Tools and workflows around patrolling IP edits

The Wikimedia Foundation wants to work on two things that affect how we patrol changes and handle vandalism and harassment. We want to make the tools that are used to handle bad edits better. We also want to get better privacy for unregistered users so their IP addresses are no longer shown to everyone in the world. We would not hide IP addresses until we have better tools for patrolling.

We have an idea of what tools ‘‘could’’ be working better and how a more limited access to IP addresses would change things, but we need to hear from more wikis. You can read more about the project on Meta and post comments and feedback. Basically, we need to know if there are workflows IP masking would break that we need to work on so that it doesn’t become a burden on the communities. Also, this is the best opportunity to push for tools that would make fighting harassment, vandalism and spam easier. Take it.

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For a start, make Special:NewPagesFeed available on all projects. It’s kind of weird to have such a vital extension only deployed on enwiki.

FWIW the blocker for that is T50552.

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I think there’s an important strategic consideration that needs to be looked at before committing resources to a project such as this.

Our vision is to make all knowledge freely available to every person, and I believe that it’s important to judge big changes like hiding IP addresses against the fundamental criterion that we should not be doing things that do not advance our vision, unless required to by law.

It is indeed a worthwhile goal to improve the privacy of our unregistered contributors, but there is no evidence that that measure, in itself, will do anything to further our vision. On the other hand, any measure that reduces our ability to combat vandalism, undisclosed paid editing, and fake information will undoubtedly move us further away from our vision.

Please, let’s not take potentially damaging actions until we are certain that what we are doing does not run counter to our fundamental goal.

(Thanks for the feedback, folks.)