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Re: [tor-talk] Wikimedia and Tor

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> So then blocking Tor is intended to block people that temporarily have
> access to large amounts of unblocked IP addresses, but usually are IP
> blocked?
> Who does this apply to? If a vandal has access to unblocked IP addresses
> to make accounts, they can just use those to edit or sockpuppet.

So I don't actually administer blocks on English Wikipedia, and I am not
an editor on any other language Wikipedias, but on English Wikipedia this
is what I understand the process to be.

When a user acts up and has an account we temporarily block that account.
If they decided to create another account we usually block the new account
permanently and hard-block the IP address that they are accessing the site
from.  This prevent them from making a new account or sockpuppeting while
logged out.  Most users don't evade blocks, so this tends to work pretty

With Tor unblocked a significant minority of those users who had their IP
address hard-blocked will use Tor to create new accounts and continue
to cause problems.  With Tor blocked they have to find another means.
Some of them do, but most of them give up.  Its a war of attrition.
We know that problematic people /will/ find a way to cause a problem,
we just make it expensive enough that they get bored and don't bother.

We block all proxies that we know of for the same reason.  Apparently
that significant minority of folks that would abuse Tor seems to
outnumber those who legitimately use Tor, or at least that is the
impression those who have to clean up the mess have.

The point of an IP Block Exemption (IPBE) is to give an especially
trusted user the ability to login and edit even if they are doing
so from a hard-blocked IP address.  All administrators automatically
have this flag.

As far as I know the reason why it is not given out easily is that
in the past some users would create extra accounts before they were
blocked, and make some constructive edits with those accounts.  Then
when their main account was blocked, they would wait long enough for
the IP addresses on the sleeper accounts to be removed from our logs
and then request IP Block Exemptions via email.  This is also why
you can't just email in and say "Hey, can you make me an account
please and give it an IPBE? kthxby"

Personally I think the policy for IPBEs has swung too far in the
direction of never-give-them-out, but I don't think I will have
any luck changing that unless I can find some way to help assure
that it is still very expensive for vandals and sockpuppets to
use Tor and proxies to evade blocks.

Does that answer the question?  Or am I still unclear?

Thank you,
Derric Atzrott
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