Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
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Require registration[edit]

I believe that at this time and age, Wikipedia should require that all those who wish to edit or add to our project should be registered users. It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article which many of us have gone through a lot of trouble to write, then immediately make a copy as if that is what was truly written, thereby dis-crediting our project and adding to the reality that ours is an unreliable encyclopedia. The fact is that the majority of the vandalism is caused by un-registered users who have nothing better to do with their lives. If Wikipedia wants to keep it's good and honest contributors who love to share their knowledge with the world in general and wants to gain some sense of being a reliable encyclopedia, then it must do something to protect it's contributors and the articles which they have written from the constant vandalism going on, otherwise what's the use of staying here? Tony the Marine (talk) 05:50, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Um, is this a proposal? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:11, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. A Wikipedia:Perennial proposal (with which I agree). Xxanthippe (talk) 08:43, 14 October 2019 (UTC).
  • I feel that this is where we're eventually heading. I'm personally neutral on it, although the WMF might block it if passed like they did here and some other times. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 17:52, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Things have changed a lot since 2011. Personally, I doubt the WMF would block it if it were passed today. Kaldari (talk) 20:24, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Given m:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation things might have changed substantially enough to allow another discussion. I support. --Rschen7754 18:16, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - It's time to face reality.--WaltCip (talk) 20:18, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Not requiring registered accounts allows people to more easily make pests of themselves. Having said that, I will note that there are other facets to this discussion. One such facet I will call the problem of "regulars". You know—the good ol' boys club. It's one thing to be collegial, it is another thing to be cliquish. Many people vote together. I'm not entirely immune to that. Unregistered accounts do this less. They are not only free of a personal identity but they are less likely to form alliances. No, I have no proof for this. Bus stop (talk) 20:49, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    Many editors tend to think the same way. That doesn't mean they "vote together", and they would still think the same way if they were unregistered. It would be harder to imagine that they were "voting together", however, since it's harder to remember IP addresses (and IP addresses often change with some frequency anyway). ―Mandruss  04:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    It is definitely much harder to remember IP addresses. And IP addresses change. Ultimately I'm opposed to unregistered accounts. I found myself arguing with someone with an IP address, and an IP address that kept changing just in the span of that argument. That's when I decided that I oppose unregistered accounts. But at other times it has occurred to me that unregistered accounts are like fresh air. They tend to have less history and consequently their perspectives have the potential of being new and unencumbered. Bus stop (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I'll give a moral support with mixed feelings because I see many very useful IP edits and lots of us, including me, started editing as IPs and might not have started if registration had been required. What is tipping me to support is the fact that I monitor some error-tracking categories and I usually see 20 or 30 articles per week where an IP with very few other edits has made arbitrary changes to birth dates, or other dates. I only see articles where the IP has accidentally broken the date (recent example) so there are many more changes. Recent changes that trigger the possible birth date change tag are listed here. Johnuniq (talk) 21:11, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I won't bother composing the strong case for this. It has already been written numerous times (and probably others could provide one or more links to it). The main question is whether WMF cares about a community consensus on this issue. Userbox. ―Mandruss  21:26, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Yeah, the proposal linked by Rschen7754 is nonsense but it's not clear to me how forcing registration would solve the issue. More importantly though the support case here is just as evidence-free as all other proposals to restrict editing to registered accounts made so far; besides, so as long as we are attached to Wikimedia we are supposed to Founding principles which do not permit a total ban on IP editing. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:38, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    These principles may evolve or be refined over time... - It appears that whoever wrote that was wise enough to allow that things might change in ways that justified revision to the founding principles. ―Mandruss  21:44, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    Maybe, but this wouldn't be the right place to ask. More substantively, given that "leave an open door and deal with problems as they come" philosophy is what allowed Wikipedia to achieve its current status, this does not seem to be a good part to change. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:55, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jo-Jo Eumerus: Maybe, but this wouldn't be the right place to ask. So you're saying that this is wrong venue and no consensus here can stand even a chance of getting that item removed from the founding principles? Then why haven't you moved to close on procedural grounds? ―Mandruss  22:02, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    My concern is not mainly the procedural one and arguing procedural points tends to drive discussions off-course. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 07:14, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but would support if this ever came to fruition. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:48, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

*Support - This worked back in 2003 when the internet was barely ever used and vandalism wasn't a thing ..... It really is about time the project was made in to a mandatory-registration site. –Davey2010Talk 22:05, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Even more significant, that was when we had just started building the encyclopedia and needed an enormous work force to do it. Sixteen years and 5 million articles later, we can do fairly well without the editors who decline to create a completely anonymous account simply because they have an aversion to registration of any kind (or, dare I say it, because they want to avoid the accountability that comes with a persistent and stable identity). ―Mandruss  22:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    How exactly is a completely anonymous account related to a persistent and stable identity? Looking through my last 100 blocks I see there are more throwaway sockpuppet accounts than IP addresses. Registration is overrated. Just ask the Twitter Bots. -- zzuuzz (talk) 22:44, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    I think there is a difference in character between the individual who doesn't want accountability and avoids it in a manner fully legitimized by the site, and the individual who is prepared to sock to avoid it. RegReq won't suddenly transform a large number of the former into the latter, in my view. ―Mandruss  23:13, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    2003 when the internet was barely ever used and vandalism wasn't a thing You and I have very different memories of 2003. ~ Amory (utc) 01:49, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Amorymeltzer - I don't think I started using the internet at home not until something like 2004-2005 so I assumed everyone else was the same lol, Certainly didn't the internet in '03 and certainly didn't know EN existed lol. –Davey2010Talk 14:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
      Perhaps if IPs were served their Wiki connection as if down a 9600 baud modem the vandalism might drop 😉 Cabayi (talk) 07:18, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per zzuuzz - Admittedly I have mixed feelings on it however it is indeed true socking is an issue here although not all socks are vandals, Mandatory registration wouldn't stop the vandalism and so in that respect maybe something needs to be done about both not just one or the other ..... or maybe I'm over-thinking this!. –Davey2010Talk 14:09, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Support - Vandalism will go down. BigDwiki (talk) 01:17, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment/Question about logistics - As said above I'm neutral to this whole thing (but would support if that whole IP-masking shenanigans comes true, though thankfully it doesn't seem to have much traction), but if this does pass and the WMF doesn't block it, would the "Edit" tab for any given article redirect any non-logged in user to Special:CreateAccount with an editnotice about mandatory registration? Would this depend on the level of page protection? Thinking about it some more this would have the positive side effect of reminding users when they are logged out and forget to log (back) in, although that in of itself is not a reason to adopt this proposal. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 22:20, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. requiring an account to edit. "You can edit now" is a founding principle and the key mechaism for turning readers into editors. However, some of the problems would be ameliorated by auto-welcoming, whether on the first, fourth or tenth edit. Also, to assist registration, given the difficulty of finding a good username, a pronounceable username should be suggested.
Weak oppose unless a way is found to make “edit right now” remain true. Maybe some kind of auto-registration. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:47, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Support requiring an account to create new pages, and requiring an email address to authenticate. Throwaway alternative accounts performing subtle vandalism and promotinal content creation are a far more serious threat to Wikipedia than silly kids making silly test edits. The need for an email address is a small measure to curb mass alt. account creations. A mobile telephone for authentication may be a good idea. Without revealing private information, account creators should be auto prompted to explain multiple accounts linked to the same IP, email address, or telephone number, not for actual scrutny, but to apply discouragement for creating many unlinked account. For people with accessiblity or access problems, there is Wikipedia:Request an account, although that process's 6 month backlog soounds pretty bad. It does however have good suggestions for overcoming most problem.
IPs can still get help to create an article, via Wikipedia:Requested articles, for example. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:51, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe, users have been required to have an account to creat new articles for years, and since ACREQ they also need to be Autoconfirmed. IPs can create pages easily enough as drafts and submit them through AfC. Authentication per mobile phone is a good idea but may not go down too well in developing countries (although I live with two of the word's poorest countries just over the border and everyone there seems to have a mobile phone) or areas that are not well served by cell masts - and there are still a lot of those areas (deserts, mountains, low population) even in fully developed economies. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:22, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Kudpung กุดผึ้ง, require an account to create any page, not just articles. My little bit of knowledge of third world countries is that everyone with access to the internet has access to someone with a mobile telephone. Everyone with access to the internet has access to email. It should not be easier to create a Wikipedia editing account than to create an email address. Allow reader accounts to register without any authentication. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:13, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe - well I have the advantage that I have a lot to do in various developing economies, but I have noticed that a huge number of the poorest people in them even in the rice fields of Laos and Cambodia somehow have mobile phones if not the $50 smart devices we have (and which everyone over 8 here in Thailand) has. I was just concerned that you might not have been aware that we have restrictions for creating articles in mainspace for some time now. However, I don't hink anyone should need to register an account to read the encyclopedia. I think it should be just as easy, or even easier, to create a Wikipedia account than set up an email. In fact our current registration system is very simple and should not be putting anyone off. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:21, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Kudpung กุดผึ้ง, I think you have reminded me at least five times of autoconfirmed now being required to create a mainspace page. I thought I was one of the noisy proponents that led to it being implemented.🙂
Yes, the poorest people in the world have mobile phones, or access to a family mobile phone, or a community mobile phone. I am aware of this for some of the poorest in India and Africa. They have easier access to a phone than to a computer to edit Wikipedia. You can’t just call these people, but they can arrange to call you, or receive a call by appointment, or receive a code. For the most isolated people without phones, such as in parts of Indonesia, no phone, but certainly no Wikipedia. In China, mobile phone numbers are de facto human IDs. Note that wechat, whatsapp, Facebook, all uniquify your identity by telephone number (just see what happens when a child tries to register an account using their mothers telephone number).
I think that in some ways registering is difficult, it is difficult to find a username you like, but apart from that it is mostly too easily to make a fresh account for every topic your want to do PAID writing for. It is slightly difficult to make a myriad of different email addresses, but it is much more difficult to use a myriad of different telephone numbers. We wouldn’t require a unique telephone number, but if checkusers had access to accounts all registered with the same telephone number, that might be useful in fighting throwaway accounts. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:42, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Stirring stuff, but who is monitoring the many IPs who delight in making arbitrary changes to numbers and dates (see my comment at 21:11, 14 October 2019)? Inserted junk can be handled months after the event because it's easily recognized but I suspect that articles are being eroded in a way that will not realistically be cleaned up. You are right that anyone can edit was a founding principle, but its time has passed. Johnuniq (talk) 23:09, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I don't disagree with your "moral support" for requiring registration for editing. If that were to happen, I think registration should be made much easier. If IP vandalism is both serious and takes months to repair, that would mean that the active editor count per article has fallen below a threshold, and it marks the senescence of Wikipedia as we new it. I suspect that this is the case. I think the answer is to decease the ease with which new people can create new pages, but to not decrease the ease with which readers can fix things immediately. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
If the active editor count per article has fallen and Wikipedia is truly past its peak in terms of membership, then you can't assume that the ease in which IP vandalism occurs wasn't a contributing factor. I spend more time repairing than I do contributing (way more), and it's discouraging. It wasn't always like that, especially early on after I first joined. It just so happens that the editors who used to watch the articles I'm interested in and fight vandalism are no longer around; they've given up and left. So I've found myself assuming that role more and more over time. Allowing IP drive-by disruption to remain uninhibited could actually encourage the downward trend, if in fact we're in the middle of one. Just shedding some light here that the trend may actually be the result of the problem (i.e. increasing IP vandalism) as opposed to being a reason we cite in favor of allowing it to continue. --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:46, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: I had a lot more typed up, but I'll be concise: I don't believe we ought to betray our principles so rashly. I don't like IP spam and all that stuff either, but this is not the way to do it (and neither is the WMF's debacle-in-the-making). I don't have any alternatives, but I do know that this isn't the way. (As an addendum, should the WMF proposal go through, I may reconsider this vote). Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:59, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong mixed feelings. I can see the thinking here, and have often thought the same. I also know that there are IP addys out there still contributing good material to the project. (also that Jimbo prefers IPs be allowed to edit - or at least he used to, but Larry Sanger preferred registration, .. but see how poorly that worked). I'll think on this, and if I end up feeling more strongly one way than the other, I'll revisit ..... maybe. — Ched (talk) 01:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    there are IP addys out there still contributing good material to the project. Absolutely, but we should not assume that we will lose them if we require registration. It's quite possible that their position is "I don't want to register if I don't have to." And, remember, they are likely just as addicted as we are. ―Mandruss  01:21, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
And here [1] is an edit by an IP that is totally unproductive. Only too common in my experience. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:36, 15 October 2019 (UTC).
  • Just like we shouldn't assume they'll stay, trying to guess their position is laughable. Addicted? You probably aren't familiar with my editing history. — Ched (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what that is supposed to show; that an IP was unproductive? I can find registered users who cause more trouble than that. — Ched (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – (1) Registration doesn't stop anybody from using any other website. (2) Editing an article really isn't something you do in five second on a whim. If you do that, you usually screw it up. It kind of requires a commitment to be a productive editor. You have to at least review the article history and talk page before making any but the most trivial edits. The work that goes into editing is so much harder than registering an account, I just can't imagine how the latter would stop anyone from the former. (3) IP editors have a hard time integrating into the community, in no small part because it's impossible to remember which IP is who. On a collaborative project, that is a real barrier to success and productivity–can't work with someone if you don't remember their name because it's a string of numbers. (4) We sink a lot of time in dealing with IP vandalism. This will reduce that, freeing up editor time. (5) Email registration is probably a good idea, too, to prevent mass account creations. Levivich 02:59, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    Some good points, and add the difficulty of communicating with an editor who can't receive pings and whose user talk page is often a short-term affair. By the time I get to their talk page, it's no longer their talk page. This, in an environment where editor communication is crucial. I once spent a good six total hours of my time over a number of days trying to chase one of these guys down, and finally gave up in frustration. It's absolutely crazy that we some of us find ways to justify things like that. ―Mandruss  03:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    And what makes you think a freshly-registered user will want to stay, or even communicate? We get reports of uncommunicative users all the time at AN/I, and it can't be attributed to a language barrier. Not to mention seeing your first edit reverted out of hand shortly after it is made is a good enough reason to never want to log in again. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 23:59, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose An evergreen proposal, and not one I think that will improve the project. There's lots of good IP editors - the vast majority, in fact. SportingFlyer T·C 03:20, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose there are countless areas of the encyclopedia where this would have an overwhelmingly negative impact. Sports probably stand out as the biggest (score), but also copy editing, general fixes, and overall maintenance. There's also the huge recruitment aspect: most people who become active editors first edited as an IP. Get rid of that, you get rid of the gateway to editing as a whole, and we actually start losing numbers. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:23, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    most people who become active editors first edited as an IP. Please show evidence that they wouldn't have registered immediately if that had been required.
    Ok, I'm weary of debunking obvious reasoning errors, so I'll cease bludgeoning this discussion. Good luck all. ―Mandruss  03:28, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    OTOH there is no evidence that IP vandals wouldn't register immediately if that was what was required. Galobtter (pingó mió) 03:31, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    Has someone cited vandalism reduction in a Support argument? I haven't. ―Mandruss  03:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't know what the impact would be on editor recruitment (probably negative) but TBH I could very well see this make it harder to fight vandalism. Vandals can easily create an account, and it would be certainly much harder to do {{schoolblock}}s (and school vandals represent a fairly large portion of all vandalism) when only CU's can track IP edits. Galobtter (pingó mió) 03:31, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment – I share similar concerns with other editors that required registration for all editing activity may not be the best solution for a host of reasons. However, there's a lot of middle ground between outright registration and open IP editing, and I suspect technical limitations have prevented good proposals from ever coming to fruition. Examples of alternative proposals (technical limitations aside):
    • Allow IP editing to continue as it does today, except on articles that have reached GA or FA status. Gives active editors incentive to stick around and promote articles.
    • Don't require registration for the first several articles (say 5) from any given IP. This allows immediate contribution, but discourages disruptive editing in one pass across dozens of articles. The number can reset every 30 days or some other specified timeout period.
    • Require random email verification from IPs. This means for the most part, they still have the ability to edit at will. However, on occasion (every 5-10 edits for example), it will prompt them to verify an email address. This will encourage them to register over time, especially if making good edits. IPs flagged as disruptive will have to constantly register new email addresses to continue their disruption. This happens transparently in the background without admin/human intervention.
    • IPs can create new articles and actively contribute to articles that are fairly new (say less than 2 years in age). This allows the rapid formation of new content, but discourages vandalism years later after an article has undergone significant changes.
    • Some combination of the above
Again, there are undoubtedly some technical limitations (unknown to me) which would prevent proposals like this from ever seeing the light of day, but I suspect the only possible compromise depends on an alternative solution that doesn't beat a tack with a sledgehammer. --GoneIn60 (talk) 04:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I wrote this almost twelve years ago, and about 90% of it's still relevant to this discussion. —Cryptic 05:41, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it is, Cryptic, that was a very long time ago. There were only 192 participants in that discusion, which BTW was never wrapped up. Since then we've gone stages further, such as ACREQ (after a long trial), in which the number of participants was in the many hundreds - both times, 6 years apart - with a very clear consensus, both times. No negative impact was established during the trial or has been since the permanent roll out. We now have a backlog at NPP that has reduced from around 22,000 to 'only' 6,000 (which is still unacceptable). A quick look at the New Pages Feed (NPP & AfC lists) will clearly demonstrate that a significant % of new aricles is still inappropriate for an encyclopedia, or just simply rubbish. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:32, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Insufficient data to make a rational statistics based decision. As far as I know, there is no convincing evidence that the current positive effects of IP editing exceed the negative effects or vice versa, and I see no easy way of measuring it. Those who struggle against the damage are likely to focus on the negative effects, those who don't are less likely to do so. I for one do not consider it a worthwhile use of my time and skills to concentrate on policing bad actors, but I also yearn for more collaboration and constructive input from a wider range of contributors with some clue and competence. I do not think that the status quo is tenable over the long term. An interesting experiment would be for WMF to clone Wikipedia, and make one clone for only registered editors, and the other for status quo. See which one thrives and which fails. They could be re-merged later after the effects are known. I know which one I would edit and use, but I don't know if it would be the one to thrive or fail. Editors would tend to migrate to whichever version they found most satisfying to work on. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • PS: In the topics that I edit most, my impression is that very little value is added by IP editors, but not very much harm is done either, and what harm there is is mostly fixed quite quickly, by registered editors. My assessment of net value of IP edits in these topics is negative. This trend may vary enormously, I just don't know. IP requests and comments on talk pages appear to be more often of some value, possibly because the IP editor that engages in dialogue is more clueful and serious than one who does not. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
      • PPS: I would Support a trial of obligatory registration, either for the whole Wikipedia, or for parts thereof, where the parts could be opt-in by WikiProject, opt-out by WikiProject, or randomly selected. Run on a similar basis to WP:ACTRIAL. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:37, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose pending IP Masking result - I would probably agree with this if IP masking was bought in with high-level limitations on sight. It definitely looks like it's coming, but NKohli does seem willing to engage, so actual implementation is a bit up in the air. In any case, I don't see a need to jump the gun. IPs are a net positive once you've factored in the ability to create registered accounts so easily. After that discussion, this will need a properly thought out RfC. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:49, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I initially wanted to oppose based on the fact that on-the-spot editing is a founding principle (as at least one other editor stated). But with the growing number of visitors, and diminishing number of dedicated patrollers (at least per article), open IP editing poses a quality risk to the project. Considering accounts can also be instantly created, even without email verification, or having an email address altogether, making registration mandatory is still quite open in honest opinion. As Pbsouthwood stated, a trial would be a good first step. Rehman 09:01, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Nag Encourage registration with something like "edits will be restricted as to number/size/scope until registered".Selfstudier (talk) 09:05, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - absolutely. GoodDay (talk) 09:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • If we're really going to be talking about this, then I do indeed oppose it. There's been no evidence proffered to justify such a completely radical proposal, nor any evidence supporting the claims made in the proposal. Vandalism is a fact, and requiring accounts might limit it a bit, doing so won't remove the issue. Especially when a news story breaks, anonymous editors are the lifeblood of content creation; TonyB points out other areas of advantage. As enWiki has grown, we have relatively fewer active editors, and we do not need to encourage but rather than reverse that trend. This would certainly be tossing the baby with the bathwater. ~ Amory (utc) 09:56, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Suggestion. It does not have to be all or nothing. A partial trial of non-IP editing could be introduced by allowing semi-confirmed (or whatever) users to apply WP:Semiprotection to articles that they judged needed it without having to go through the rigmarole of applying to administrators. The semi-protection could be removed by administrators on application as it is now. It could then be assessed if the trial improved or degraded the editing of affected articles. Xxanthippe (talk) 10:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC).
  • Right for the wrong reasons I disagree with OP's rationale (assigning the majority of vandalism to IPs, equating vandalism with discrediting an article), but I agree with the proposal. Registration is quick and easy, and if we make it mandatory and someone can't or won't take the five minutes to make an account, I have to wonder how they survive the rest of the Internet where registration is already required. creffpublic a creffett franchise (talk to the boss) 12:52, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • More thoughts on logistics If we are going to have a trial of this on only part of Wikipedia (say, FAs and GAs), we'll need a new form of protection that's not outright semi-protection (which restricts editing to autoconfirmed users). Also, concerns of vandals creating accounts, while valid, can be partially assuaged by (still?) allowing administrators to have a sort of account-creation autoblock; this would not to the best of my knowledge require the knowledge of the specific IP address entailed and thereby CU, although it might significantly increase unblock request backlogs. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 14:04, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • It's complicated. I would absolutely support this if IP Masking is shoved down our throats. As it is, requiring accounts might make it harder for non-checkusers to identify peristent vandalism, as it's easier in many ways to create sock accounts than to change your IP address (especially if you want to change your IP to avoid a rangeblock). While I might support only allowing IP editors to edit in a "Pending Changes" mode, I wouldn't support an outright stop to IP contributions at this time. --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 14:43, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Yes, it's perennial, but I've always supported it. Most vandalism I see is from IP editors, and, to be brutally honest, the majority of edits I see from IP editors are either outright vandalism or so poor as to be worthless. Both require immediate reversion. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:51, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually I see loads of minor or sometimes valuable corrections or adjustments, & would not want to lose the ability of drive-by people to do this. Only ready to support limiting ips to a set number of edits - say 20, perhaps per year. I might also support maximum numbers of characters added or removed. Of course this would only hamper some ips and not others. I'm happy not to go on tolerating ips who edit very heavily over a long period - most are no doubt returning banned users or sock-puppets. Johnbod (talk) 15:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • No thanks. There is less of a case for this than there used to be as the edit filters revert much vandalism without needing human involvement. We still need IP editing as an entry point into editing, and i doubt that anyone disputes that. The real question is whether the registration process would lose us more goodfaith editors than badfaith ones. I'm in the camp that considers that vandals mostly do the minimum necessary to do their vandalism, so allowing IP editing, like allowing blank edit summaries, makes vandals easier to spot, but not more numerous. If that theory is correct, then mandatory registration would lose us more new good editors than bad as well as making vandals a tiny bit harder to spot. It would be interesting to see some academic research on these very different views of the benefits of compulsory registration, but Citizendium and WikiTribune are enough evidence for me. Of course we could go the whole hog and require registration via facebook et al. That likely would deter many vandals, but it isn't exactly compatible with our open source ethos. ϢereSpielChequers 15:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Largely per WereSpielChequers and Davey2010. I am not sure it would have the intended effect and there is certainly a chance of doing more harm than good. Many good users started life here as IP editors and the fact that many IP edits are not that great only means they need help and guidance. PackMecEng (talk) 15:42, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • One part of me wants to ban IP editing, but it's really kind of pointless. Making an account is free and easy, and we don't limit how many accounts a user can (as opposed to, may) have. So people just make throw-away accounts and that's really no different than editing as an IP. Yes, we say you can't be a sock, but we do very little to prevent it. So which would you rather have; anonymous vandals using IPs, or anonymous vandals using throw-away accounts? -- RoySmith (talk) 15:52, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    The latter. It makes vandalism more difficult. Especially if you require email registration. Levivich 16:17, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Based on my observations over the years, I have the feeling this won't help with the problem of vandalism, just change it. But it will force the WMF to consider which should be given priority: keeping Wikipedia open to anyone to edit (over the quality of content), or improving the content of Wikipedia (over allowing everyone to edit it). -- llywrch (talk) 16:20, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, this would not substantively help with vandalism and would only provide another access barrier to editing. Basically in agreement with WereSpielChequers's comment/observations above. postdlf (talk) 16:27, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Although I'm not in support of outright registration, I think it's naive to assume making it harder to vandalize wouldn't have a noticeable impact. Would it solve the problem and stop everyone? Of course not. Would it curb the behavior for some over time, given the increased effort and nuisance it would create for them? It's a reasonable possibility. Right now, they just have to change IPs or IP ranges. Imagine the nuisance of having to create a new account and verify email every single time on top of that. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:18, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose There are probably a limited number of times where the weight of anonymous IP editors overwhelmed all admin capabilities and reasonable protection routes. The day to day IP stuff that causes problems is out-balanced by the number of IP that actually make useful contributions. --Masem (t) 17:23, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, as IP editing has several practical drawbacks. But the lack of actual and meaningful data about this aspect is a valid concern. A trial (either for a strictly limited time or in a limited area of articles) could help to gather more substantial evidence and analyze possible effects on the community. GermanJoe (talk) 17:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think I can add much to a discussion that has already been had many times over the years. I believe WP:HUMAN and WP:WNCAA already cover a lot of my thoughts on this matter, there's even an association of us that remain unregistered on principle, see here. Many editors are not attracted to the social side of Wikipedia which account creation invariably snares them deeper into they just want to go about their business and be left alone. In addition, this will prevent many useful and constructive editors from participating, remember 80%+ of IP edits are constructive. Far from being a horde of spammers, vandals, and trolls new and anonymous users built most of Wikipedia's content, see here. I've done WP:RCP, the problems caused by WP:VOAs are equivalent to those caused by IPs and when subtle often take longer to get noticed. Finally, compare Wikipedia to Citizendium and tell me if that's really the direction we want to go in. I have my issues WMFs idea as well, but this is not the solution. 71.62.176.24 (talk) 18:22, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
        • I absolutely don't support long-term frequent ip editing. There's no way having an account "snares people deeper into the social side of Wikipedia" if they don't want it to - this is just nonsense. Thousands of registered users just ignore any messages - User talk:DilletantiAnonymous is a shining example for you, with 246K bytes, not one by him. As an ip you are exposing a remarkable amount of personal information to anyone on the internet who cares to check it. Numbers are hard to remember for other editors & registered editors will rightly remain suspicious of those who choose not to register. Some may be harmless, but very many are not. Johnbod (talk) 04:17, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
That's a passionate claim, 71.62.176.24|71.62.176.24, but there are 35 million registered accounts. Admittedly they might not have all been used very much but it demonstrates the willingness to register You won't probably continue to follow this discussion because you don't have a watchlist and won't receive notifications. Johnbod makes a strong point. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:41, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Equating IPs with vandals is insulting, considering that the vandal edits from IPs are a minority of all IP edits made. This is also not a fight we should be having right now in the first place considering Framgate. Also, requiring registration would more like than not discourage actual good-faith editors while doing nothing whatsoever to thwart vandalism, especially since we already get a lot of accounts that register just to vandalise/have a laugh at our expense, and that is before autocon/EC-buster socks. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:06, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. A large number of our good edits are from IPs. I have a large watchlist, and... I dunno, easily 10% of the good edits are from IPs. So for a start you're throwing those away right off, most of them.
Then, you have that X% of registered editors first dip their toes in as IPs. What X% is I don't know? 50%? More? Less? Whatever it is, you're throwing some of those future editors away. Registering an account takes a certain amount of emotional commitment to editing, a commitment we would be asking for in advance of a sample of the experience. (It does, and arguments of "no it doesn't" or "it didn't for me" doesn't change that: it does.) I never register at websites for features I don't either plan to use a lot, or have come to use a lot, even tho I have a throwaway email account. I just don't. Lot of people don't, probably.
As to the proximate reason for this proposal, "It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article which many of us have gone through a lot of trouble to write, then immediately make a copy as if that is what was truly written"... is that an actual real problem? I have not heard this. Also, if someone is trying to be be like "See, even this Wikipedia articles says that Trump is a space alien", the fact that she's pointing to a copy on her own web site kind of takes away most of the value there. Plus if you're committed to this level of trollery, I image you'll just register an account.
Project is not broken AFAK. If IP vandalism is spiking, I haven't seen evidence on my watchlist. If something is not broken, trying to fix it might break it. Herostratus (talk) 21:33, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is easily dealt with and might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. What is becoming untenable is the large number of arbitrary changes to numbers and dates and other factoids. Unfortunately that's anecdotal with no hard information available. However, see the example I posted above, and see these and these edits (reported at ANI). There is no way to evaluate arbitrary changes by a shifting IP other than to spend a couple of hours investigating the sources for each number. Johnuniq (talk) 23:03, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Edits by a registered user can be evaluated. If someone registers and does nothing but make arbitrary number/date changes, they are automatically suspect. I would politely ask them on their talk page what the reasons for the changes were. If no response and the changes continue, the editor will end up indeffed and their changes rolled back without fuss. It is much harder doing that with an IP as they usually ignore their talk pages due to disinterest, or shifting IP. IPs are also used to templated waffle on their talk and I suspect that many of them ignore it for that reason. An IP cannot be indeffed, and getting even a month-long block on an IP is not easy due to Wikipedia's folklore from the early days about AGF: a new and brilliant editor might want to use that IP tomorrow. Johnuniq (talk) 02:27, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • To your point, nothing would. However, requiring new registration coupled with email verification would discourage a lot of them from staying active over time. Being disruptive becomes a product of diminishing returns; the effort required begins to outweigh the satisfaction. The proposal here isn't the right way to do it though. We need an automated system in place or a tool for non-admins that allows more pressure to be applied to offending IPs, while at the same time preserving unhindered access for the vast majority of other IPs. There are better options we're not discussing. --GoneIn60 (talk) 02:35, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • "what would stop a registered user from doing exactly the same" There is a psychological element. An identity is something to protect. We care about our reputations. Simply making someone create a user-name causes them to think about what user-name to choose. Right there, in the making up of a user-name, one is becoming responsible for something. Many of us have the experience of regretting our choice of user-name or at least considering preferable alternatives. Bus stop (talk) 04:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Yet we get users who register an account just to commit vandalism all the time. "Protecting" an identity is meaningless if the identity is throwaway in the first place. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 20:49, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is easily dealt with and might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. Please read the rest of my comment where I replied to you above because it contains substantive points that you have not acknowledged let alone responded to. Johnuniq (talk) 23:18, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. - PRICELESS! ―Mandruss  23:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Reverting obvious vandalism is easy. Reverting subtle vandalism is not - it is quite possible that a lot of it remains unreverted, particularly if done by registered editors. Reverting vandalism and investigating possible vandalism are not particularly productive uses of time in comparison with actually building an encyclopedia. Reverting vandalism may have the theoretical upside of drawing one's attention to other aspects of an article that could use a bit of improvement, but only if they result in that improvement actually happening. Vandalism is a huge timesink, but it kind of goes with the territory. It is part of the natural environment of an open Wiki, a form of parasitism. We adapt or die. Look at filters, they are an adaptation that has served us well. What would happen if they had not been developed? We need better defenses. Sometimes we get them. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most of us started out making an edit or two before registering, and most of us would find it easy to create a new account if we wanted to foment mischief. It's ultimately none of my business why someone would want to reveal their location and in many cases more by not cloaking themselves in a user name, and banning it would be one more barrier to joining the editing community, one more discouragement, when we want to draw people in and always will (no, the encyclopedia is not "nearly finished", and yes, we need fresh eyes and hands if only to replace those we inevitably lose every year, if not to provide fresh perspectives and new skills) and requiring registration will do nothing to hinder vandalism. If anything it will make some kinds of vandals, such as schoolkids, harder to detect. Yngvadottir (talk) 05:12, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Despite Mandruss's unsupported assertion that there is "a community consensus on this issue.", there is not. For example, in the current discussion my vote will make this a 12-15 in favor of the opposition, not counting split votes or nuanced answers or the like. I don't see how that represents a "consensus" to require registration. Nor am I aware of any of the past discussions on this exact issue which had such a consensus. Normal operation of Wikipedia should have zero barrier to entry, even creating a free account presents an unneeded and burdensome barrier to entry which will ultimately drive away good-faith users more than it would drive away bad-faith vandals. --Jayron32 15:51, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jayron32: Would have appreciated a ping. I've given up on this discussion as hopeless, so haven't been following it, and only happened to notice your comment by freak accident.
    The lack of consensus you correctly refer to did not exist at the time of my early comment, so I think "unsupported assertion" is more than a bit inappropriate. I didn't say there was a consensus, I allowed that there was a potential for one at that time. ―Mandruss  22:25, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Just noting that I would support if this proposal had a chance of passing. Regardless of whether most IP edits are constructive, it's still a fact that the vast majority of vandalism comes from IPs, as seen by this graph if we are to trust it. They also add to the unconstructive pile we already have to deal with regarding registered editors. It's not offensive to acknowledge facts. Been here since 2007, and I've seen, especially when patrolling with WP:STiki or WP:Huggle, that most of the vandalism comes from IPs. Requiring registration would cut down both on vandalism and socking. And Wikipedia requiring registration isn't the same as what happened to Citizendium. Citizendium wanted more than just registration. And other sites that have tried to be like Wikipedia aren't as successful anyway. Wikipedia was first and had already attained a level of popularity that Citizendium had to compete with. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:58, 17 October 2019 (UTC) Updated post. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:07, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • That graph is based on 248 edits that happened 12 years ago. Even if it happened to be a representative sample, back then, I think things might have changed in the meantime. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:51, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Facts not in evidence. IPs are WP's main problem? We'd be better off without them, because they do so much more harm than good, even considering many contributing editors started as IPs? Exactly what problem is this drastic change supposed to solve, and how is this the only way to solve it? This change is supposed to have no negative consequences whatsoever, and we know this how? Well, I think WP's main problem is editors that joined after 2010; we should get rid of all of them. This new proposal of mine is as rational and justified as the one proposed here. --A D Monroe III(talk) 01:25, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    Please help us with gathering the required evidence. What is the methodology for determining how many IP editors would register if it were required? Once we have that, how do we compensate for IP editors who are less than forthcoming in their responses – those who say they wouldn't because they don't want to, but actually would if it came to that? Do we pretend those editors don't exist in significant numbers? And so on. Explain these things to me and I'll get right on it.
    There is such a thing as unreasonable burden of proof. Akin to moving the goalposts, it's placing them a mile away from the kicker from the outset. ―Mandruss  02:09, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    You've made the assertion that IP edits are a problem that needs fixing, and that Wikipedia is better off if we just got rid of them. It isn't really incumbent upon others to provide evidence that you're wrong. Null hypothesis requires that the burden is always on the person making the positive assertion to provide evidence to support it. Demanding that every assertion one makes must be accepted as true without proof otherwise is strange. Asking for simple evidence that requiring registration is necessary is not an unreasonable standard. You've (in the collective) asserted Wikipedia needs to do this. Why? --Jayron32 12:41, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    Inertia lives in demands that proponents of change prove the unprovable. It makes it virtually impossible to respond to change, in this case that change being 18 years and 5 million articles. If you dispute my assertion that proponents' arguments are unprovable, I've asked for some explanation of how to prove them – an eminently fair request – and I have not seen that. As I said, unreasonable burden of proof. Absent debate judges, you and others making that unreasonable demand will prevail here, being enough to prevent a consensus for change, but I'm not going away without calling you out for unfair argument. ―Mandruss  06:13, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
    You've not even established that we need anything to change. You've said we do, without providing any evidence that we do. And then said that anyone who asks for a reason why is making unreasonable demands. I still don't see why you can just demand a major change to the way Wikipedia operates, and provide no evidence why we need to. --Jayron32 14:10, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
    We have provided reasoning why we need to – reasoning based in knowledge of the world, human nature, logic, etc. That's the best we can be expected to do. I've no beef with countering reasoning – that's what fair discussion is – but I don't like my arguments rejected out of hand because they lack proof of the unprovable. ―Mandruss  22:43, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
Here's an idea. Why not have software supply would-be unregistered users with accounts, including computer-generated user-names? In other words—you would have no choice. If you want to abandon that assigned account, you are free to do so. But there should be some type of a small penalty to disincentivize abandoning assigned accounts, such as a 24 or 48 hour waiting time to get a new assigned account at that IP address. The advantage to this is that the computer-generated user-names would be much more memorable than the string of numbers of an IP address. Bus stop (talk) 00:36, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per every other time this has been proposed. Sam Walton (talk) 08:19, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as requesting my account took a few weeks, and people who just want to fix on typo or similar, aren't going to go through the hassle of requesting. this will only gate-keep the editing of Wikipedia, which goes completely contrary to the goals of Wikipedia. ArkayusMako (talk) 12:09, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not arguing one way or the other for the "registration", just responding to the above. @ArkayusMako:, I have no idea why it would take a couple weeks, it's usually pretty instantaneous. Glitch on our side, your ISP, some point in between? IDK. But sorry about that.— Ched (talk) 12:30, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - I have seen many useful edits by IP users. Especially small fixes and updates. I did a few of those myself before creating an account. And if I ever stop using a registered account, then I will continue to make some of those edits as an IP user as well. I also see many good reasons why people would want to avoid being part of the Wikipedia community. It is rather toxic at times. --Hecato (talk) 14:38, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Fighting vandalism is a huge time sink here, but it won't necessarily be stopped by registration, which may leave us with the inveterate, belligerent vandals, while keeping useful editors out. I'm seeing a lot of helpful edits from IPs on my watchlist, and my sense is that vandalism has gone down since I became active in 2013. Dhtwiki (talk) 19:39, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support - IP vandals are a major time sink, they chip away at the credibility of the pedia, and I see no feasible way the good aspects of not registering possibly outweigh the bad. Atsme Talk 📧 20:13, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - I have always thought that allowing unregistered editors to edit in article space was an original mistake, but because it was an original mistake, it might not be corrected. Now that WMF is prepared to go to bizarre lengths to protect unregistered editors from themselves, in a way that will probably interfere with the prevention of vandalism, we should recognize that the easier way to protect unregistered editors from giving away their IP addresses is to require that they register pseudonymously (or with names), and we have always had pseudonymous registration. Perhaps the WMF has considered the risk that unregistered editors are facing with regard to privacy and not the counter-balancing consideration of the integrity of the encyclopedia. If the WMF really really wants to allow unregistered editors with masking, it could restrict their editing to talk pages, but that would sort of be the worst of both worlds. Just tell them to register. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:59, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose because IP editing is a core principle of Wikipedia and must continue to be. Also, in my experience, the IP vandals I have dealt with are usually very minor nuances, whereas the vandals who take the time to actually register are the ones who waste a significant amount of our time, and this proposal will do nothing to solve that issue. --Secundus Zephyrus (talk) 15:33, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
    • The problem is that many IPs have a hobby of changing numbers and other factoids because it's fun. What they do cannot be called vandalism because it might be a good-faith edit. If done by a registered user, their activity would be noticed eventually and their changes reverted after blocking the user. That is not possible for shifting IPs. The example I posted above is still there after ten days and exposure on this noticeboard. Johnuniq (talk) 00:45, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I don't think it's so easy to track down and block these users when they have been registered as compared to IP. I recently dealt with this registered user, who made many small number changes, all over the course of one day. It was such a small amount of edits that it went under the radar, and they never got blocked. Who's to say they didn't create a new account the next day to vandalize some other articles? --Secundus Zephyrus (talk) 03:39, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
        • While we always AGF, every new user is suspect and someone who focuses on changing numbers in their first few edits will get attention. Some shifting IPs edit for years as there is no reason for them to do otherwise. It's impractical to carefully examine every IP as there are too many of them and they can't be indeffed even if hoaxing is discovered. Johnuniq (talk) 06:39, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support. The myriad disadvantages of IP editing far outweigh the advantages, including more privacy with an account. I have often proposed a short intro period where IP editing of talk pages is allowed, for example up to 50 edits, and then require registration, but that can be gamed with IP hopping. IP editing of articles should not be allowed, even now, but if so, then it should be in a (figuratively) "throttled" manner (using other methods of limitation) which makes it so inconvenient that they will feel impelled to create an account.
The only advantage to IP editing I can think of right now is the common abuse by registered editors who sock to perform actions forbidden at Wikipedia. They won't stand by their edits. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:37, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support if IP masking comes in. IP editors may or may not be useful, but if masked will be basically out of visibility and control. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:38, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I mean, really, this is likely the only site in the world which allows for IP editing, and seen that WMF is jumping through loopholes to cover up the mistakes that said editors make when editing as an IP this is the way forward. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:52, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support reluctantly as I know a lot of IPs are in fact productive editors. Unfortunately the OP is correct. The level of vandalism from IPs is a constant weight on the project and a huge time sink for the community including our gradually shrinking admin corps. It is damaging the project's credibility. Requiring registration with a valid email address should not be unreasonably burdensome and I believe it would reduce the volume of deliberate disruption. -Ad Orientem (talk) 07:04, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support although reluctantly. The point about IP masking is convincing enough, although not my main reason. Like others, I have found a number of useful cooperative IP editors, but sadly these are a small minority. And I don't think it's just vandalism, I think we have a problem with editors who have accounts logging out to make unhelpful, often pov, edits. Doug Weller talk 13:06, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support although I would find a small exemption like 1-2 edits per month reasonably. This would allow somone to fix an occassional typo for instance - something some people might not bother to do if they had no other interest in editing and creating an account. MB 14:13, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Approximately 17% of all edits on this project are from IPs. See this data as collected from the database as part of the discussion that is already happening on Meta on this topic area. Only about 27% of those edits are reverted - which I'd venture to say isn't all that different from newly registered accounts (many of which are vandalism, too). Doing the math, about 12% of all of the edits to this project are unreverted edits made by unregistered (IP) editors. This is a massive amount of editing that we really can't afford to lose. Risker (talk) 15:17, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • 12% isn't all that much, and some of those IP editors would register and still make those edits, so the loss is even less.
Yes, probably most editors started as IP editors. I started in 2003 and created an account in 2005 because of the disadvantages of being an IP editor and far more rights and abilities as a registered editor. The loss of privacy was a big factor.
We could allow IP editing, but make it more difficult than now, enough that they would seek to register, and we need to stop the false equivalence statements that IP editing is just as good or legitimate as registered editing. It's generally not. The few good IP editors, if they are serious, would register. We should market registering more strongly.
We also need to stop the common practice of logging out to make controversial edits. The connection between an IP and a registered editor is available to checkusers, and an automated control process should flag such edits, whereafter a checkusers should check the edits, and if they are multiple, they should privately contact and warn the editor. If the edits are controversial or against policy, they should hand out a block for deceptive and evasive actions.-- BullRangifer (talk) 23:32, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Doing the math is one thing Risker, but by doing the practical thing by being a regular at NPP, AfC, and having a watchlist of some 33,000 articles and being the the coord of WP:WPSCH over thousands of school articles, and having been in the vanguard of ACTRIAL for years until it was finally rolled out, my empirical results are very different from yours.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:52, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Doing the math is the right thing, Kudpung. Everyone has their own different experience. We all tend to forget our very first experience, the one that opened the door to us becoming Wikipedians. Bottom line, we wouldn't allow articles to exist based on our gut instincts or personal beliefs or experience, and we shouldn't change a primary pillar of the editing experience based on those things, either. We have empiric evidence, and we should use it. We do not want to become one of those internet sites where people refuse to accept factual information in favour of personal belief; it's antithetical to our primary mission of providing verifiable information. Risker (talk) 21:49, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose in the strongest possible terms. The ability to contribute anonymously is one of the most fundamental aspects of what makes a wiki thrive. Registration marks a commitment to the community, which not everyone is ready or willing to make. I want to support the opposition who claim that it gives opportunities for readers to edit and only join the community when they feel comfortable. This is not unique to Wikipedia and is a phenomenon that has been encountered on countless wikis including WikiWikiWeb which used a system of meatball:WikiBreathing where the ability to edit anonymously was expanded and retracted periodically.
    The ability to edit without an account is an important aspect of wiki culture precisely because it allows readers to gradualy learn about the community, form attachments with those who do have names, and eventually feel comfortable making account. This is why even on wikis with much stricter naming criteria than ours, users who were uncomfortable using their real name were encouraged to "either write anonymously or wait until they feel comfortable" (meatball:UseRealNames). The claim that it is how readers get introduced to the community is not fantastical but recognition of the way wikis have worked for over two decades. Restricting that ability and forcing readers to commit to an identity within the community before they are ready is not a good idea. Wikis have life cycles and WikiBreathing like this eventually turns into a meatball:GatedCommunity where we restrict who can contribute and be part of the community further in order to bring back former prosperous times. Counterproductively, this eventually leads to the decline and death of the wiki. I don't find this pattern far-fetched given the growing restrictions we've already been placing on anonymous users in the last few years such as prohibition from mainspace page creation. WikiWikiWeb used WikiBreathing to a good level of success, and we can too, but the pattern is not a perpetual tightening of restrictions.
    Further, the ability to edit without registration is important for people who do have registered accounts (see Wikipedia:SOCKLEGIT). The ability to avoid a meatball:SerialIdentity is an important aspect of protecting the ability for content creators to work in topic areas which may otherwise cause them economic, legal, or physical harm. My account is known in my professional circles, and so if I am making edits to subject areas that are taboo or professionally embarrassing I edit logged out. For those who live under repressive regimes, the ability to distribute their edits across different IP addresses and not centralize their contributions under a single identity makes it harder for those regimes to gather evidence and persecute them for helping build our encyclopedia. Restricting the ability to edit without registering an account is not only a theoretical concern, but one that will affect the ability of our community members to safely contribute to the encyclopedia. I cannot support this. Wug·a·po·des​ 23:28, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
That's a very passionate speech Wugapodes, but it's clearly not based on either researched data or solid empirical findings. I'm sorry, I don't buy into any of it. It's the kind of argument that the opposers were making to ACTRIAL. We proved them wrong. We need to be practical rather than emotional. Registration marks a commitment to the community, which not everyone is ready or willing to make - doesn't that kind of contradict what we want and need: users who, like those of us who have been on Wiki regularly for years and care about it, and are committed to it. Does Wikipedia really need hordes of drive-by IP edits of which a significan % do not enhance the articles or the discussions. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:55, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
@Kudpung: I never said it was based on data, it was a rational not empirical argument, and I don't really care if you buy it because I never expected you to. Obviously we have very different philosophical positions on how a wiki should operate and that's okay, but I was never under the impression you'd agree with me. Besides, when Risker gave empirical evidence on how IPs contribute to the encyclopedia, you just ignored it because it wasn't your experience based on being a regular at NPP, AfC, and having a watchlist of some 33,000 articles and being the the coord of WP:WPSCH over thousands of school articles, and having been in the vanguard of ACTRIAL for years until it was finally rolled out. You say it's not a significant percentage, but the data from WMF database dumps that Risker linked you to shows that over 2/3s of IP edits are not reverted despite having one of the most intense automated and non-automated anti-vandal infrastructures in wikihistory. That's over 473000 constructive edits a month which you're calling insignificant. Why are your personal experiences somehow more important than mine or anyone else's, especially when they don't seem to be in line with data that others have given?
You say ACTRIAL "proved" people wrong as if AFC is some miracle corner of the encyclopedia that doesn't have any problems. It's literally only manageable because we summarily delete anything that's been around too long which creates a backdoor to deletion without discussion (Don't like a page? Move it to draft space and wait 6 months). It's led to a bureaucratic nightmare for non-regulars doing outreach events making it harder to recruit expert editors. For example, this past January, if I wasn't bold in requesting EVC rights for an edit-a-thon I wasn't even planning at the Linguistics Society of America Annual Meeting, none of our participants would have been able to create articles. We also wouldn't have been able to overcome the IP block on account creation which. Fr shared IP addresses this idea of requiring registration will put up registration restrictions at educational institutions, conferences, libraries, airports, or coffee shops which we have no way of predicting, forcing potential editors to go through a second more baroque process ("Sorry, we know you want to edit, but 6 people before you wanted to edit, so you'll need to go to this second process and wait for someone to get around to it") or just give up entirely.
Having loosely affiliated users is not the opposite of what we want or need, it is in fact exactly what we want and how wikis thrive. We cannot be expected to have a core community watching like hawks over nearly 6 million articles. Having people who are actually interested in those topics able to, with no commitment, fix things as they see necessary is the whole point of why we are a wiki and why it is part of our meta:Founding Principles: that was the intent from the beginning. Why on earth would I want to force everyone to be as addicted to this site as I am? Not everyone wants to volunteer hours of their lives or build emotional connections with strangers on the internet just to fix a typo every so often. If you'd like to address any of my substantive points instead of just attacking my tone, I'm all ears, but you can't substitute your personal experience for empirical data one thread up and then dismiss my arguments for being based on personal experience rather than empirical data mere hours later. Wug·a·po·des​ 18:48, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
Wugapodes, I have never even vaguely inferred that: AFC is some miracle corner of the encyclopedia that doesn't have any problems, in fact it's actually fraught with problems. I also think the assumption that New Page Reviewers deliberately shunt pages off to draft space for tacit deletion is totally inaccurate, and you would need to back that up with proof. I doubt that any experienced New Page Patroler has such an idea in mind at all, and I also doubt that the majority of drafts ensue from the New Pages Feed (but that's something we can check up on).
Stats can often be subjectively used the way one wants to see them; Risker and I have been around a very long time but our long term spheres of committment and specialism hardy even overlap. We agree with each other as often as we don't but I never ignore what she has to say because she is one of the most mature and experienced users we have - and if we do disagree we do it objectively. That said 'Only' about 27% of those edits are reverted out of 17% of edits that are from IPs is still tens of thousands of edits and too much and does not account for the vandalism of the kind that slips through unnoticed; I would not have said 'only', I would have said 'as much as'.
There is however a big difference between impassioned opinion and solid empirical experience. The arguments for ACTRIAL for example, were never a series of subjective pleas - they were objective statements of need, and the empirical finally became data confirmed as soon as we were able to convince the WMF, because we knew it would. Despite the overwhelming consensus, out of courtesy to the naysayers, we still called for a trial first. and ACREQ is a very important milestone demonstrating that Wikipedia's growth being orgamnic, archaic ideologies have to make way for modern requirements.
For what this RfC is all about, per Blueboar: The question is: If we require registration, would those IP editors still make those edits, or would it drive them away? If the answer is that they would have happily registered (if required), but didn’t bother simply because it wasn’t required... then statistic is meaningless (and we would lose nothing by requiring registration). If registration would drive them away, then the statistic is meaningful (and we would lose a lot), so I see no harm in at least running a trial as many have also called for - the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:24, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
But that's my point, AFC didn't solve all our problems and there's no reason to think that this will solve all our problems. I didn't say NPPs deliberately use draftification as backdoor deletion; the problem I raised is with the loophole AFC's necessary WP:G13 creates where nearly anyone can move something to draft space and if no one notices for 6 months have it speedy deleted. This is beside the point.
Stats can be subjectively used, yes, but it boggles the mind to believe that requiring registration wouldn't have an impact on edits. Even regular editors sometimes cannot be bothered to log in just to make an edit. I gave examples of the problems that would arise in getting people to register for accounts based upon my experiences with edit-a-thons and the technical restrictions built into the software. I described how it will affect the ability of editors, including myself, to effectively use WP:SOCKLEGIT to make constructive edits and why registering an account wouldn't be a sufficient protection for some editors. So yes, I firmly believe that we will lose a significant portion of constructive edits by requiring registration. Requiring registration is putting a barrier in front of people who are mildly motivated to contribute, and one that is easily overcome by people with a strong motivation to disrupt. There's a clear difference in incentive, and unlike AFC, these contributions will still be monitored in the exact same way as we already do, so it's not like there's any new filter to ensure quality edits.
Would having a trial give us evidence about whether this is effective at reducing vandalism? Sure, but do we need it? No. The way to stop vandalism is obvious, become a walled garden. We could just be a normal encyclopedia with an editorial board and known contributors; we would have no vandalism at all! Except that's not what any of us want, and so the mere assertion that doing something will "prevent vandalism" isn't sufficient when it threatens our fundamental values. We have vandalism from registered users already, go look at SPI or AIV, so why would requiring registration stop vandalism? AFC didn't stop BLP violations or hoaxes from being hosted on our servers, it just put them somewhere else. The problem here is that editors with registered accounts would still be monitored in the exact same way as we already do non-registered accounts, so we don't even have the advantage of sequestering that Draft: namespace gave us. Besides, we still wind up with hoaxes and BLP violations in mainspace despite AFC, and many more in Draft space. We cannot simply do stuff "because vandalism" anymore than we should engage in security theatre at airports; vandalism is inherent to an open wiki and we need to find ways to mitigate it that don't undermine our fundamental values. This is as much a philosophical debate over our founding principles as it is a question of how to stop vandalism.
We need to decide what level of disruption is tolerable in exchange for an open wiki, and I reject the premise that we should modify or abandon our founding principles for unclear goals with no logical plan on how to achieve them. Non-registered editing and the numerous advantages I've given is not something I'm willing to sacrifice for vague "anti-vandalism" goals. I'm not willing to risk losing valuable contributions for any period of time in order to trial a plan whose main goal is stopping the vandalism we already stop using the tools we already have. I need a stronger logical argument than "Some vandalism comes from some IPs therefore prohibit IP editing to reduce vandalism". I don't know why arguing for the status quo requires mounds of evidence when that is the thrust of the argument being presented. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:41, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
It is true that Kudpung and I have focused our attention on different areas of the project. Ironically, it is probably me who spends a greater percentage of her enwiki volunteer time dealing with truly problem edits. As a checkuser, I know the overwhelming majority of socks and similarly disruptive accounts are registered accounts; it's actually pretty uncommon for people to log out and "sock". Keep in mind, these are genuine, problem accounts doing something that is in violation of one or more policies. As an oversighter, I can say that the majority of edits that require suppression are made by registered accounts, with a quick review indicating that less than 20% of suppressed edits involve IPs (and a good chunk of those involve registered editors accidentally editing logged out).
The statistical information I quoted was generated for a different purpose - to give Wikimedians some empiric data to analyse the potential impact of masking IPs of unregistered/logged-out users. Prior to the generation of that data,I had guestimated that we had between 8-10% of edits being done by IPs, and that more than half were reverted for some reason or other (even then knowing that a huge percentage of reverts are for good-faith edits that are not policy-compliant, such as "correcting" a birth date or adding a fact without a reference). I was wrong on both counts. That's exactly why we shouldn't be basing policy on what we experience, but instead on what is verifiable and empiric. Most of the opposes are based on "gut feelings" or personal experiences; they're not based on any realistic analysis of evidence.
We simply cannot afford to lose 12% of our useful edits. We can't afford to close down the major conduit that brings us new editors, particularly given the (generally evidence-based) barriers that have been put in place for account creation. What data we have points squarely at the importance of retaining editing by unregistered users. Risker (talk) 20:59, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia was founded on certian principles, among them being the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Does it make things inconvenient for us? Sure, oftentimes, though our automation tools have mitigated this to a large degree. I don't believe convenience is worth going back on that foundational principle. The WordsmithTalk to me 20:49, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as I don't see how this will help with vandalism? New users will just be created, only to be blocked and another user created and so on. Also, this would just be a barrier to editing which is not what the "free encyclopedia" is about. comrade waddie96 ★ (talk) 14:38, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've certainly seen IPs doing bad things (and anyone who hasn't should really get out from under that rock), but I've also seen them do very helpful things. Often this is gnoming stuff that otherwise goes undone for a while; fixing typos, updating a dead link to its new location, stuff like that. It also means stuff it's less likely people will notice, while someone of course will notice when a different IP replaces an entire article with profanity. Besides, an IP is actually less anonymous than an account. (If the latest round of idiocy helpfulness from the WMF goes through, on the other hand, I may well change my mind at that time.) But at least for now, "You can edit this page right now" has always been a part of our project, and we should not change that just because some IP editors are a pain in the ass. So are some registered ones. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:20, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I know how IPs can be troublesome, but I've seen many cases in which IPs had helpful, constructive edits; Seraphimblade mentioned some above. Doing this will certainly decrease the level of vandalism, but it will also decrease the level of good-faith edits made to Wikipedia by IPs. Besides, we already have WP:5P3, stating that "Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute", "anyone can" "edit" Wikipedia. Also, we shouldn't forget that IPs sometimes fix vandalism caused by other IPs (or even other users, we can't track every bit of vandalism on this project). Ahmadtalk 08:03, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It's a wiki, intended to be free of barriers to participation. We must not require any extra actions in order to be able to edit. --Yair rand (talk) 09:25, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Many editors, including yours truly, started off by editing with only the IP address, excited by the very low, practically non-existent, barrier to entry. Requiring an account, even if it's free and quick to register, puts up a mental barrier that may discourage newcomers from joining. We who are familiar with Wikipedia know full well that this ought not to be a barrier, but newcomers are unfamiliar with the site's workings, and may worry that free and quick registration is just some sort of bait that commits them to costs or obligations down the line. Allowing people to edit without registering, and with no commitments, removes any skepticism that there are strings attached. IP editors who edit frequently and make good edits are usually encouraged to, and often do, create an account within a few months time when they are more comfortable with that. Sjakkalle (Check!) 19:21, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Support An ID is more permanent, gives more access into the platform. SO by all means yes to creating ID's. NO, not all IP's are bad, but with an IP it's hard as heck to communicate as the IP changes and the message intended for them goes to someone else. Sure - do it! Necromonger...We keep what we kill 16:47, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose all efforts to make en.wp even more insular and cliquish. Wikipedia isn't your personal platform or playground. It's the encyclopedia anyone can edit. Gamaliel (talk) 19:51, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - I have long thought that allowing editing of articles by unregistered editors was a mistake that was not likely to be corrected, and would therefore be left standing for decades. It is still something of a mistake. At this point, the fact that the WMF is planning to protect unregistered editors from themselves by masking IP addresses means that this is instead the time to correct that original mistake. Unregistered editors should be allowed to edit talk pages. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - Was the mistake of allowing IP addresses to edit made as a correction to the opposite Citizendium mistake of requiring real-world identities? Isn't allowing pseudonymous registration a reasonable compromise? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
    • In my opinion, that would be a deterrent to someone who would not want to spend a minute to register. I certainly wouldn't want to, especially given their invasiveness - this would make Wikipedia similar to sites like Quora and Pinterest, which would force people to log in. epicgenius (talk) 16:57, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In theory the OP suggestion is a good idea, as it would be easier to track vandals with registered accounts, vs. vandals who bounce between IP's. However, for those who really do want to make a positive anonymous contribution, this is a simple yet effective barrier that will deter many good-faith edits because of the hassle involved in registration. Not to mention that this would not stop people who are intent on vandalizing. So it would both fail to catch vandalism while driving away potentially good editors. This phenomenon is called a registration wall, and it basically repels users who don't want to create a set of credentials that they may never use again. epicgenius (talk) 16:57, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – not only because so much of my time is wasted on reverting or repairing IP edits. Only a disappearingly small fraction of IP edits on my watchlist have been useful. The overwhelming majority is either of no use or downright vandalism.
Secondly, it is almost impossible to communicate with IPs, as they very rarely use their own talk pages and in the case of floating IPs these are entirely useless.
Thirdly, and the main issue for me: the mission of Wikipedia has shifted. We are no longer so much building as maintaining an encyclopedia. Building was aided by IPs, we really needed as much input as possible. Maintaining is another line of work entirely, especially when it comes to less visited pages. These often suffer vandalism (or otherwise harmful edits) that goes unnoted for very long periods. Protecting the work that has already gone into Wikipedia will be much aided by requiring registration.
Naturally, registering should be simple and fast. But even that tiny bit of extra work will stop tons of deliberate vandalism.
Exclusion: Not having to waste so much time on IP nonsense will put me in a place where I can be more welcoming and helpful towards new editors. I expect others may react similarly.
Privacy: A username will afford editors much more privacy than an IP.  Mr.choppers | ✎  17:46, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've wasted too many hours reverting IP vandals but I still think anonymous editors do far more good than harm. I started by making a few IP edits, was satisfied to see the articles improved in a small way, and signed up. I suspect that we gain a lot of good editors that way. We now know that the privilege of editing Wikipedia is well worth jumping through registration hoops, but it may not be obvious to a potential recruit at that stage. Practical considerations aside, we may also feel a moral obligation to remain the encyclopedia anyone can edit. Certes (talk) 23:10, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose while most vandalism is from IPs, we also get many constructive contributions from them. As noted it would make it harder for new users to join Wikipedia. Also it would increase the need for CheckUser since disruption from accounts is more difficult to deal with than unregistered users. Crouch, Swale (talk) 08:39, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. The fact that anyone can edit means the bar for new users is low which is what Wikipedia needs. If you read an article and notice a typo, you are much more likely to fix it if all you have to do is click "edit" and fix it. 99.99% of readers won't register an account just to fix small imperfections that need fixing. The idea that IP editors are all or mostly vandals is without foundation as far as I can tell. In fact, since it's so easy to register an account means that those interested in vandalizing will just do so but most good readers who might be enticed to start editing by making small fixes won't. I for one am pretty sure I wouldn't be around if I had to register before editing because my first edits were IP typo fixes and suchlike and I only registered because I found the ability to edit almost anything fascinating. And I'm pretty sure this applies to a lot of people, including some that now support erecting barriers that would have kept themselves away. Regards SoWhy 20:32, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Support this obviously doomed proposal. I don't know whether it would actually curb vandalism or improve editing, but I think it is worth considering that it might help retain new editors - yes, it's a barrier to entry, but it also encourages investment in the site, and generally speaking that encourages return visits. There's a reason why so many commercial sites nowadays try to get users to register - it keeps users coming back. Additionally, the reality is that no matter how much we remind established editors about WP:BITE, IP editors are always going to face disproportionate (if inappropriate) presumption of bad faith; they're more likely to be reverted for the same edits, and likely to encounter suspicion in controversial discussions. New editors are completely unaware of this bias against IPs when they arrive (and therefore won't understand why they're having a bad experience, driving them away); getting everyone to register accounts would reduce this disparity. We might also make it so registering automatically creates a blank userpage by default, since a red name has a similar prejudicial impact. Finally, more generally, Wikipedia was founded when the internet was much younger. Nowadays registeration is taken for granted - it is not burdensome to people who have grown up with it. --Aquillion (talk) 12:37, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Comments and discussion[edit]

  1. If this is to be something binding then it will need to be turned into an RfC and advertised on WP:CENT. Otherwise, it is simply a local consensus and won't matter.
  2. For those wanting some data about IP edits, I have extracted some specific information from what the WMF reported and placed it here.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 10:51, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
    Noting that there is data from the database at m:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/Research. It shows that roughly 17% of all edits on this project are by IPs, of which approximately 27% are reverted. That means that roughly 12% of all edits on this project are unreverted IP edits. Risker (talk) 15:17, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
The question is: If we require registration, would those IP editors still make those edits, or would it drive them away?
If the answer is that they would have happily registered (if required), but didn’t bother simply because it wasn’t required... then statistic is meaningless (and we would lose nothing by requiring registration). If registration would drive them away, then the statistic is meaningful (and we would lose a lot).
Has anyone surveyed our IP editors to ask this question? Blueboar (talk) 15:49, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
I think this has been asked in a lot of editor surveys, although probably not in the way you'd think. As I recall, editor surveys showed that somewhere between 80 and 90% of editors made their first edit *before* creating an account (i.e., as IPs). I think everyone who is commenting on this page should be required to state whether their first edit to Wikipedia was as an IP. It's the primary way for us to recruit new editors, always has been, and we really can't afford to close that door. Risker (talk) 15:58, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think this entire discussion is a very good precursor to a full blown RfC. Depending on what we get here after 30 days will be a very good indication of how to formulate a decent RfC proposal (poor proposal statements are one of the reasons why many RfC fail or simply become too convoluted).
FWIW, Risker, I made about 3 or 4 IP edits before registering. They were only very minor correction to grammar or obvious typos, but if I had been required to register due to the importance of Wikipedia I would have done so. Note that even after registering, I did not immediately become a regular contributor for a year or two until I had retired from my main career. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:16, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
A major problem is the number of entirely meaningless or even harmful IP edits that aren't caught. 27% reversal doesn't mean that 73% of IP edits are useful. Also, I often revert in the form of a new edit (not sure how others operate), which may include reverting any number of IP edits that are missed.
What is the reversion ratio of the edits of registered editors?  Mr.choppers | ✎  17:51, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Comment by Kudpung[edit]

There is, as yet, absolutely no proof whatsoever that requiring registration would be either a net benefit or a net loss to this Wikipedia. At ACTRIAL which took years to get done due to resistance from the WMF, pressure from the community finally proved all naysayers wrong (and there were many of them). As Peter Southwood explains: ...insufficient data to make a rational statistics based decision. As far as I know, there is no convincing evidence that the current positive effects of IP editing exceed the negative effects or vice versa, and I see no easy way of measuring it. and goes on to say: In the topics that I edit most, my impression is that very little value is added by IP editors, but not very much harm is done either, and what harm there is is mostly fixed quite quickly, by registered editors. My assessment of net value of IP edits in these topics is negative. As stated, IMO logically, by Mandruss: ...but we should not assume that we will lose them if we require registration. It's quite possible that their position is "I don't want to register if I don't have to." And, remember, they are likely just as addicted as we are.

As very recently demonstrated by a Wikipedia constitutional crisis, in times where major Wikipedias need to assert far more independence from the WMF except for essential functions such as legal, hosting, and funds collection, the Founding Principles are not necessarily as relevant as they once were and new principles are required that face up to today's reality. Jimbo Wales' Statement of Principles was written in 2001 (many of our editors, esp. the vandals, are too young to remember) and while it says: You can edit right now, there is nothing that says we cannot append: 'all you need to do is register and it only takes a few seconds' . They do not have to do anything to start contributing to the community - note that the key word is community not encyclopedia corpus. Wikipedia's success to date is entirely a function of our open community - to date = October 2001.

Of all the large Wikipedias, we have roughly double the % of IP edits. This is due to a diversity of reasons, quite importantly because the en.Wiki is the most multicultural of WMF projects. In the German Wikipedia, for example, the high level of registering is due to Germanosphere culture (and my 50 years of experience with it) more than anything else and these are things that computer achieved data cannot evaluate, just as it cannot evaluate the quality/relevance of IP edits or flush out the trash edits that were not manually removed or caught in a filter - and still lurk in their tens of thousands in the corpus. As per Levivich: We sink a lot of time in dealing with IP vandalism. This will reduce that, freeing up editor time.

Here's a suggestion for a compromise:

Without registering you can take part in discussions at any time. You may make a maximum of 4 edits to mainspace (articles) without registering after which you will be required to register and log in. However, without registering you can create a draft article at any time and submit it through AfC, but you will not have the benefits of a registered account.

It won't stop the spontaneous sprees of vandalism though. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk)

  • Given how divided the community seems to be on this issue, this compromise, or something like it, seems like a promising way forward. Levivich 04:55, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the original proposal. The "compromise" above is obviously unfeasible (who is the "you" who can make a maximum of four edits? per IP address? per day? per person??) We need to make it easier, not harder, for people to click "edit". We're doing pretty well on the "encyclopdedia" part of Wikipedia, we should improve the "free" and "anyone can edit" bits. —Kusma (t·c) 20:56, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
Kusma, my 'compromise' suggestion is clear enough, you've been around long enough to know exactly what I meant. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:16, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
Kudpung, okay, so do you mean Wikipedia should introduce tracking cookies to count how many mainspace edits have been made from a specific computer? Or do you suggest that for ISP IP addresses that are often re-used, it should be a game of chance whether a user can edit mainspace, depending on whether they get assigned an IP address that has made more or fewer than four edits? (Ever? In the last year? In the last month?) I assume you mean one of these things, but I can't understand which one, and I don't think either is a particularly good idea. —Kusma (t·c) 17:00, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
Kusma, I don't really care how it would be technically enforced - at least not at this juncture. That said, Media Wiki software has very granular settings and ACTRIAL did not pose a challenge to the devs despite their remonstrances and claims. Nor did the roll out of ACREQ spell the doom and gloom many prophesied - we're still doing pretty well on the "encyclopdedia" part of Wikipedia. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:10, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

The point of the good IP edits[edit]

I see this as the common theme in the 'oppose' !votes above, so I am interested in the logic and evidence behind these arguments. My thoughts:

  • There is no evidence that of the X% of good edits performed by IPs would also not have been performed when those IPs just have to click through a 'registration' and then make the edit. If that is now 12% (somewhere argued above) would that now go back to .. 10%? 1%? It certainly is not what User:Risker defines as a 'massive amount to lose' (but I agree that some will/may be lost).
  • Whether as an IP or with an account: this is still an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. There is no restriction that IPs cannot create an account, anyone can create an account and edit.
  • Accounts vandalise as well, sure, but I do not believe that the majority of accounts vandalise whereas that is true for IPs.
  • A good IP can not always be communitcated with (same is true for a bad IP) as they move to a different IP and the discussion is 'broken'. It is easier to praise a named account (who then may stay) then an IP who may never see the message if they already moved somewhere else.

--Dirk Beetstra T C 08:26, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Beetstra, your basic premise (that the majority of IPs vandalize) is already empirically shown to be untrue; only 27% of edits of IPs are reverted for any reason (including "suboptimal" edits such as making good faith edits without references), so that is nowhere near the majority. Did you make even one edit as an IP before you registered an account? Risker (talk) 15:47, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
(inserted)I don't want to get involved in this discussion and I don't have stats to offer or a solution to suggest, but there is a problem and it is getting worse. Take a look at my editing history from just yesterday for example; text search for "Reverted edits by" and look at some of the IP edits I reverted in that short time frame. The first step in finding a solution is recognizing that a a problem exists. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 09:05, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Risker, nope, that is not my premise. Even if 99% of the edits by IPs are good, then that still does not mean that ALL of them, or even a majority of them, would not do these edits when they were asked/forced to login. You have no evidence that we loose all these editors, I don’t have any evidence that they would edit just as well. But that is your premise, that we loose all of that, and I don’t believe it. Dirk Beetstra T C 16:55, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
The question is, why don't you believe it? The majority of people participating in this thread haven't answered the core question, which is "did you edit as an IP before you registered an account?". There's past evidence that this is the case, although I'm having a hard time finding it. So...did you? I doubt very much I would have ever registered an account, and I certainly wouldn't have in order to fix a typo. In fact, I probably would have stopped reading Wikipedia because there were too many junky articles. Risker (talk) 17:02, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
Risker, I am not sure if I edited as an IP (maybe, but I am somewhat account savvy, realising the benefits early on). I did accidentally edit while logged out, edit I think I suppress after I had access to revdel. That people got hooked after changing a couple of things as an IP is also not a guarantee that they would not have done those things if they were forced to create an account on their first edit. I agree that it seems intuitive, that a lot of people would say ‘**** it’ if they get that question, but neither of us have any numbers to back that up. Especially since it is an easy sell: to keep your identifying info invisible you have to create an account. Dirk Beetstra T C 03:59, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
I hesitated to answer this question, since as you stated elsewhere, we should be working with data, not anecdotal evidence. (I did not, but since I have no idea if my particular rationale for not doing so is widely held, I don't think anything can be deduced from this info.) Plus, times change. Web surfers are increasingly used to registering accounts (or re-using their login credentials from Facebook, Google, and the like), and Wikipedia's rising ubiquity provides an ever-more tempting lure for readers to create accounts to edit. So trying to extrapolate from the experiences of those who started editing years ago (either as a registered user, or as a long-term unregistered user) will only be partially applicable to today. isaacl (talk) 04:53, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
FWIW I registered an account before making my first edit.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:23, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
So...did you? Yes, I did – because I could. Had I been required to spend two minutes creating an account, while divulging absolutely nothing traceable to my real-world identity (not even a throw-away email address), I would have done so. I have willingly given more information to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Consumer Reports, Hulu, Yahoo, PayPal, and others because I felt the benefits justified the risks, and I've yet to regret a single case. But your assertion that this is "the core question" is false; if every participant stated whether they did or did not, the results would not be particularly meaningful to this issue. ―Mandruss  10:30, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
There may be no evidence, yes, but I can remember many websites, in some I've been an active participant, which requiring registration affected them heavily (in a bad way). I mean, when an IP is reading an article and notices a typo, grammatical error etc, they can simply edit and fix it. When we require registration for that, they will have to take the process of choosing a username which nobody have chosen before, choosing a password, and registring into the Wikipedia, just to fix a simple typo. To my experience, many people would just leave it be.
Accounts don't vandalise as much, but one reason can be the existance of IP editing in Wikipedia. When all contributors to this project become users, I guess we will have to deal with a larger amount of user vandals.
In terms of communication, we can invite them to register (as we already do if I'm not mistaken). Communicating with IP editors isn't easy, I admit it, but (part of) this can be the result of not paying enough attention to IPs. I mean, can't we develop more tools so we can communicate with them easier than now? Ahmadtalk 09:45, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
No, we can't develop more tools so we can communicate with them easier than now, because IP addresses change. The "tool" that solves that problem is registration. Just about every website in the world besides Wikipedia requires registration. Yet, they still have millions of registered, active users (think of any social networking site, even the new ones like TikTok). This more or less proves that registration doesn't stop people from participating in a website. I don't understand why (1) anyone thinks registration is an impediment to user growth, and (2) anyone thinks that if we require registration we will no longer be "the encyclopedia anyone can edit" (if anyone can register, then anyone can still edit). Levivich 15:42, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
On the communication point: it is already practically impossible to communicate with an IPv6 editor via their talk page, because their discrete IP rotates rapidly, sometimes from one edit to the next, and you can't ping nor post on the talk page of an IP range. I'm not sure that preventing IP editing is the right way to address that, but our current broadly-accepted method is attention-getting blocks, which is also not ideal. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:04, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but (in that specific case) we're talking about a social network, not a free encyclopedia. In a social network like, say, twitter, I can't vandalise someone else's tweet, but I can vandalise a lot of things in Wikipedia simply because anyone can edit it. Besides, people can write almost anything they want in a social network; they can give personal comments about anything, what we don't accept at all. As a result, they enjoy joining social networks. There is one thing I need to clarify: I know that millions of people will still edit Wikipedia after this, as Wikipedia (especially enwiki) is big enough for that. And I admit, communicating with IPs is really hard, maybe almost impossible in some cases. However, I'm aware of all the good things they do. I've been an active RC patroller in fawiki for some time now, I've seen many IPs emptying articles, swearing the article's subject etc, and I've blocked many of them. At the same time, I've seen IPs clearing vandalism and doing gnoming stuff. The main point, in my opinion, is that we will most likely lose a part of our contributors (which involves vandals and good-faith editors), so we need to evaluate it carefully and see if it can help us to a (somehow) large extend or not. I think we're (in general, I mean) focusing on IP vandals a little too much, ignoring good aspects of IP editing in Wikipedia. Ahmadtalk 17:11, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
Actually, on most networks, the IPv6 IPs are *more* static than then IPv4 ones. They should, in fact, be *easier* to communicate with, not more difficult, in most cases. But this is not a particularly relevant point; we have plenty of evidence that (many to most) registered accounts don't respond to messages either; so much so that we even had to make "you're expected to respond to messages" an expectation in our policy for administrator conduct. Risker (talk) 17:34, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
+1 (And some don't response even after the "you're expected to respond to messages" message.) Ahmadtalk 17:43, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
In my experience IPv6 /64 subnet assignments are very stable (moreso than IPv4 /32s), but discrete assignments within /64s are highly dynamic, lasting minutes to hours before a new discrete address is assigned within the same /64 subnet. My understanding is that's how IPv6 is meant to work, based on meta:Help:Range blocks/IPv6. So if I see something problematic from an IPv6 editor, by the time I notice and get to their talk page to leave them a note, they're already on a different address within the /64 and they don't get any notification about my message. It can also be that discrete addresses within the /64 are assigned to individual LAN end-users on the same WAN connection (like IPv4 NAT) but I've not seen that as often, and even then the assignments don't seem very stable. Users ignoring messages is a different issue, I'm talking about messages not being delivered to the right user in the first place. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:33, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
@Ahmad252, Risker, Levivich, and Ivanvector: that current editors do not respond when you know they got the message is not the issue: that is evidence of bad manners or even of bad intentions. It is however the root of my problem with IPs. Yes, a lot of people do not repond when they do get the message, but on a rotating IP a lot of editors do not get the message in the first place. Spam-edit by IP1, message to IP1, spam-edit on IP2, message to IP2 ...thaose warning are unlikely to be read. If they are forced to make an account while on a rotating IP then they will at least not accidentally miss the message. They may intentionally make single-edit accounts (in which case they also would miss the message onthe first account), but then on the 2nd edit (or at least at the 3rd) you have evideence of bad intent. Now with IPs I would wait until we get to IP 4 or 5 just to try and communicate before giving up (and I do give up, I blacklist with 4 different IPs using a shady url, even if there are no warnings, I have no choice). Still, there will be cases where an IP may have been editing in good faith. So, we may lose editors because they may not want to make an account .. we lose editors because they do not make an account. Again, we have no numbers to back up any of these. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:15, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
A few years ago, Beetstra, I probably would have agreed that it would be hard to miss a message when using a registered account. Now, in the absence of the big yellow banner, I can be actively editing for hours after a message is received if I don't look at my emails; that little yellow tag on the top of the page is almost invisible, and I almost never notice it. On the rare time when I do notice it, I always mumble under my breath because clicking it just takes me to my talk page, instead of the new message(s). I do believe it is exactly why we have seen an increase in lack of response from all kinds of editors. Now, I realize it was designed this way with feedback from a lot of editors, many of whom hated being interrupted with a "new message" while in the midst of editing, but as a communication flag, it's pretty awful. Having said that, we're really getting far off topic. Risker (talk) 04:29, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Risker, the not seeing that you have a message as a logged in/out editor is indeed far of topic (note: your remark above "... so that we even had to make "you're expected to respond to messages" an expectation in our policy for administrator conduct" and now finding an excuse that you don't often see the message (and I have the same) makes me wonder how we can even enforce that).
The fact that logged out editors who hop around on IPs do not get a message is not off topic. The excuse for static IPs (and administrators alike) 'I did not see that I had a message until now' is not really an excuse, I tried to communicate with you, now don't back out that you missed the message. It is however an excuse for logged out editors who hop around on IPs.
All in all, there are many problems with IP editing, even if they do a lot of good work. We talk about vandalism a lot, but it also does not really make sense to praise an IP, the editor may by then already be on another IP (which does not mean we shouldn't praise .. but I expect that IPs are much less praised than logged in users because editors know that that IP may on the next edit be occupied by a vandal who sees the praise, and the actual editor may never see the praise). Dirk Beetstra T C 07:01, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Beetstra, we should probably create another subsection for communication concerns. I know, we somehow can't praise IP editors as much, so yes, I admit that we may lose some potential editors. But, though I've never been an IP-editor before creating my account, IP editing is sometimes the first step for people to enter Wikipedia. That's the first impression, I believe; that gives them a general feeling about Wikipedia. An IP-editor may never see the praise (though I believe it isn't that unlikely for them to see it), but the feeling of fixing a problem in Wikipedia? They are likely to come back, no matter they see the praise or not, because they will probably see more minor issues in the articles they read everyday. And one day, hopefully, they are likely to create an accout in my opinion. Also, to my experience, IPs don't change that much. When fighting an IP vandal, I sometimes revert their edits three (or even four) times before blocking them, but the IP address doesn't change. Also, when I block them for some time, they rarely come back with a different IP to evade their block. It's the same case about constructive IP editors. I mean, I agree that communicating with IPs has its own challenges, but after all, is it always (or in most cases) that serious?
Also, I believe that this needs to be emphasized that we are losing a part of our potential editors anyways. As I said, I think a part of it is about "the first impression", while it has other reasons like what you mentioned above. We need to, generally, try to attract people to actually write this encyclopedia, not just to read it. Now, I think we need some numbers, maybe some comments from experienced, long-term RC patrollers as well, to actually evaluate this. I think it would be better if we first discuss this, and then come back to this discussion on registration requirement. We need to know more about IP editing on Wikipedia; more than some IP vandals, and more than some helpful IP editors we've seen around. This change (registration requirement) will have both short-term and long-term effects, so some numbers can be truely helpful in this case. Ahmadtalk 16:22, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Ahmad252, my experience is different .. see e.g. [[2]]. 5 link additions, 5 IPs, 2 wikis. And I have a lot of those. You see vandals who do 4 edits from one account, because you do not know that one vandal is using 4 different IPs, or if it are 4 vandals. And that situation is awful, you may think that you give 10 vandals a level 1 good faith remark ... while actually you give 1 physical person 10 level 1 remarks. Or 10 of us may waste time giving 1 physical vandal 10 level 1 remarks.
Again the ‘most editors start of as an IP’ .. you have NO data if that would be different if we would enforce creating accounts. 9 out of 10 may just as well start an account immediately if they see an error if they can’t fix it without account. And yes, it may be 1 out of 10. We have no clue. But with account creation a vandal will get those 4 warnings, unless they are so persistent that they actually create 4 accounts to vandalise. We know what we likely are going to lose: hit and run vandalism, we have no clue if we would lose (or even gain!) many new editors. The latter is in any form a complete guess. Dirk Beetstra T C 17:23, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for that example, Beetstra. I just remembered a similar case, thanks to you. Yes, I agree that a vandal can use different IPs to continue vandalising Wikipedia, but they can create another account as well, right? I mean, to my knowledge, the limit is 6 accounts per day; a physical person who has an interest in vandalising Wikipedia can (ab)use multiple accounts in order to do it. And yes, I think a vandal who uses multiple IPs to vandalise Wikipedia can be that persistent to create multiple accounts. Some do it just because they find it funny, others may do so to insert a promotional link, we all know a lot about it. Also, I think we will probably experience an increase in the number of sockpuppet investigations. Good to see we have an active checkuser team here. Nonetheless, I think we'll still have to deal with such cases we currently have with some IPs (and some sockpuppeters), and I don't think this decreases the number of such cases dramatically (again, a simple guess).
Regarding that "no data" issue... Yes, that is really annoying; we can't really know. It may be one of the main reasons of the disagreement between users. Personally speaking, I have no clue of what this can cause, it's just a guess based on my personal experience. But I mean, more basically, we can compare IP edits with user edits in large scales. I know it isn't directly related to our current discussion, but is related to the subject of the thread in my opinion. Ahmadtalk 18:36, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Ahmad252, sure, the more persistent vandal will make 6 accounts (spammers for sure, it pays their bills ...), but most vandals will not make that effort. As an IP ... It’s too easy. However, will the OCD IP editor make an account to repair that ‘stupid mistake’ ... yes, most will, just as that they now will do as an IP.
I would be in favour of an experiment .... we need this data to make an informed decision. Dirk Beetstra T C 19:54, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Beetstra, yes, UPE editors working on an article are even more likely to create tens of those socks, I've seen (and requested CU for) many.
The point about the "experiment" is that enwiki is different from most WMF projects. English Wikipedia is somehow an international project with so many editors, we can barely simulate this situation on any other wiki willing to run an experiment at the same time. That's why I'm worried about this: We really have no idea of what that can happen.
I would also recommend contacting WMF to see if they can give us any useful data on this (not necessarily now, we can do it later. I have a feeling that we're going to discuss this again in the future). After all, they have authorized access to a lot of personal data collected from visitors (which we don't, not only us but also the functionary team). Ahmadtalk 20:22, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Ahmad252, WMF is considering to 'spoof' IP names, they are not even considering to see whether enforcing account creation is an option, or at least to measure it. I agree about the worry, it may very well greatly improve our situation, or it may cost us a lot of new editors ... Dirk Beetstra T C 05:36, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

The real problem with IP editing is not vandalism but the fact that a growing number of IPs have a hobby of changing numbers and other simple facts. I gave this example a couple of times above, and that error is still there after 16 days. I notice that kind of problem because the number was changed so much that the template generated an error. I see over a dozen like that every week, but I only see changes that generate errors. There must be many more where, for example, "Born 12 May 1962" is changed to "Born 4 July 1966" with no explanation and no hope of follow up—asking a shifting IP why they make changes like that is a waste of time. An IP cannot be indeffed whereas an account who makes unexplained changes without responding will end up indeffed. An account has reputation—if someone with hundreds of edits and a clean talk page and block log makes a few changes like that, we can hope they are good. Too many IPs make changes for the results to be checked. Johnuniq (talk) 00:11, 31 October 2019 (UTC)

I come across these several times a day. Not because of any alerts, but because of the sheer number of articles in my 33,000 watchlist. When I see an edit by an IP in my watchlist, I check it out and it's almost always vandalism of the kind of sly changes that goes unnoticed. Probably the next most frequent type are genre changes. IMO there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of such subtle vandalism lurking in the corpus. Very few of the non vandalism IP edits in my watchlist are useful and still have to be reverted. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:57, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
This - and 27% only represents the number of bad IP edits that are actually caught and acted upon.  Mr.choppers | ✎  17:56, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

How would this affect countries where Wikipedia is blocked?[edit]

As you probably know to edit from here in Turkey (and I think also from China) we need to use a VPN and apply for ip block exemption. I think most potential editors in Turkey would want to edit Turkish Wikipedia and most people who would like to edit Turkish Wikipedia are in Turkey. If this proposal was accepted could all edits to Turkish Wikipedia be automatically ip block exempt? If so is there any downside for Turkish Wikipedia?Chidgk1 (talk) 18:17, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

This might be outside the jurisdiction of the English Wikipedia, which has little to no authority over the Turkish Wikipedia. From AnUnnamedUser (open talk page) 21:04, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
So is this page just about English Wikipedia? If so perhaps it should be made clearer at the top of the page. I suppose from what you are saying that each language Wikipedia can make its own policy about whether to require registration? So I will ask on Turkish Wikipedia.Chidgk1 (talk) 15:41, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article[edit]

"It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article which many of us have gone through a lot of trouble to write", but it is still much more easier for a registered user to vandalize an article which many of unregistered user have gone through a lot of trouble to write. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Built-up_area_(Highway_Code)&diff=925265596&oldid=925261577

In fact what lacks here is a definition of vandalism and appropriate talk:

  • Vandalism is not a fact. The French says "Quand on veut noyer un chien, on dit qu'il a la rage" (If you want to hang your dog you give him a bad name first).
  • Talk is a key, anytime someone has a different view, you cannot avoid it. Wikipedia provides a talk page.
  • Wikipedia has freely worked during nearly twenty years, near one quarter century, without banning IP. Why should it change?

I have a dream that unregistered users will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their avatar, but by the content of their contribution. I have a dream today! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.136.208.32 (talk) 02:11, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Rate limit as prod to register[edit]

Is there yet a general realization that Wikipedia is a proud shining obelisk inscribed with much knowledge in all the scripts of the world, but made of chalk and drenched in a corrosive continual acid rain?

The above concern is what prompts me to check my watchlist and/or scan recent changes near every day. It freaks me out when I see vandalism and/or plain bad edits from *years* ago that were not caught because there is not enough effort put into checking edits.

I see Kudpung's proposal above (4 IP edits then must register). Aside from the inability to handle IP's that are shared/reassigned rapidly enough that IP doesn't reliably equal personage, it misses engaging the motivation of the good editor that we want to register. The good editor wants to fix things, correct problems, add to the content. They want to edit and we want them to. We don't want members of the ha-ha brigade to edit a few pages and scramble off. We want to stop or limit them. Let's combine these desires into one limit.

Limit IP's to one article space edit per day. Vandals can't do what they want to do - and we get relief. Good editors can't do what they want to do - and are motivated to register. Bad guys go away, good guys eventually register because they want to do good.

This proposal is the extension of the other restrictions on article space edits based on number of edits, SEMI and ECP. Why were those useful? There were 'target' pages which needed to be 'specially' protected. Given my concern above, I feel all pages here need protection from vandalism.

If you don't agree now, scan Recent Changes every day until you do. I have 2900+ pages on my watchlist. Some days I never get off my watchlist for fixing vandalism. I'd really like to get off the status quo of "It'll be alright, my leg is only a little on fire..." Shenme (talk) 04:31, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

This is a very good idea! One edit per day without registering seems like a great incentive to register. Best,  Mr.choppers | ✎  18:45, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

RfC on additional page mover permissions[edit]

Howdy,

There is a current request for comment at Wikipedia talk:Page mover (discussion link) regarding whether page movers should be permitted to move pages which are full-protected. As this would require a change of policy, I'm cross-posting here. Sceptre (talk) 18:08, 16 October 2019 (UTC)


Require a captcha for every IP edit in reader-oriented spaces[edit]

Look, if you really want to encourage IPs to register an account without requiring them to do so, and you don't want regular editors to face the backlog from making all IP edits pending changes, just require IPs to enter a captcha for each and every individual edit made in mainspace, template space, category space, image space, and portal space. Incidentally, this will help prevent editors with accounts from accidentally making edits while logged out, since they will get the same notice that a captcha is needed before they can save. IP editors who are serious about improving the encyclopedia will likely trudge through some captchas to make their changes (and perhaps will use fewer edits, since I have seen IPs go through a string of 20 edits to fix up an article, when they could have used the preview function and avoided all that). IP editors who merely want to comment in talk page discussions will be unaffected. bd2412 T 19:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

*lol* Irritate the hell out of them before they do it to us - or auto-gen an ad they have to watch before they can make any changes. Love it! Atsme Talk 📧 20:33, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
No one will ever support adding adverts, maybe the WMF will support making IPs watch Jimbo plead for donations before saving each edit. Wug·a·po·des​ 04:19, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
Surely that is banned by the Geneva Conventions! · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:49, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
@Tony the Marine and QuackGuru: Does this satisfy your concerns? bd2412 T 19:16, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
@BD2412: long-standing issues such as phab:T6845 should probably be solved first... — xaosflux Talk 19:24, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I proposed a captcha because it is a minor annoyance that would nudge people towards registering and make IP vandalism more time consuming for the IP. We could just as easily use a popup on each edit requiring the IP editor to confirm that they wish to continue even though their IP address will be recorded, or the like. bd2412 T 19:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I know we're not really voting (or maybe we are?) but support. Anyone can edit and this does not prevent it, but as has been repeatedly pointed out over a very long time, registering an account is more anonymous than editing with your IP address attached to every edit. Whatever technical issues there are solved first, of course. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 19:37, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
This definitely helps. There are some IPs that never register but have made hundreds of edits. It should be capped off at about 100 edits (not including talk pages) to require a captcha for IPs and new accounts. QuackGuru (talk) 19:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as counterproductive and yet more "Fuck Tha IPs" bullshit. Why would you demand a CAPTCHA to revert vandalism? That's something that IPs can and will do, and throwing this sort of barrier up is going to discourage that. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 20:52, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • All new edits by IPs and new accounts would require a captcha for at least the first 100 edits. Talk page discussions would not require a captcha. QuackGuru (talk) 20:59, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
      • There's no way to meaningfully tell a new edit from a revert for IPs that don't know how to use page histories. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:04, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
        • A new edit or a revert for IPs and new accounts would still require a captcha under the proposal. QuackGuru (talk) 21:37, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
          • 100 captchas? I would have sworn off Wikipedia before I was a 1/5th of the way through - and that's not counting that our captchas are terrible Nosebagbear (talk) 21:45, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Is your actual plan to flip off IPs and softban them from Wikipedia, QuackGuru? Because that is the only way I can still presume good faith and reconcile your proposals. Also, what Nosebagbear says above. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:55, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I think a registration nag/limitations till registered is sufficient.Don't like captchas.Selfstudier (talk) 22:42, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I despise captchas, too. (They don't like me; and don't get me started on their image-based replacements: even worse.) I wouldn't dream of inflicting them on others. This is a proposal that, if implemented, would do immeasurable harm to IP editors and to Wikipedia's image as a whole. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:16, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
And I forgot to mention this: I believe this proposal, if implemented, would fall afoul of the nondiscrimination resolution at WP:ACCESSIBILITY. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:22, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I do not think captcha is the answer. When I first wrote my comment I was expressing my personal opinion which I titled "I Believe", I had no intentions of creating a "support" or "oppose" issue, however the title was changed to "Require Registration" by someone else. I know there are a lot of un-registered users who are good at what they do and mean well. Most of these end up being registered users who have made great contributions to our project. However, many users agree with me that the majority of the vandalism made to our great articles are made by non-registered users who have bad-faith editing on their minds. My personal believe is that they and everyone else for that matter should be held accountable for their contributions, whether these are positive or negative. I have known many great contributors to this project who gave up because of all the negative editing going on. That is why I believe that Wikipedia has to or should implement some rules or policy to protect those of us who love this project and wish for it to reach high standards of reliability. That is all I have to say in regard to my personal believes and this subject. Tony the Marine (talk) 23:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Little late to the show (I had to figure out which pictures showed a crosswalk partially obstructed by a traffic light manufactured by Consolidated Lighting between 1937-1962), but: it is true that "the majority of the vandalism made to our great articles are made by non-registered users". Not only that, but the majority of the vandalism made to our lousy articles are also made by non-registered users. That matters, but it matters a whole lot less than this: the net effect of edits by not-registered users is positive. I base this on watching a 2,000-article watchlist for ten years. The net effect of edits by not-registered users is less positive than the net effect of edits by registered users, this is true. But so? It's still a positive. IP's vandalize, but they more often fix spelling, improve grammar, add good material, correct facts, add refs, and so forth. Herostratus (talk) 03:32, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Not captcha but some minor friction/login-reminder on most or all IP edits seems like a good idea.  Just an extra OK click to say I'd really rather not log in or make an account should be enough.  I logged out for this edit just to see what I would get. I got a welcome/start editing dialog; is that always there, or just on first edit from an IP address?  98.210.161.131 (talk) 04:07, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Probably just from the first edit. The last time I accidentally logged out and made an edit, I was surprised to see the edit coming from my IP address. I frankly would have preferred some kind of head's up. Yes, some minor friction. bd2412 T 04:12, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I got it again. Maybe because in a private window there's no cookie to say I've seen it already? 98.210.161.131 (talk) 04:15, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Yup, no such notice on second edit in same private window. 98.210.161.131 (talk) 04:16, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any barrier to entry for good-faith edits. --Jayron32 14:41, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose From my experience, exceedingly slow. Captcha should only be used to prevent vandal bots, spam bots, ad bots, and other non-human vandals and advertisers, not humans. Plus Captcha might not work in some areas, and on some networks I have found that it doesn't work at all. From AnUnnamedUser (open talk page) 23:22, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Captchas are used to filter out non-human agents. There doesn't appear to be any spate of malicious anonymous bots, so the proposal seems to be only about erecting obstacles in the way of IPs. Maybe this could entice a small number of them to register an account, but it's sure to annoy the hell out of many others and deter them from editing altogether. – Uanfala (talk) 13:02, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with 98.210.161.131 ("Not captcha, but some minor friction/login-reminder on most or all IP edits seems like a good idea.") I don't have anything specific to propose at this time. So, I oppose this exact proposal but support a later attempt to get us somewhere. While we do not want to discourage good-faith contributions, we do need to encourage account-creation, and discourage bad-faith (or even "grey-faith" – boneheaded, test/experiment, or just plain clueless) edits, most especially bad-faith ones done in rapid-fire succession. It's been a problem for 18 years and is not abating, so steps need to be taken, and have needed to be taken for a very long time. It's shameful how much constructive volunteer time is wasted cleaning up after bad IP edits. I'm extremely skeptical that the amount of good content contributed per day by IPs exceeds the amount of mess everyone else has to clean up. Maybe it did in the 2000s, but likely not today.  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 05:39, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Vandals are humans, not bots. Bots are already stopped using other methods, this will have zero effect besides slowing them down. BigDwiki (talk) 23:08, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Per Atsme, not a bad idea. Keep ideas coming, esp. ones like this. Sooner or later one will stick. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:55, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Moral support it's not ideal, and maybe not every edit, but something along this line would in my mind be the best compromise. There is a use for captchas as a means of preventing WP:MEATBOTs, not just actual bots, and for all the reasons above the added friction will probably make vandalism less appealing while having a minimal impact on good faith contribution (people are used to captchas in other contexts). Speed bumps are actually helpful at not just slowing down speeders but also getting those going the speed limit to pay closer attention and look for pedestrians. Wug·a·po·des​ 04:14, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, we need to make it easier, not harder, to edit. —Kusma (t·c) 20:57, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for IPs. Now what would be great if the AbuseFilter could have an option 'require capcha before being able to safe' (which thén could be applied on both named and IP vandals). --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:37, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
    T236760 Dirk Beetstra T C 08:51, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
    Turns out there is already an older request for this, T20110. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:08, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Everyone must be able to edit without creating an account, without extra difficulty. We should not be making it more difficult to edit. --Yair rand (talk) 09:22, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Captcha is horrible, failing as often as it works. Also, as mentioned above, it is not intended for this purpose. IP editors are not bots. Jack N. Stock (talk) 16:12, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Bizarre suggestion seeking only to needlessly increase the difficulty of editing without an account. That captchas are frustrating to humans is a side effect, not their purpose. At any rate, accessibility concerns trump all others. Sam Walton (talk) 00:09, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would make sense if most, or even enough, IP editors edited quickly and in bulk, but I see no evidence of such. SportingFlyer T·C 12:44, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Uanfala above. Captchas solve a different problem, unwanted automated edits, which seem surprisingly rare on Wikipedia. Certes (talk) 12:52, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Multiple users logged in on same account[edit]

Does anyone know if there is any rule against more than one person being given & using the password of a user account? Can't find anything on that. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:30, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

@SergeWoodzing: That's not usually allowed, see WP:NOSHARING. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:40, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you - that's what I was trying to find. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:41, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

It's good to know there's a restriction, Portuguese Wikipedia even had a shared sysop account at some point, I just assumed it was allowed and a study group I direct considered doing it for organisational purposes (and to avoid meatpuppetry accusations). We never did it anyway. Leefeniaures audiendi audiat 21:36, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

This strays from the original topic, but why isn't there a policy that explicitly bans or otherwise restricts shared accounts whose usernames don't imply that they're shared? From AnUnnamedUser (open talk page) 00:23, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
We have the policy Sharing an account – or the password to an account – with others is not permitted, but one of the common ways of finding such accounts is when the name implies they are shared. ϢereSpielChequers 14:56, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
And why is there a policy that explicitly bans or otherwise restricts shared accounts? I was believing wikipedia was for sharing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.136.208.32 (talk) 01:40, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Is Youtube a Reliable Source?[edit]

I would like to place an article edit where I plan to use Youtube as the source. The article is a BLP and the user's own video would be the source. In this case, does it meet WP:RS?BigDwiki (talk) 23:07, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

No because YouTube is a self-published source and is not moderated. Xxanthippe (talk) 23:42, 25 October 2019 (UTC).
BigDwiki, Depends what you intend to use it for, see WP:BLPSELFPUB, and how clear it is that the YT is from the subject. An uncontroversial birthdate, place of birth, etc, could be ok, but try to avoid if possible. HOWEVER, something selfpublished never helps with WP:N, but I read you to say that the article already exists. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:31, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
YouTube isn't a source. It's a host, or a republisher, of others' content. As such, the question isn't if YouTube is a reliable source, it's if the uploader of a video is a reliable source. (And also, if the upload is or isn't a copyright violation.) Imzadi 1979  01:10, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
Examples where YouTube could be hosting reliable source: Fox News shows Schumer making recent remarks. Just as reliable as a broadcast TV show, because that's what it is. YouTube is hosting a reliable source for Avril Lavigne's latest video, so transcribe the lyrics or whatever. YouTube probably isn't a reliable source for lots of stuff, whether it is an "unverified" account, or a copyright violation which abounds on the service, or any one of all sorts of other things. Use it with a large grain of salt and a lot of discernment. Elizium23 (talk) 00:18, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
  • A lot of what Elizium23 said. Asking whether "YouTube" is a reliable source is like asking whether "television" or "radio" is a reliable source. In your case, you need to deal with WP:BLPSELFPUB, and not really the medium. GMGtalk 00:31, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Most of the time, no, as there are both issues on copyright violations and reliability of the poster.. But if a video is one that is 1) known to belong to a channel with a confirmed identity, and 2) that channel identity itself is known to be reliable source, then the video came be used. For example, [3] this CNN video is clearly fair game as an RS. The {{cite video}} template can be used to cite. --Masem (t) 00:40, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
    • In the case of a BLP's own channel, you need to be 100% sure the channel belongs to the BLP. This generally means it needs to have the "verification check" by the user name that implies YouTube has confirmed the identity. Most average channels don't have that. If that can be done, then the video can be used within the scope of WP:BLPSPS, but keep in mind that there are NPOV issues when we rely too much on an BLP's SPS work. --Masem (t) 00:43, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but as people have said above a YouTube video in the circumstances you have described would likely be acceptable (assuming no issues w/ copyright, etc.) but subject to BLP, especially BLPSPS and ABOUTSELF. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 00:01, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
  • @BigDwiki: Technically YouTube isn't a source, it's a hosting provider. The source is whoever put the content on YouTube, which might be a reliable source (like the BBC), or an unreliable source, like your cousin Larry. Kaldari (talk) 20:45, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • It's context-specific YouTube is a platform/a content distributor/a content aggregator. Thus, it depends on who published the video. A video by TED talks or Al Jazeera English would be reliable, but a YouTube video by a regular YouTube user or Media Matters would not. Doug Mehus (talk) 00:41, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

RfC closure grants bureaucrats new discretion in processing resysopping requests[edit]

There's been a closure of the above-linked RfC resulting in significant changes to the resysopping procedures used by bureaucrats.

These changes need to be written into the policy page at Wikipedia:Administrators before the procedure page at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats can be updated to reflect the changes.

Note I've expressed some reservations about the closure in a personal capacity, but will be continue to be guided as a bureaucrat by whatever policies achieve community consensus. –xenotalk 17:29, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

Discuss this

On v In categories[edit]

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Islands#Revised RFC that it has been suggested I notify here. Crouch, Swale (talk) 10:50, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

RFC Closure Tags[edit]

Proposal: Make the use of some variant of discussion closure tags mandatory for non-involved editors/administrators when closing RfCs.

Rationale: As seen Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure#Talk:Milo Yiannopoulos#RFC - Improving the lede, requested by editor Cunard, and in literally too many other places to reasonably or practicably note here per reasons of brevity, I participated in a seemingly non-closed RfC, originally with plans to assess the consensus and close this seemingly long-outstanding RfC. When I added an RfC tag, Legobot remembered it had been removed, and removed it, which is fine in that Legobot is operating per its programming. However, the problem comes down to one of time-wasting and user experience. With scripts like DiscussionCloser, adding closure tags is easy-peasy. And, we mandate it for closed page moves, AfDs, merger proposals, and elsewhere. This would be both consistent and reasonable. Doug Mehus (talk) 20:12, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Would your proposal even have applied there? Or was the problem that the RFC never got closed? Anomie 13:04, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Anomie, It never got closed, its tag expired, or it got closed and the closing editor/admin chose not to wrap in optional closure tags and state consensus outcome. I don't think making mandatory use of closure tags for WP:RFC would be problematic. It would be consistent with our other processes. Doug Mehus (talk) 17:19, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the history, it expired and the tag was removed by Legobot here. I'm not sure your suggestion would help or is advisable. RFCs are supposed to be able to expire without being formally closed (that possibility is listed on WP:RFC), especially in situations where the consensus is clear and already-implemented or is rendered moot by later events. Requiring a formal closure risks WP:CREEP - what would you have Legobot do in those circumstances? Should there be an "auto-closed by Legobot" template? An "RFC expired" template? Would this effectively require that RFCs stay open until someone comes in to formally close them? Are you suggesting expiration should require someone formally close the RFC as "expired", and would that require an uninvolved editor? I feel like any possible fix could lead to more wasted time and effort than the problem you're trying to address. Especially considering that, honestly, there's a much simpler fix - if the RFC template is present, the RFC is open. If it isn't, the RFC is either closed or malformed, and in either case you shouldn't just leap into trying to close it. Underlining the rules of "don't remove an RFC template unless you have a valid reason" and "all open RFCs must have an RFC template" would fix this problem much more cleanly and with fewer burdensome requirements than changing the way RFCs expire or removing the option to end an RFC with no formal closure. --Aquillion (talk) 06:52, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Expansion to WP:G14[edit]

Currently, according to the criteria for speedy deletion, a disambiguation page can be deleted if it disambiguates one or zero items. I have seen disambiguation pages that disambiguate two items. I even tagged one of them for PROD. I propose changing this criteria so that DAB pages will be deleted if they disambiguate two or less articles. I think this will be helpful because unnecessary pages will be cleaned up. For example, let's say there is an article, Example (disambiguation), that only disambiguates two articles, Example and Example (foo). Example can have a hatnote to disambiguate Example (foo). I cannot wait for your inputs. Thanks for reading. --LPS and MLP Fan (Littlest Pet Shop) (My Little Pony) 23:18, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

There are two cases to consider. If there is a primary topic with only one other topic then we can indeed dispense with the dab page and just use a hatnote. However, if there is no primary topic then we still need a disambiguation page, even if there are only two possibilities as at John Quested. Certes (talk) 23:39, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
Certes is correct - we continue to use DABs in cases like these because otherwise we'd have to make a PRIMARYTOPIC decision where one wasn't really warranted. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:44, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Book notability question[edit]

I'd like to create a new article for a book (ISBN 978-9782651051 by Chinweizu Ibekwe). It seems to satisfy WP:NBOOK, I quote, "The book has been the subject of two or more non-trivial published works appearing in sources that are independent of the book itself.". Here are the sources,

My question: does this actually satisfy the book notability guideline? Or am I misunderstanding something? I could not find any News coverage for this book, which is not surprising as the author is African and this book is generally not well-known in English speaking countries (although it is written in English).

(Please ping me when replying)

SridYO 20:24, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

@Sridc: Is the book the subject, though? The external works need to be talking about the book, not about some other concepts and using the book as background or reference material. --Izno (talk) 21:53, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
No, it is the latter. SridYO 21:57, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Then they are insufficient for notability. --Izno (talk) 22:24, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Are bloggers WP:RS??[edit]

Cassie_Jaye mentions the opinion of a random blogger (David Futrelle, who runs a website called We Hunted the Mammoth). I thought Wikipedia included opinions from primary reliable sources, and not bloggers? Or, am I missing something? (Please ping me when responding) —Srid🍁 00:21, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

I assume you're talking about, Her effort was strongly criticized by ... David Futrelle ... who said it looked like propaganda. I don't see a fundamental problem with that. We're not taking Futrelle's statement as a fact, we're just reporting on what he wrote. Actually, the way it's in the article, we're not even doing that; we're reporting on The Guardian's summary of what he wrote, and The Guardian certainly is a WP:RS. No comment on the rest of the article, but I think we're fine with this particular issue. -- RoySmith (talk) 00:32, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I overlooked the fact that the reference was The Guardian. But, if it had been his weblog URL instead, that would not be acceptable, right? —Srid🍁 00:38, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Before we can assess reliability, we need to examine this in terms of UNDUE WEIGHT. Who is David Futrelle, and why should we care what his opinion is? Blueboar (talk) 01:07, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Reliability and WP:UNDUE are unrelated concepts. If David Futrelle writes a blog and says, "the sky is blue", and we say, "David Futrelle has said, 'the sky is blue'", with a citation to his where he said it, I don't see any issues vis-a-vis WP:RS. Whether it's useful for us to say that, or a violation of WP:UNDUE, or whether that contributes to WP:N, is another question. But, WP:RS isn't the issue here. -- RoySmith (talk) 02:06, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Why would a particular sub-topic not be covered in an article?[edit]

While casually reading Meghan_Murphy#Twitter_ban_and_lawsuit I learned for the first time that in late 2018 Twitter changed its policy to officially prohibit calling a trans person by the wrong pronouns.

I wanted to find the details, so I went to Twitter and tried Ctrl+F'ing for 'pronoun' - but couldn't find anything.

Is there a Wikipedia policy that would preclude mentioning this topic (re: pronouns) in Twitter? Or is it just a case of no editor specifically bothered to include it?

(Please ping when replying)

Srid🍁 —Preceding undated comment added 02:02, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Hey Sridc. You may have better luck with these questions at The Help Desk. This is more of a place to discuss things like potential changes to policy, and not necessarily the right place for specific questions about clarification or application in particular circumstances. GMGtalk 02:19, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the pointer. I definitely misread it (overlooked the "proposed" part). —Srid🍁 02:21, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Or WP:NPOVN for WP:NPOV issues (eg. whether some part of an article is balanced), or WP:RSN for WP:RS issues (eg. can a particular source be used for a particular statement.) --Aquillion (talk) 03:03, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Use of direct transclusion in portals and the newer portal transclusion templates[edit]

This is a formal request to receive input from the Wikipedia community regarding a relatively specialized aspect of Wikipedia's portals, the transclusion of content in portals using the newer portal transclusion templates, in hopes that a firm consensus can be formed regarding:

  1. The general use of direct transclusion in portals, specifically, if a consensus can be formed to formally approve or disapprove of this technique, and
  2. The use of the portal transclusion templates in relation to said transclusion.

A previous short-lived RfC regarding this matter here was opened on 9 November 2019 (UTC) and closed on 11 November 2019 (UTC). At that discussion, its procedural closure was based upon the notion that this 2017 discussion set a precedent and consensus for the use of these transclusion templates. However, that discussion dates back to 2017, and consensus can change. Furthermore, the 2017 discussion occurred before the templates were developed and utilized, and since that time opinions have become more divided in various areas of Wikipedia about the use of transclusions in portals.

This RfC involves the following templates:

  • Content transclusion templates
  • Content slideshow templates

Some examples regarding divided opinions and concerns about the use of these templates in portals can be perused at the following discussions. More examples exist in various areas of Wikipedia. Some users feel that the use of transclusions to present article content is an improvement, because it provides verbatim content to that which is in articles and other areas of Wikipedia, as compared to copied and pasted content on portal subpages that can become dated. Of note is that some portal subpages are now using the transclusion templates as well. Other users have stated that the use of transclusions to present article and other content is inherently problematic because no firm consensus for their use appears to have ever been formed, or that no consensus exists at this time for their use. To assist in finding content in these discussions in relation to said transclusion and these templates, I recommend utilizing the find feature in your browser and searching for "transc". This is because the general term is referred to using different words in various discussions, such as "transclusions", "transcluded", "transcluding", etc.

It is my hope that this discussion can remain focused upon direct content transclusion in portals in relation to these specific templates, rather than morphing into a larger general discussion about whether or not portals are wanted by the community, the merits or problems of portals, etc. In this manner, the discussion can stay hopefully stay on-topic in a focused, organized manner. North America1000 03:17, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Support the use of the content templates as a modernized means to keep portals up-to-date with verbatim content to that which appears in articles and other areas of Wikipedia, with a caveat that navbox-clone style portals that involve no curation whatsoever should not be created. I also support the use of the content slideshow templates as a means to provide more options in portal design, updating and maintenance. North America1000 03:19, 13 November 2019 (UTC)