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Re: wikipedia vandalism

On Mon, Jan 24, 2005 at 06:04:52AM -0500, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> [snip technical solutions]
Yes, there are a lot of possible technical tentative solutions (and if
you want to code them, it'd be much appreciated). However, until we
have those solutions, blocking anonymous proxies is a necessity. Keep
in mind however that a single group of users being blocked from
wikipedia is losing out on the labour of that group of people, but
those edits can always (theoretically) be done by others. First-hand
experiences and other information "that's need to be brought out in
the open" shouldn't be put on wikipedia and will be removed anyway,
wikipedia is not intended for original research and other information
that cannot be verified from references anyway. Whistleblowers and
witnesses of crimes should publish elsewhere first, then once that
information published we can describe and reference it.

> (You mention in your Talk wiki that you used to run a Tor node? I think
> you might be confused about how Tor works, since you have never run a
> Tor node to my knowledge. Most Tor users are just clients; I'm guessing
> that's what you ran. We have probably upwards of 10k-20k people using Tor
> currently, and I imagine some of them do, or would like to do, Wikipedia
> edits.
Oops, yeah. I've messed around with so many anonymity mix nets that
it's all become a bit of a blur :)

> As a trivial example, I noticed a grammar problem while browsing the
> entry on Svalbard today, and I can't fix it. Oh well.)
That's a shame, but it's also prevented a herd of vandals from
replacing 2000 articles by "Wikipedia sucks!", so all in all I think I
prefer it like this. Of course you could always edit wikipedia from a
different host (use ssh port forwarding and an entry in your
/etc/hosts, just a few seconds to set up), or you could add 
and mail me that you've done so, and after verifying I'll unblock your

> It seems the culmination of the thread from the February 2004 wikipedia
> list is the statement
> "In general, I like living in a world with anonymous proxies.  I wish
> them well.  There are many valid uses for them.  But, writing on
> Wikipedia is not one of the valid uses."
Yup, that's pretty much it.

> If this is truly the concensus of the wikipedia community -- that
> wikipedia values equal access for all, except when it comes to people
> who value their privacy -- then I guess the discussion is over. I think
> in that case it ends in Wikipedia's loss, since you block a few IPs,
> yet there are still many IPs left for vandals to use that you do not
> block. As the Tor network grows, you will be blocking more and more
> potentially useful users, yet not really impacting the number of IPs
> available to the vandals.
Quite the opposite, we've only just started large scale blocking of
anonymous proxies, and we appear to already have stopped one very
persistent vandal, at least for the time being. Apart from a few
anecdotal "I'd like to fix a typo but can't now" comments here, I
haven't heard from any major (or minor for that matter) contributors
who can't contribute any more (except a few who I've helped to either
reconfigure tor and unblocked),helped to use their ISP proxy to edit,
or shown that when editing as a logged-in user your IP isn't public.

Frank v Waveren                                      Fingerprint: BDD7 D61E
fvw@[var.cx|stack.nl] ICQ#10074100                      5D39 CF05 4BFC F57A
Public key: hkp://wwwkeys.pgp.net/468D62C8              FA00 7D51 468D 62C8

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