[Noisebridge-discuss] anon editing on front pages allowed again.

Leif Ryge leif at synthesize.us
Tue May 20 18:38:30 UTC 2014

I haven't followed this whole discussion, but wanted to throw my 2*(10^-8) btc

The reason I think wikis should allow edits without requiring a login is
because I'm pretty sure that the good non-logged-in edits outnumber the bad and
that many of the good edits simply wouldn't happen if people were required to
create an account before editing.

I've personally made tons of small wiki edits using public computers while at
Noisebridge. I certainly wouldn't type my account password into a public
terminal, and if I had to create a new account for every edit I probably
would've been too lazy to make many of them. I expect this is true for many
other people too.

In the case of vandals with time on their hands, being required to create an
account isn't much of a roadblock. I think blocking non-logged-in edits without
also blocking newly-created accounts from editing would probably prevent more
positive contributions than unwanted edits, and taking the next step - blocking
newly-created accounts from editing - would be even worse.

Cleaning up spam and vandalism on the wiki is a pain, but (speaking as someone
who has done a lot of it in the past but not recently) I think that cost is
worth the benefit that having a wiki (sometimes defined as "a website that
anyone can edit") brings.

I'm sure there are some more things that could be done on the webserver to
mitigate automated spam; if anyone has any specific suggestions as to what
works well these days, I'd be interested to hear them. One thing I'd like to do
is fix the system we once had which thwarted the constant stream of automated
account signups, which would make the RecentChanges page easier to use.

As an aside, I think it is rather unfortunate that in mediawiki culture
non-logged-in edits are frequently called "anonymous" edits since they actually
leave behind more identifying information (your IP address) in public than a
single-use throwaway account does.


On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 10:19:08AM -0700, Naomi Most wrote:
> I put it back the way it was.
> Read the interaction I had with certain anons here:
> https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Category_talk:Events#Can_We_Have_an_Actual_Dialog_Perhaps.2C_Regarding_the_Nuclear_option.3F
> The most cogent stated argument FOR anonymous editing of the front
> pages by the anons who chose to voice opinions:
> Q: why not just make an account with an anonymized IP and email address?)
> A: ed1: Maybe b/c of the issue of continued tracing by the "Bad Cop(s)"??
> www.labnol.org/internet/find-person-by-email-address/13913/
> www.ehow.com/how_4744576_determine-sent-anonymous-email.html
> www.ehow.com/how_5158778_sender-anonymous-email.html
> www.ehow.com/how_6811426_track-anonymous-email.html
> Insert your next favorite we-eventually-gonna-catch-you reference here
> (I'm not saying I agree OR disagree, I'm just saying this was the outcome.)
> --Naomi
> -- 
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost
> _______________________________________________
> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
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