(request)
        return response

To use this middleware, you would update your Django to add it to your MIDDLEWARE setting.




If this middleware works for you and you care about testing, then these tests should also work:

import pytest

from django.http import HttpRequest
from django.test import RequestFactory

from middleware import BlockBotsMiddleware

@pytest.mark.parametrize("user_agent, should_block", [
    ("AdsBot-Google", True),
    ("Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +", False),
    ("ChatGPT-User", True),
    ("Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/58.0.3029.110 Safari/537.3", False),
def test_user_agent_blocking(user_agent, should_block):
    # Create a request factory to generate request instances
    factory = RequestFactory()
    request = factory.get('/', HTTP_USER_AGENT=user_agent)

    # Middleware setup
    middleware = BlockBotsMiddleware(get_response=lambda request: HttpResponse())
    response = middleware(request)

    # Check if the response should be blocked or allowed
    if should_block:
        assert response.status_code == 403, f"Request with user agent '{user_agent}' should be blocked."
        assert response.status_code != 403, f"Request with user agent '{user_agent}' should not be blocked."


To use this code in production, I would normalize the user_agent and BLOCKED_USER_AGENTS variables to be case-insensitive.

I would also consider storing my list of user agents in a Django model or using a project like django-robots instead of a hard-coded Python list.