No open proxies

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Policies and guidelines No open proxies
This page provides information about the blocking of open proxies on Meta and all other Wikimedia projects. Projects may have local policies which go beyond this global policy. It was discussed in February 2004, and the policy page was created in March 2006.
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Policy

Open or anonymising proxies may be blocked for any period at any time. While this may affect legitimate users, they are not the intended targets and may freely use proxies until those are blocked. Tor editing, on the other hand, is automatically prevented. No restrictions are placed on reading Meta through an open or anonymous proxy.

Proxies are left open due to deliberate or inadvertent configuration or because hackers have changed the configuration. Non-static IP addresses or hosts that are otherwise not permanent proxies should typically be blocked for a shorter period of time, as it is likely the IP address will eventually be transferred or dynamically reassigned, or the open proxy closed. Once closed, the IP address should be unblocked.

Exceptions

Editors can be permitted to edit by way of an open proxy with the IP block exempt flag. This is granted on local projects by administrators and globally by stewards.

However, many users are known to access through open proxy unknowingly due to the default setting of their browser. Before you apply for the IP block exemption (which may take time and is not guaranteed to be granted), you should check the internet connection preference of your browser and change it to no proxy access.

Global exceptions and appeals

If your IP address has been blocked on all wikis[1] and you believe this was by mistake, or if you need to use Tor for valid reasons and can't,[2] you can appeal to the global block, or ask an exception, to stewards.

  • The recommended way is to privately email stewards at wikimedia.org. You can use any language, we'll do our best. Include:
    1. the IP mentioned in the error message you got,[1][2]
    2. the username you use or would like to use and
    3. the reasons why you think the global block was in error or why you need to use Tor.
  • It's also possible to use the Meta-Wiki request page, if you are able to edit it and don't mind sharing your IP (for global blocks) or your reasons to desire privacy (for Tor usage). Global blocks don't apply to Meta-Wiki.

If your IP is an open proxy, it will not be unblocked. It is more likely for an exception to be granted if you provide good reasons to think you won't abuse it; obvious cases are, for instance, users blocked by the Chinese Great Firewall and accounts with substantial past contributions.

If a Tor exception is granted to you and you don't have an account yet, the steward will also create one for you and you'll receive a temporary password to your email address.

Local exceptions

If you are interested in editing only one or few wikis, you may want to ask a local exception. Projects with policy permitting exemptions are listed as examples here:

Rationale

Although Meta encourages anyone in the world to contribute, such proxies are often exploited for abusive purposes. Because MediaWiki (the wiki software) depends on IP addresses for administrator intervention against abuse, open proxies allow users to completely circumvent administrators. The use of scripts or bots allow malicious users to rapidly rotate IP addresses, causing continuous disruption that cannot be stopped by helpless administrators. Several such attacks have occurred on Wikimedia projects, causing heavy disruption and occupying administrators who would otherwise deal with other concerns.

This policy is known to cause difficulty for some editors, who must use open proxies to circumvent censorship where they live; a well-known example is the government of the People's Republic of China, which sporadically attempts to prevent the people in China from reading or editing Wikipedia.

Notes

  1. a b Error message like this:

    Your IP address has been blocked on all wikis.

    The block was made by $1 ($2). The reason given is $3.

    • Start of block: $4
    • Expiry of block: $5

    Your current IP address is $6. Please include all above details in any queries you make.

    If you believe you were blocked by mistake, you can find additional information and instructions in the No open proxies global policy. Otherwise, to discuss the block please post a request for review on Meta-Wiki.

  2. a b Error message like this:

    Your IP address, $1, has been automatically identified as a Tor exit node. Editing through Tor is blocked to prevent abuse. For additional information and instructions to legitimate users, see the No open proxies global policy.

See also