Meta:Historical/Wikipedia talk:Blocked IPs

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Wikipedia talk:Blocked IPs
This was the Wikipedia talk archive for w:Wikipedia:Blocked IPs, a manual list of IPs that were banned from editing. This page predates the concept of administrators, though one user suggest "electing sherrifs". See also Wikipedia:Blocked IPs. This page still exists on Wikipedia, and it should be imported if possible to keep the edit history.

Something to keep in mind is that a huge number of IPs that get blocked are dynamic IPs for home broadband connections. A knowledgeable user will kill their DHCP lease and get a new one for a different IP, thus avoiding the block; less savvy users who get assigned these IPs are the ones who suffer, especially with long-term blocks. If you then ban a subnet in order to get one wily bug you are most likely nuking the entire neighborhood along with it. Perusal of the blocklist reveals many people blocked for trifling reasons, not defacement.

Brion VIBBER, Lee Daniel Crocker, Tim Shell, Larry_Sanger, Koyaanis Qatsi appear to be the de facto editorial/censor board. Should there be links here to the "reasons why"? Not necessarily for disputes, but to establish an accountability trail.

That will matter later, I'm sure.

Well, I've blocked IPs too, so go ahead and call me a "censor," but it's not something I did for political reasons so the term would be inappropriate. Anyway, I can't speak for anyone else, but I blocked people who were consistently adding patent nonsense. One of the IPs also adds his share of relevant info, as Axel Boldt (& LDC) pointed out, so I took him off the list. Originally I thought the ban was just for a short time, like 30 minutes or something, but it turns out the blocks aren't lifted automatically, and I just found out how to lift them manually. So that's that. There's been discussion of the ways that IP blocking should and should not be used on wikipedia-l, if you're interested. That's also archived at nupedia, if you'd care to take a look at what's been said already. Koyaanis Qatsi

See examples of discussion in VANDALISM IN PROGRESS and Talk:VANDALISM IN PROGRESS; after I've overhauled the software a bit, there will be a comment field in the IP-blocking tool for a quick explanatory note there as well. Note also that anyone with the ability to block IPs also has the ability to unblock IPs -- and everyone can see who did which. (Larry, by the way, is no longer involved in Wikipedia.) Brion VIBBER, Tuesday, April 2, 2002


Thanks, that is very helpful, especially for newcomers learning the ropes. Without Larry it will be interesting to see how "the ability to block IPs" and "the ability to unblock IPs" will be managed. Presumably some political process for deciding this must evolve... "electing sherrifs" or whatever... although probably not soon, as we are still figuring out editorial stances on some very fundamental stuff.

I notice Wikipedia:Blocked IPs doesn't log all changes in the history, only the manual edits. Is that a bug or a feature? (I think it's a bug.) Koyaanis Qatsi

All the automatic logs are like this (see also log:Uploads and log:Page Deletions), but the pages in the log: namespace aren't manually editable. Keeping histories of automatic changes there is of dubious value -- that's exactly what the logs themselves contain -- but the blocked IP log seems to be a different situation, and perhaps should be handled differently. Magnus, you wrote it, what do you think? Brion VIBBER

I just blocked after this person deleted content from at least three Islam related articles (Qur'an, Dialect, & Muslim language). It would be nice if I could have stated this as part of the blocking process and for this article to show up in Recent Changes with my explanation automatically in an edit comment. This is an issue of policy that I will take up with the wikipedia mailing list. BTW it also would be nice to be able to more easily track what these vandals have done so that the other damage this person has probably done can be fixed -- this is another issue that will have to be taken to the list. --maveric149, Saturday, April 20, 2002

Try (except the minor edits won't be shown). AxelBoldt
Cool! Now it would be nice to have that link generated automatically whenever an IP is added to the list. --maveric149
For the record, Dialect wasn't exactly Islam-related (though's edits to Muslim language spoke vaguely of Arabic dialects; it's likely that this is the same person with either a dynamic IP or using two computers on the same network)... In Dialect, he/she removed two things: a contextless quote in Italian (which I found reasonable to remove, though it should have been noted in the talk page or at least an edit summary), and a cross-reference to idiolect (for which there is no article yet). I restored the xref to idiolect, since that's something that should be noted. However, I agree that their changes to Qur'an and Muslim language were unreasonable -- large amounts of information deleted.
(Oh, and it's not important that minor edits won't be shown, since anonymous users can't make minor edits!) Brion VIBBER

I placed back on the blocked list due to the fact that within 10 minutes of me removeing this IP from the list this person started doing the same thing again -- creating numerous blank pages are messing with the formatting of articles. Last night I warned this person again and this morning I see that my warning was unheaded, so I blocked the IP. --maveric149

I am concerned that we are blocking IPs for valid reasons and then not going back after an appropriate period of time to see if particular IP blocks can be lifted. Some of the infractions listed don't seem to warrent more than a week long IP block (others seem to have only warrented a couple of days and yet others arguably seem to only warrent warnings of an IP block). For example, was blocked for placing an ad on a wikipedia page and for inputing an obsenity within an article. I personally would have warned the person a couple of times especially since this a person using this same IP made a great contribution to the Insurance article (which makes me suspect that the IP had changed hands, is the IP of a public computer, or a shared IP on a network -- possibly blocking a valued contributor). Another example that worries me is the case of whose first and only "contribution" was to create Maurice Wilkins which only had obcenities for content. Who knows, this person may have just been experimenting with wiki wiki not knowing what this project was about. Unfortunetely we probably will never know because this person's IP was blocked the next day. Does limited damage like this warrent an IP block? How about first trying to give a friendly warning, then a stern warning, and then a final warning before blocking an IP? It would be nice if the wikiware gods provided us with a warning feature to automate the process. Any thoughts? --maveric149

Because it is so easy to become a member whit a username and no ip is shown, how to you deal whit that? giskart 09:44 Oct 20, 2002 (UTC)

I think Brion is working on a way to allow Admins to block users by IP but without exposing the IP at least to non-Admins. But this really hasn't been a problem yet. --mav
I can't honestly say I've been working on it, but it is on my to-do list. As mav says, it's not really something that's come up; I don't think we've ever had a persistent vandal who bothered to log in. Trolls and jerks who refuse to work NPOV, occasionally, but not outright vandals. --Brion 20:08 Oct 20, 2002 (UTC)

I notice the first few entries in the logfile are dated December 31, 1969. Tualha 14:10, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)