On Monday ValueWiki took the plunge and blocked all anonymous IP’s from editing. ValueWiki is now forcing all users to register. We will closely monitor and report the effects this has on the wiki.
Banning Anonymous IP’s – The Perennial Debate
Banning anonymous IP’s is a perennial proposal on Wikipedia, hotly debated for years. There is ample statistical evidence to show anonymous IP’s cause most (but not all) forms of vandalism. However, the radical egalitarian spirit of Wikipedia prides itself on keeping the encyclopedia open to everyone.
I would argue that logging in allows a greater level of anonymity than displaying an IP address. And I would also argue that with hundreds of thousands of users and worldwide brand recognition, Wikipedia no longer has to be concerned about luring in new users through experimental anonymous editing. But I greatly respect the spirit of the policy. It is Wikipedia’s open-source idealism that has captured the world’s imagination and attracted so many loyal devotees from around the globe.
Unlike Wikipedia, ValueWiki has the luxury of not being a democracy! In these early stages, we prefer to think of ourselves as a benevolent dictatorship. 99% of ValueWiki vandalism is clearly the result of anonymous IPs. So rather than spend years on community discussion and spam-reverting, we are simply forcing users to register and log in.
For anyone shocked at our decision to close an open-source system, here is our reasoning…
9 Reasons To Force Wiki Editors to Register
1. Registering is inherently anonymous. In fact, it is far more anonymous than leaving an IP address.
2. Registering helps promote community.
3. Registering on a wiki is a one-step process that takes ten seconds.
4. Registering stymies spam bots.
5. Registering makes it far easier to ban abusive users. Blocking IP addresses is sloppy work; banning one IP can block an entire country.
6. Registering allows a wiki to keep clear statistics on users and usage.
7. Registering nulls most vandalism and spam (99% of ValueWiki vandals are anonymous IP’s).
8. Registering is required on all other internet message boards and community sites. So registration isn’t considered a huge imposition…
9. It’s just an experiment. If we don’t like the results, we can always undo it. 🙂