|This page is an essay, containing 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 raging debate flares. Some wikis make logging in mandatory, citing it only takes about 5 seconds to register an account. Wikimedia wikis, such as the one you're looking at right now, allow anonymous editors. However it's always been contested if we should be doing this.
The foremost argument is that ~80% of vandalism is caused by anons. This argument doesn't hold up in my eyes. 99.9992% of vandalism is done by non-admins. So let's block everyone who's not an admin. Information may come in slower, but at least we won't have pictures of penises on articles about cooking.
A lot of anons are WikiGnomes, fixing spelling mistakes whenever they see them. We have 300,000 registered users... but probably around 1 to 10 million people who have ever edited the encyclopedia.
I think the more dedicated vandals and trolls would bother to register an account. It'd also be smarter of them to, so we can't see their IP.
I also believe we wouldn't have a lot of our best editors, such as myself, if IP's weren't allowed, ironic as it may seem. I started out correcting a typo under my IP address. I read Wikipedia a lot, but never saw a reason to register an account. Then one day I saw an article I had worked on on VfD (this was when it was still VfD, and not AfD). I knew anons couldn't vote, so I registered Redwolf24, and now here I am today. My vote was discounted as a new editor and a possible meatpuppet, but that's alright. I wouldn't be here if we banned anons.
So before you try to get them banned, just think of all the legitimate anon editors. They may be hard to find, but they're around. Maybe not so much in the history of George W. Bush, but you'll find them at TV and music related articles often. They may not always know policy, but on your first day, did you?
Essay by Redwolf24.
- It may be that one anonymous IP making one minor contribution such as fixing a typo is analogous to contributing to the content of the ocean by spitting in it, but when that one contributor is combined with thousands others doing the same thing... when you look it at as a whole picture, then it makes a big difference in the grand scheme of things. So each little contribution from anonymous IP's are useful and worth it and much appreciated by the Wikipedia community.
- Supplement by OlEnglish (talk) 23:07, 27 January 2009 (UTC)