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Re: [tor-talk] Yelp blocking Tor users from viewing entire site
On 2015-01-21 05:04, Aymeric Vitte wrote:
It would be interesting to know if sites like Yelp/Craiglists are more
afraid of anonymity and possible spam/trolls than crawlers.
If they cannot detect a crawler using Tor, then they cannot detect any
other crawler, like a crawler switching IPs as mentionned in another
post, using vpns or proxies, etc
So in that case it's useless to block Tor, because Tor network's size
is not really significant compared to other means that crawlers have,
probably they just choosed the easy way as well as crawlers might have
chosen the easy way too (use Tor), blocking Tor so they have solved
But in fact they have solved nothing if they are not protected against
crawlers, and if they are protected the protection would be something
like blocking the IP or sending a captcha.
Maybe the exit nodes could implement an anti-crawler feature, even if
the crawler is switching among 1000 exit nodes I think it's feasible
to fingerprint it in the Tor network finite space, I don't know if
there are studies about this, an efficient crawler can never behave
like a human being or a normal browser.
This might sound like a kind of censorship but that's probably not the
goal of the Tor network to crawl and spam the web, the exit nodes that
would have removed the feature would just get blocked.
I think that Craigslist is a bit different, the ultimate goal is for
local people to meet in real life, but they have a very high rate of
spammers and abuse, most of which is non-local. Dealing with spam has
been a massive problem for Craigslist, and one of the things that has
helped is to geolocate users when posting and use that to help prevent
More importantly though, when Craigslist identifies you're doing
something abusive, they don't always tell you. Your posts will appear to
post, will be visible to you and by number, but not to users who search.
Given that real posts don't show up instantly either, this works well
because spammers don't get feedback and therefore can't work around the
system as easily, but it creates an extremely negative user experience
for legitimate users who share an IP with a spammer as you will think
everything is working, but your ad never makes it and you feel like
you're being ignored.
I'm not sure that blocking Tor is the best approach, but it probably
makes sense from a user experience perspective since Tor nodes would
quickly get flagged for abuse if they weren't blocked outright.
I am a bit mixed about whether reducing anonymity is a good thing or not
for a site that is ultimately centered around people interacting in
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