Requests for comment/Global block for Orange ranges (2015)

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The following request for comments is closed. Global block has been set up.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have to commence an unpleasant, yet a neccesary, discussion on blocking some /16 IPv4 ranges, belonging to Polish ISP, Orange. Through these ranges, an LTA vandal, wiki-widely known as 'Wikinger', is causing damage of all sorts, crosswiki. Because of his actions Neostrada (one of Orange services) ranges are blocked locally on enwiki and nlwiki for one year, on plwiki for one week to one month (but are extended soon after they expire, due to the user’s recurrent activity). We have e-mailed the said ISP multiple times, with them answering that they would do something about this problematic user. But as we've had ocassion to observe, no steps were taken, or if some indeed were, they had no visible impact on the level of Wikinger’s activity. Therefore I propose a year-long, anon-only, account creation disabled, global blocks on these ranges:


With eight /16 ranges, 65 536 IP addresses each, we have a total of 8*65536 = 524288 IP addresses to gblock. Each of these ranges were used by Wikinger to edit Wikipedia.

That is one enormous number. However, actions of this user made this proposal reasonable. Wikimedians who deal with this vandal know how unpleasant it might be to encounter him. With him changing IP addresses almost at will and switching wikis he vandalises, admin and steward work is very difficult. His trolling, insults towards other users, stalking and other actions on the verge of breaking the law (or even crossing that line) are not making work on our Projects as enjoyable an experience for our users as we wish it to be.

But you can say: what about other users using this ISP’s services? Well, I have to admit that there is going to be some collateral damage and innocent people might not be allowed to freely edit Wikimedia project contents. While this is true, we cannot overlook the benefits of the gblock. First amd foremost, this block would be a clear signal for the ISP that we cannot tolerate this user’s actions anymore. That, combined with probable Polish Internet-related media headlines saying that 'Wikipedia blocked Orange for the second time in three years' (let me remind you that in 2012 we've already blocked this ISP globally and in 2013 there was another gblock on another Polish ISP ranges because of the actions of this user) or something along the lines, could possibly force them to undertake real steps to solve our problem. One more thing worth recalling is that in the case of the 2012 block we were not flooded with account creation requests to the point that this process became impossible. Secondly, this global block would rather be a mere statement from us than another hurdle users must overcome. As I've pointed out at the beginning, ranges of this ISP are blocked on Polish Wikipedia, the most frequented project for these IP ranges, so in fact right now users cannot make spontaneus changes on the biggest and most popular Polish language Wikimedia Project. And the biggest overall wiki - English Wikipedia - also has the Neostrada ranges blocked. I've looked through recent edits x-wiki from these ranges using the GUC tool with prefix pattern search and have not seen that many contributions on other projects.

I don't know if further pointing the actions of this vandal is productive. Everybody who helps with vandalism-fighting crosswiki for some time had to encounter Wikinger. I don't know what else I should tell you about him; maybe I can just assume that everybody is familiar with this LTA. If there are some questions I am willing to answer them.

Of course if anybody's damaged by that gblock I am willing to put out my best effort to help them, by creating them user accounts and responding to their e-mails. I am willing to continue e-mailing the ISP if needed, I am willing to create appropriate info pages about this block in Polish and in English. I am willing to deal with every aspect of this global block.

As for me, I am one of the most active 'Wikinger-hunters' and I have to admit that I am tired of looking out for him. I am tired of reverting his vandalisms, I am tired of checking if IP he edited by is proxy or not, I am tired of requesting checkuser help, I am tired of requesting stewards help, I am tired of writing the ISP to help us. I am tired of seeing 10+ thanks notifications whenever I log into a project. We fight him all the time but the situation isn't getting any better. We need to take steps to stop his behaviour and I consider global block of these ranges as one. If there's going to remain a status quo and there is no gblock, I have to say that any longer fight with him is pointless and I'm out of this ride. I can still help with fighting him, only if ISPs really do something so he does not use highly-dynamic Neostrada Internet.

Please, support my proposition.

Sincerely, tufor (talk) 09:29, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Wikinger is a long term vandal who has been around for lots of years. In my opinion, this type of measures should be taken when we are sure that it will stop him completely. Unfortunately, he abuses lots of open proxies as well so doing this is unlikely to prevent him completely. Also, I think we should close (and delete) this discussion per en:WP:DENY. --Glaisher (talk) 16:26, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • As a comment to the above, the 2012 global block of Orange mobile and landline /16 ranges did serve as a motivating factor for the ISP. A week after the block was placed, it was lifted following a declaration of Orange, and afterwards WIkinger's activity from this network was not observable for a full year. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 17:11, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Together with the mentioned "marketing" campaign, this block should fulfill its purpose, as it was the case with the previous one (2012). Therefore I support this option. Masur (talk) 08:24, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Do we really need a RFC for blocking some ranges? I think we've blocked so many IPs and I bet way more ranges than those are currently blocked. It might be true that those have less collateral damage, but I think it could help. At least it would make Wikinger's life for some time little harder. Especially when we tell people to complain to their ISP when they want to edit and the ISP then needs to contact us/stewards. For me, no need for an RFC, just find a steward to set the blocks. -Barras talk 08:42, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think the RFC we need is Requests for comment/Global ban for Wikinger (or have the office do it). That said, as steward, we are already doing our best to try to stop this user. If blocking those ranges are going to make their destructive activities here harder, I support them; although given the large range, clear informative messages and information should be given for those good faith users that may face this blocks. Best regards. —MarcoAurelio 09:02, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The last time it was linked to pl:Wikipedia:Blokada edycji dla sieci Orange i Play in the block summary. Maybe we can do something similar here as well. Might be good to have some polish people taking care of the requests then as maybe not all possibly affected people are able to communicate in English. -Barras talk 12:29, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Thanks, I remember past blocks. Where that page is best mantained (plwiki or meta) I'm fine. I also agree with having Polish speakers helping with explaining the blocks. I think that having info-pl doing this would be better? Best, —MarcoAurelio 12:35, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Thank you. I can prepare the informational notices about block and how to edit Wikimedia projects despite this block. I think they'll be ready by Wednesday. And of course I can take care of requests. If you have any other ideas/doubts, please share them :-) tufor (talk) 20:47, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • To sum it up, please gblock listed above ranges (8 /16 ranges - over half a million IPs) for one year with block summary: "Globalna blokada edycji dla sieci Orange (2015)/Global block of Orange ranges (2015)". tufor (talk) 17:27, 15 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment All ranges checked on loginwiki concerning the ratio of affected and unaffected accounts. All are seriously hit by these vandal. As there is no other solution like blocking a range with a specific user agent or disallowance of account creation, this is the only solution that affects as few good users as possible. It is well prepared anyways. Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 19:03, 15 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]