[FoRK] [jwales@wikia.com: Re: Hello directly from Jimbo at Wikipedia]

Luis Villa luis.villa
Wed Oct 26 20:08:03 PDT 2005

On 9/29/05, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> It's been a long thread. If you're interested, look into
> archives.

I guess the question that comes to mind starts off 'if even the good
guys have to block Tor...'
  but I'm not sure how the question ends, and I definitely don't know
what the answer is. It isn't good, though...


> ----- Forwarded message from Jimmy Wales <jwales at wikia.com> -----
> From: Jimmy Wales <jwales at wikia.com>
> Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 07:29:24 -0400
> To: or-talk at freehaven.net
> Subject: Re: Hello directly from Jimbo at Wikipedia
> User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Macintosh/20050317)
> Reply-To: or-talk at freehaven.net
> Steven J. Murdoch wrote:
> > What needs to be done is to give Wikipedia a way to tell the
> > difference between legitimate Tor users and abusers. The basis for my
> > proposal is that abusers can currently get IP addresses quite easily,
> > through open proxies, zombie machines or simply rebooting their ADSL
> > modem, as well as through Tor.
> >
> > To mitigate abuse from Tor, the cost of committing abuse through Tor
> > needs to be just higher than the cost of an abuser getting another IP
> > address.  This is not very high.
> I do not use Tor, and so at risk of offending those who already think
> that I "hate Tor", I will say that it has been said to me by some people
> that we're lucky that Tor is horribly slow, or lots of people would use
> it, making the problem much worse. :-)
> > Whether this will work depends on the type of abuse that Wikipedia
> > receives, and Jimbo is much more qualified to comment on this then me.
> The typical problem case, and I asked around for horror stories to
> confirm my impression, is that some lunatic first starts writing at
> Wikipedia in an incoherent, biased, offensive, etc. way.  The community
> at first tries to work with them, because it does take a while to absorb
> our peaceful ways if you're used to Usenet or mailing list debates.  But
> eventually, the worst offenders end up getting blocked.
> Then they go ballistic.  Imagining themselves to be el1t3 h4xx0rs, they
> write (or find online somewhere) vandalbots and start using them to
> replace pages with "fuck you" or goatse images or... well, there seems
> to be no shortage of creativity in the world of the deranged and snubbed.
> We don't sweat this too much.  We just block them and rever the changes.
>  The problem is much worse for small wiki sites than it is for Wikipedia
> because we're fully staffed by hundreds of smart people 24 hours a day.
>  The people on the frontlines tell me this isn't such a huge problem,
> because we do things to limit the abuse.
> One of the things we currently do is block Tor.  I consider that a
> reasonable solution to the vandalism problem, but an unfortunate thing,
> since to my mind, Tor is something very good.
> It would be nice if we could look at the edits coming from Tor and say
> "Oh, these are fine, they are mostly responsible edits."  It'd even be
> ok if we could look at the edits coming from Tor and say "Ok, so there's
> a touch more vandalism from these than from other ip pools, but there's
> also some good stuff coming through from places where we normally don't
> see a lot of editing activity.  We'll put up with it."
> As it is now, we look at it and say "oh, jesus".
> --Jimbo
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> --
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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