Blocking Anonymous Editing

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.

Wikipedia’s Policy

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.

ValueWiki’s Policy

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. 🙂

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12 Responses to Blocking Anonymous Editing

  1. llywrch says:

    Who says Wikipedia is a demoncracy? Well, except for the fringe types, who either are about to be permanently blocked or have been permanently blocked — & it’s often painfully obvious that they still don’t understand what Wikipedia is about. Just because we allow anyone to edit doesn’t make it a democracy; it doesn’t even guarrantee one’s edits will be seen on the article page for more than a minute or two.

    Geoff

  2. Up to 6 months ago we financially contributed funds to Wikipedia but no more, for we thought that it was a good idea and where its thinking was in unison with our own at that time – using knowledge for the good of humankind. When we as novices tried to place our Swiss charity within Wikipedia we were absolutely savaged by the editors. They in fact blocked our right of reply, which is documented by themselves.
    Thereafter we even sent our registration documents via email to the then executive director of Wikimedia, the holding organization, to prove that our international group was registered as a Swiss charity. He did nothing at all. A few months later he resigned with another top Wikimedia executive, ‘Jimbo’s second in command. The greatest problem with Wikipedia that we now find is that they are highly selective in who should place information and where therefore they will never really have a web-based encyclopaedia that is unbiased and totally factual. It is totally at the whims of the few enlightened ones who control what should be a great reference. Unfortunately we now see that it is not.

    For anyone interested further on how Wikipedia editors work, the full account including all emails will be part of our next web newsletter ‘Scientific Discovery’. It will be on-line by the end of July 2007. Overall, It is time we feel that Wikipedia looked internally at itself and that they concluded that they have major problems with the way they treat new entrants. This analysis should especially be directed towards the attitude of their editors, who remove the right of reply and delete super-quick for reasons not based on evidence but only hearsay. By the way also, the Wikipedian Editor Zoe who first blocked us and the initial instigator of all the basic trouble, fell out with ‘Jimbo’ and where she as well left a few months later. Apparently she had made a vendetta against a certain professor according to ‘Jimbo’s’ opinion. Thereafter she took her bat and ball away and has never been seen since. I believe she also threatened the embattled professor at the time – the web link is http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:dUfUXyA24wwJ:www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Zoe+zoe+wikipedia+professor+change+wikipedia&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=uk.

    Dr. David Hill
    Chief Executive
    World Innovation Foundation Charity
    Bern, Switzerland

  3. Haha, World Innovation Foundation Charity. That’s rich. What a joke. You are a liar. There is no such thing. Wikipedia is perfect. You are just idiots who don’t want to work with Wikipedia to improve it. You just want to whine about how bad and imperfect things are. Well, change it! Just edit vandalism out of there. You’re too lazy. I think you’re just too lazy and you have an agenda against Wikipedia. You’re mean.

  4. dr David Hill says:

    Dear iLoveWikipediaForever,

    You can’t really be real can you? Or are you some sort of nut? Why not get in touch with the Swiss authorities in the Canton of Bern (the Swiss capital city) and contact their charity section. But you will not as you are too lazy aren’t you. But why not check us out and then you would be talking about something that was real, but of course false in your mind. Indeed, the Swiss authorities you will believe are making it all up for they don’t exist in your mind either.

    Dr David Hill
    CEO, World Innovation Foundation Charity
    Bern, Switzerland

  5. […] Jon wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt 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. Wikipedia’s Policy 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. […] […]

  6. Wikipedia is at best garbage. The following remark appeared on Wikipedia – “What I’m seeing is a lot of puffed-up titles with little backing or significance, employment at something one step up from a diploma mill, and no sign of real academic notability (or for that matter real-world notability as measured by major media attention). —David Eppstein (talk) 08:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)” The ‘professor’ was referring in part to American Military University. AMU has over 30,000 students and is regionally accredited. When does this rubbish stop? I believe this is libel at best. Few academicians ever use Wikipedia. Try looking up the terrible job done on “chivalric orders”.

    Carl

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  9. A mate directs me to this post, but I get troubles seeing it properly: parts are shown at the right of the normal display. Employing Firefox, up-to-date version BTW. is something defective or is the job at my end?

  10. sugar daddy says:

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