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Learning patterns/Six-account limit

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Six-account limit
problemYou're going to give a workshop on how to edit Wikimedia projects or going to get students in a school or university to edit for the first time. Take care: no more than six people will be able to create their own accounts from the same IP.
solutionThe solution avoids people being unable to create accounts – and hence frustrated! – and saves a large amount of time spent in trying to solve the problem during the activity.
created on10 October 2013

What problem does this solve?


During outreach workshops or even during class assignments activities that happen in the education program, we often face the frustration of participants not being able to create their accounts, since creating more than six new accounts from the same IP is not allowed. Not only the participants, but also the tutor gets upset and usually people just find this out during the event and take a lot of time trying to solve it. Also, if people don't get to create accounts in the Portuguese Wikipedia, they have to go through CAPTCHA for every edit! It also creates obstacles for those who are teaching to get users' accounts list and track their work later, to make sure the workshop was useful and people continued editing.

During the workshop at the Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU), not all participants were able to create an account because ADNU had one IP address and Wikipedia allows only six accounts to be created by the same IP per day.
Wikimedia Philippines, Open Web Day 2012.

What is the solution?


Six Five options:

  1. Ask at meta to unblock the IP of the place where the workshop is going to take place (good to do anyway)
  2. Send out invitations and have a subscription link for the workshop, and instruct people to create their own account before the workshop.
  3. Asking for "account creator" status on your home wiki (or event-coordinator on English Wikipedia) allows you to create more than six accounts during a course.[1]
  4. Create more accounts in other wikimedia projects like wiktionary, wikibooks or wikinews or even another wikipedia. (not working since 2016)
  5. In case none of those work, get into the IRC channel of the project you are working with and ask for an admin to create accounts using Account creator tool. In this case it's necessary that the editor gives an e-mail account to receive a password to login.
  6. Since many people have smartphones with data connections these days, you may be able to ask for a volunteer who doesn't mind using their data connection to create a new account or two, since this will have a different IP address from the wifi. (Make sure the phone is not connected to the wifi network that the workshop participants are on with their computers.) You can't necessarily count on this in advance, but it can work in a pinch. Ideally, volunteers create their own accounts on their own phones, but if not then they'll need to make sure to log out for security reasons.[2]

General considerations


Many times, people not only get frustrated, but they can’t share with you, during the workshop, which account they have. Therefore, you leave the workshop without their accounts and are unable to track whether they continued editing later, unless they connect with them by email after the activity, which is very unlikely to happen.





See also