Talk:No open proxies

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Latest comment: 1 month ago by Xaosflux in topic Undefined term

The intent of this article should be made unambiguous[edit]


In my opinion, the wording on these sentences is problematic:

  • if you need to use Tor/proxies for valid reasons and can't [then] you can contact the stewards
  • why you need to use Tor

The word "need" implies that the editor's use of Tor is a consequence of an external cause. The editor has no choice. (no choice ⇒ can contact)

The wording does not say this, but the reader might misconstrue (by fallacy of the inverse) that: if the editor's use of Tor is a consequence of an internal cause (the editor's use of Tor is a choice), then the editor cannot contact the stewards. (choice ⇒ cannot contact)

If this wording is then please
  • rephrase like: "if you (registered contributor) are blocked when using Tor/proxies [then] you can contact the stewards"
  • remove why you need to use Tor
intentional This article should be (much) more explicit and unambiguous by stating that:
Wikimedia intentionally blocks legitimate registered contributors choosing to use Tor from contributing. (Please, do not appeal for an exception.)


With this in mind, the policy's title no open proxies might also be ambiguous:

literal interpretation "no (unregistered or registered) contribution through open proxies"
gracious interpretation "no unregistered contribution through open proxies [but registered contribution through open proxies are obviously welcomed]"

Logically, there is no misinterpretation possible. No means no. Legitimate. Vandals. Registered. Unregistered. Everyone out.

Morally however, registered contributors (identified by their account) are filtered out by another means of identification (their IP address). De facto, this policy is unfair to registered contributors. Some might think: What's the use of registration if you are banned based on your IP address? That's the reason why some of the registered contributors might interpret this policy's title graciously.

Solution: a subtitle should be present to state which interpretation is the correct one, like "no open proxies (unregistered or registered)"


Because this policy is ambiguous:

  • A legitimate registered contributor using Tor by choice might not appeal for an exception even if allowed.
  • Depending on a steward's understanding of this policy, an exception might or might not be given.

-- Luximeki (talk) 08:38, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply

I'm not a fallacy expert and don't feel particularly logical today, but I see some fallacy in your suggestion, particular when it comes to your adding of "intentionally blocks legitimate registered contributors". In my opinion the wording says what it means. If an editor has an equal choice of a blocked Tor node and an unblocked address, they should choose the unblocked item as they have no reason not to. They are probably collaterally restricted and not intentionally restricted. I'd point out that at English Wikipedia, which is one of the largest users of this type of policy, we changed the title in 2007 to become en:Wikipedia:Open proxies, reflecting a wider consensus including changes to this policy. Meta is often a lot slower to react to updates. The title should be changed here. -- zzuuzz (talk) 10:05, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply
I agree about the title change. This page also has no lead or "in a nutshell" banner, so many users just look at the title and think that VPNs are forbidden. What's the procedure here to suggest a renaming of the page? kyykaarme (talk) 17:54, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply

Please, let me rephrase my whole point.
1. If a sign says: "if you are a woman, then you can enter" (woman ⇒ can enter), then some might, by a fallacy of the inverse, think that "if you are a man, then you cannot enter" (NOT woman ⇒ can NOT enter). But in truth, the sign does not say anything about men. If you are a man, then maybe you cannot enter. Or maybe you can.
So, when the article says (something like) "if you are forced to use an open proxy then you can contact" (forced ⇒ can contact), it does not explicitely (or not explicitely enough) say "if you are not forced then you cannot contact" (NOT forced ⇒ can NOT contact).
This insufficiency is reinforced by two points:
2. One might think that, ideally, legitimate contributors should not be blocked (because: legitimate).
3. One might think that, ideally, registered contributors should not be blocked by their IP address (because: identified by their account).
These three points put together might bring one into the conclusion that a legitimate registered contributor choosing to use Tor can appeal for an account exception.
If it is wrong (and from your opinion it is), then it should be explicitely written in this policy's article (a reference as proof would be a bonus, to make sure the editor of this article does not try to pass off their own opinion or interpretation as a policy).
All sentences I proposed were examples. I agree that the sentence Wikimedia intentionally blocks legitimate registered contributors choosing to use Tor from contributing is ambiguous. It is true that legitimate registered contributors choosing to use Tor are not purposefully blocked (you are right to say that they are collaterally blocked, they are not the target). However, they are still blocked by [this] policy (= blocked by choice/design), meaning: it's not accidental but intentional/deliberate. Another wording (maybe equally wrong) would be: By design, Wikimedia blocks legitimate registered contributors' use of Tor by choice from contributing (Please, do not appeal for an exception.)
Luximeki (talk) 13:07, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply

Undefined term[edit]

Despite the fact that it's the sole subject of the page, the term "open proxy" is not defined on the page, nor is there a link to a definition or explanation elsewhere. I'd fix it myself, but I don't actually know what it is, nor where to find the best explanation. Mdotley (talk) 05:39, 9 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

I added a bit. — xaosflux Talk 10:48, 14 April 2024 (UTC)Reply