Talk:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/IP Editing Restriction Study

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Spanish Wikipedia RequestEdit

After a 2 week period for comments on the Spanish Wikipedia (permalink), most involved users have explicitly supported temporarily turning off IP editing. A formal vote will be taken up, if the team approves this request. CC @NKohli. Best regards, Sgd. —Hasley 00:21, 15 September 2021 (UTC)

@Hasley thank you! This is great. I will forward this request to the team and we will get back to you soon. – NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:12, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
Hello Hasley; thank you for telling us about the Spanish Wikipedia community's desire to disallow IP editing. After careful thought, and in light of the project's current status as the second-largest wiki and how global the Spanish language is, we recommend that the community postpone the experiment.
Instead, we'll request that the Spanish community watches the trial's progress on the smaller Farsi and Portuguese Wikipedias alongside us for the time being. Then, it can review the need for the trial after some months. But, if the community still chooses to go ahead, please let us know.
Best regards, STei (WMF) (talk) 10:00, 29 October 2021 (UTC), on behalf of Anti-Harassment Tools team.
@Hasley Hello. We have concluded the trials on Portuguese and Farsi. We are now looking forward to expanding the trial to more communities in the next few months. Would you be able to initiate the formal vote or discussion with the Spanish community to see if there is still an interest in temporarily turning off IP editing? We would recommend doing this for at least 6 months and across the entire site.
Thank you so much for your help and initiative. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 13:45, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for the response, NKohli, and my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I would like to note that a discussion about this is going to be held pretty soon, then we can see what the results are and proceed accordingly. All the best, Sgd. —Hasley 22:54, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
@Hasley We have now published the report for the Farsi Wikipedia's restriction if this assists with your discussion on Spanish. If there's anything else we can help with, please let us know. Thank you. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:12, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Farsi Wikipedia RequestEdit

Hello NKohli (WMF),

Today Farsi Wikipedia banned IP editing using edit filter[1]. I think this may be interesting to you. Your team may be able to restrict IP editing through other methods.

The community has already reached a consensus for implementing this change for a two-month period: fa:ویکی‌پدیا:نظرخواهی/تغییر روش ویرایش کاربران گمنام#پیشنهاد چهارم: ممنوعیت موقت ویرایش کاربران گمنام. Thanks 4nn1l2 (talk) 06:36, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

  Support Yamaha5 (talk) 15:44, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
FYI I turned off the filter; it was throttled anyway. It is impractical to implement this as an edit filter, as the filter will inevitably be throttled in a matter of minutes/hours. I will see through the config changes needed for this to temporarily disable IP editing on fawiki. Phab to follow. Huji (talk) 22:55, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
See phab:T291018 Huji (talk) 23:01, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
Hi @Huji @4nn1l2. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I appreciate the RfC Farsi Wikipedia has gone through. It is clearly an issue a lot of people on the project deeply care about. Thank you for the config patch, @Huji. We were not planning on using an edit filter to disable IP edits so I am happy to see this patch.
I am slightly concerned that 2 months is a very short period for the experiment. Some data points like the retention rate will not show up in that time. On our end, we will be able to collect metrics like we did for Portuguese Wikipedia. If there are additional metrics that the community would like us to capture, we would be happy to accommodate that. I would like us to work closely with farsi wikipedia on this. NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:11, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
NKohli, tell me how much time your team needs, and I will try to build a consensus for that. 4nn1l2 (talk) 17:37, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
@4nn1l2 thanks -- I think a minimum of 6 months will be needed to get some conclusive data about metric trends. The longer term it is, the better so we can rule out impacts from things like editing campaigns, school/university changes etc. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:26, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
@NKohli (WMF) and STei (WMF): Here you go, a consensus to conduct the experiment for a six-month period: fa:Special:Permalink/33252131#افزایش مدت آزمایش محدودیت ویرایش آی‌پی به شش ماه. ‎4nn1l2 (talk) 07:51, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for spending time to do this @4nn1l2. The team will get back to you and your community next week. Have a lovely weekend when you get to it. STei (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
Thanks so much @4nn1l2! We are beginning our work to collect metrics and will share them with the community as we gather confidence in the data. This work will be tracked in this ticket. Please reach out to us if you have any feedback or questions. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:46, 7 October 2021 (UTC)
Hi @4nn1l2@Huji can you confirm if the Farsi community has turned on IP editing back again? I'm also eager to hear about the community's reaction. We are still analyzing the metrics. As retention metrics take longer to be available, we expect to have a full report published by mid-end June. Thanks - NKohli (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
Yes, I can confirm that. IPs can edit at fawiki now. The reaction of the community is mixed, but still tilted towards those who prefer banning IP editing, including me myself. I can do more liaison work if needed in the future including holding an RFC to ban IP editing on fawiki permanently. We will definitely hold that RFC but only after reading your team's report. You can read more about the community's reaction at fa:ویکی‌پدیا:قهوه‌خانه/گوناگون/بایگانی_۱۲۲#پایان_محدودیت_ویرایش_آی‌پی (archived discussion). 4nn1l2 (talk) 15:35, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Some interest to try on the Finnish WikipediaEdit

Hello, I started a preliminary discussion on the Finnish Wikipedia (on 24 October) about possibility of interest trying this experiment. It seems that the users who have participated are mostly positive to try the login required experiment. However, it's just a initial discussion, not yet voting. The discussion can be found from w:fi:Wikipedia:Kahvihuone_(sekalaista)#IP-muokkaamisen_estäminen. Stryn (talk) 07:53, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

Hello Stryn, thank you for letting us know. We will let you know our thoughts soon. STei (WMF) (talk) 10:06, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
@Stryn Hello. We have concluded the trials on Portuguese and Farsi. We are now looking forward to expanding the trial to more communities in the next few months. Would you be able to initiate the formal vote or discussion with the Spanish community to see if there is still an interest in temporarily turning off IP editing? We would recommend doing this for at least 6 months and across the entire site. Thank you so much for your help and initiative. --
NKohli (WMF) (talk) 12:52, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the message. I will pass this on the fiwiki community for sure and start a formal discussion there. But the IP editing is still not allowed on the Portuguese Wikipedia, right? If I understand correctly ptwiki and fawiki allow(ed) IP editors to edit at least article talk pages. Stryn (talk) 13:40, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
@Stryn Correct, ptwiki still blocks IP editing and fawiki is waiting on the report before they decide the next steps. You're also correct that ptwiki did not enforce the ban on Discussion and Help pages per their RfC. It is the community's choice to what extent they would like to enforce the ban. We will help with the implementation and tracking metrics over the course of the experiment. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 13:56, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
@Stryn We have now published the report for the Farsi Wikipedia's restriction if this assists with your discussion on Finnish. If there's anything else we can help with, please let us know. Thank you. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:13, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Technical implementation of experimentEdit

If this experiment will be done in any other community, it should be done through proper MediaWiki means, and not through JavaScript hacks and abuse filters like was done in ptWP. It is, frankly, disappointing that WMF had no input on the technical implementation of ptWP ‘experiment’, which replaces edit links only for users with JavaScript (even now), prunes edits from unassuming users through unfriendly abuse filters, shows ‘Edit’ link where no editing is allowed and ‘edit’ leads to ‘log in’, and probably has some other hacks that I did not notice now. If IP edits would be disallowed in some other wiki now, they should be disallowed properly. stjn[ru] 18:13, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

I would like to make a comment, related to stjn's thoughts. If the WMF will ultimately test this, please make sure to run a proper experiment. This really, really cannot be overstated. Surely anyone who has had lectures on Experimental Design (even at an undergraduate level) will agree that the actions from pt.wiki and the subsequent WMF report cannot be called an experiment. If the current plan is to just shut down editing for 8 months and use Microsoft Excel to compare a number of YOY trends, this whole endeavour will be fruitless. If you'll do it, do it properly and consider control groups through geoblocking, challenge checkpoints, etc. Thanks. Ñ (talk) 10:47, 13 September 2021 (UTC)
Indeed. Folks may also be interested in more extended discussions around methodology at Talk:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/Impact report for Login Required Experiment on Portuguese Wikipedia - Fuzheado (talk) 17:11, 13 September 2021 (UTC)
@Stjn: About the MediaWiki means, this may answer you question. ━ ALBERTOLEONCIO Who, me? 03:53, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

  Comment stjn, Ñ and Albertoleoncio, about the technical implementation of the experiment, Product is not planning on using an edit filter to disable IP edits. Please see the discussion in the section on Farsi Wikipedia above. Thanks for your feedback. – STei (WMF) (talk) 14:23, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

  • STei (WMF) I realise that it might not always be practical for different departments/employees of the WMF to collaborate directly, but rather than you guys trying to reinvent the wheel, I thoroughly recommend that you and NKohli (WMF) liaise with DannyH (WMF) to learn exactly about the excellent help his team provided for the ACTRIAL experiment. Their hyotheseses, data production and analysis was comprehensive and objective. An eventual ban on IP editing will be just as important as ACTRIAL was, and a trial will need some careful planning. Kudpung (talk) 06:05, 21 September 2021 (UTC)
    @Kudpung Thanks for calling that out. I was on the team which conducted the ACTRIAL experiment and am familiar with the research that was conducted at the time. We will look into the work that was done and seek out any learnings we may want to replicate here. Thanks. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:02, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

Research goalsEdit

A not-so-short word also on research goals NKohli (WMF) & team :) I appreciate that last year you've been in a delicate position taking the project more or less on the fly, and it's great that you want to continue research on the matter. However, the goals of the project (which I understand as "trying to gain more insight on the effects IP editing ban has") are only answering part of the problem.

How hard would it be to look at it from the other side of "T0": what caused the community to want this ban? How did the number of reverts evolve over the years, compared with anonymous edits/total edits? Did the numbers/trends change when certain features (e.g. AbuseFilters) were introduced? I believe we also need to understand the internal landscape and dynamics leading to these radical decisions so informed decisions can be taken on what alternatives can be provided.--Strainu (talk) 15:04, 11 October 2021 (UTC)

@Strainu you bring up an excellent point. It would indeed be helpful to know what led the community to this change. If I recall correctly, I heard that ptwiki lost a few crucial bots which exacerbated their vandalism problem. Having more facts about this would be helpful for us to understand what we can do to help in those areas.
There are also external factors at play. IPv6 has arrived. More people than ever before are using proxies and VPNs because of increasing vigilance around private information.
We have talked about gathering this research but due to time constraints we haven't been able to prioritize it. I will capture this request in phabricator (T293038) and hopefully we'll be able to get to it soon. NKohli (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 11 October 2021 (UTC)

As this appears to be a gathering place for individuals designing experiments to exclude IP editorsEdit

I choose this as a place to make the following statement.

IP editing has been a part of this place since near to the first Wikipedia edit, and it is one that has been championed historically by its founders, Mr Wales in particular.

It continues in use because of the intermittently inconsistent and occasionally capricious enforcement of policies and guidelines regarding editor and administrator behavior here (designed as it is to involve case-by-case interpretations of policies and guidelines by transient local majorities of editors). While the perception may be that those choosing to remain IP do so for reasons of laziness or intended malfeasance, it also involves a group of dedicated editors with significant subject matter expertise, individuals who value their personal privacy, v.i.

As one who was, as a logging editor, "outed"—had my real world identity forensically reconstructed, so that my identity and university could be disclosed in WP Talk—only to see no repercussions whatsoever for the individual doing the outing (given relationships within and attitudes of the transient local majority in that case), I am committed to not connect myself to any account broadly accessible to clever technologists with a full armamentarium of search and correlation tools, many with no apparent limitations to the time they might spend on a curiosity or a perceived slight.

So, I call on this group—alongside implementing whatever is required by the WMF, seek to remain true to WP founding principles, including that editors can edit fully anonymously. If you do otherwise, you will lose a significant cadre of academic and other experts with subject matter expertise that value their personal privacy, and thus their anonymity, above any organizational ease, improved social connection, or perceived accolades that registering might provide. Cheers. 2601:246:C700:558:4934:BD1D:2B41:D139 23:39, 23 January 2022 (UTC)

An FAQ section is now availableEdit

An FAQ section has been provided to help answer questions you had. Please check the project page. Any further comments/questions are welcome. –– STei (WMF) (talk) 16:15, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

In the FAQ section, there is a wikilink which does not direct to content. It is in Section 5.5 of the content page, in this Q:

Q: What percentage of users gave up editing instead of creating an account is essential to know. Why is that not captured in the report?

The link in the final sentence, "Please find more info about the unique device tables here", isn't working. It directs to the correct URL, which says: "You have requested an invalid special page. A list of valid special pages can be found at Special pages."
The wikilink is:
[[mw:Special:MyLangauge/Wikimedia Product/Data dictionary|unique device tables here]]
I think it might be due to misspelling MyLanguage as MyLangauge but I'm not certain. Can this be corrected so as to be viewable? Thank you for considering my request. --FeralOink (talk) 10:20, 6 June 2022 (UTC)
@FeralOink The link has been resolved. Thank you. –– STei (WMF) (talk) 18:14, 14 July 2022 (UTC)

Romanian WikipediaEdit

@NKohli (WMF): ro:Wikipedia:Cafenea#Posibilitatea de a edita ca IP pe ro.wp (2) (permalink): There is also some interest on Romanian Wikipedia, but the discussion is still open. --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 17:57, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

What should I further done? Until now, nothing happened... --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 16:09, 13 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, we will get back to you. –– STei (WMF) (talk) 12:55, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
@NGC 54 Hello. We have concluded the trials on Portuguese and Farsi. We are now looking forward to expanding the trial to more communities in the next few months. Would you be able to initiate the formal vote or discussion with the Romanian community to see if there is still an interest in temporarily turning off IP editing? We would recommend doing this for at least 6 months and across the entire site.
Thank you so much for your help and initiative. If we can provide any help during this discussion, please let us know. --
NKohli (WMF) (talk) 12:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
@NKohli (WMF): Do you want to say that in order to decide whether to ban IP editing on Romanian Wikipedia, the Romanian Wikipedia community has to keep open the discussion about banning for 6 months? And what does "across the entire site" means? --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 18:30, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
@NGC 54 No, sorry, I meant that the IP editing ban would be an experiment lasting 6 months after which we will publish a metrics report for the community to understand the impact of the change during those 6 months. By "across the entire site" I meant that the ban on IP editing could take place across all pages and namespaces but it is ultimately the community's decision to what extent they would want to impose the restriction. For example Portuguese Wikipedia allows IP editors to edit talk and help namespaces only.
Once the community has done a formal vote/RfC about the IP editing ban, our team can help with the technical work needed for implementation. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:56, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
@NKohli (WMF): Do these two discussions (1, 2) count as "formal" or should we open another discussion? --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 21:30, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
And after these 6 months, the banning would be reversed? --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 21:31, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
If you think these discussions represent an accurate representation of the entire community's decision, we can consider it as formal. As an example, Portuguese Wikipedia conducted a vote with input from a lot of editors - link. If you think it might be the case that between March 2022 and now some people might have changed their mind or there are more people who should be consulted, please open another discussion. We want to make sure nobody is surprised or unhappy when this change happens.
After 6 months the banning will be reversed for a short while until we prepare a data report and share it with the community. After viewing the data, the community can decide whether or not it wishes to continue with the IP editing ban. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 07:39, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
@NKohli (WMF): The Romanian Wikipedia community is much smaller than the Portuguese Wikipedia community. The opinions are almost the same in the first discussion (September 2021) and the second (March 2022). However, two users would like to wait until the report regarding Farsi Wikipedia is finished. I would like to read the report, too. :) --NGC 54 (talkcontribs) 10:01, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
@NGC 54 We have now published the report for the Farsi Wikipedia's restriction if this assists with your discussion on Romanian. If there's anything else we can help with, please let us know. Thank you. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:13, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
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