Wikipedia:The benefits of requiring account creation on Wikipedia
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
A long-running debate amongst Wikipedians is whether or not to require users to register an account in order to be able to edit or not. Though consensus is currently such that creating an account is not a prerequisite for editing, many Wikipedians feel that there are reasons why it should be a prerequisite. This essay is designed to outline those reasons.
- It would help to cut down on vandalism in general. It was found that 97% of all vandalism comes from anonymous IPs, presumably as it is much easier to edit a page without creating an account first. While it is true that many anon vandals would resort to creating accounts with which to vandalize, it is believed that, on the whole, vandalism would decrease if account creation was required.
- It would help cut down on the addition of Originally Researched and unsourced material as a large majority of these are from anonymous IPs. While presumably a lot of these type of additions are done with non malicious intent due to lack of knowledge of verifiability, not truth and Reliable Source guidelines editors that create an account would presumably more committed to learning the rules.
- It would require people to be accountable for their edit history. Many people connect to the internet over a range of IP addresses, loading a new IP address after a certain period of time (some load a new IP after each page load). As Wikipedia keeps track of anon contributors by their IP addresses, many people's edits (whether those of vandals or legitimate editors) are not easily tracked.
- Often editors with a history of tendentious editing, or harassment avoid detection in this way.
- It would keep IP addresses hidden from potential hackers. As the IPs of anon contributors are displayed next to their edits, it would be possible for someone with malicious intent to find personal information about a person or their computer by their IP address.
- It would give a chance for people to connect. If someone happens to see who created/edited/added to the Wikipedia page of their favorite topic they might be able to speak to that person on said subject.