You are an IP too[編輯]
You are an IP too. IP address is hidden. When you registered for Wikipedia your IP address became hidden behind a user name. Unregistered users are often called anonymous editors. In fact, because your IP address is hidden, it is you that are more anonymous. (Your IP address is still recorded by the software. It is simply not visible to most users.)if you don't think so. The only difference between you and an IP contributor is that your
Remember this when dealing with unregistered users. They are not a lower category of users. They are not a special subset that we tolerate. They are not locust swarms intent on destroying your article. They are individuals, the same as you – only they have just not registered for an account. Just as you deserve to be treated with civility and good faith, the edits of unregistered users deserve civility and good faith from you. As your contributions to talk pages deserve to be heard and counted when forming consensus, so too do the contributions of unregistered users.
Our readers are IPs too[編輯]
Our readers are IPs too. Virtually none of our readers are registered users. When an unregistered user makes an edit to an article or posts a comment on a talk page, these are the views of one of our readers. That doesn't necessarily mean that their view should be given greater weight. It means that we should not discriminate against their view just because they don't have an account.
Many users misconceive that policy and guidelines only apply to registered users. Not so. Policy and guidelines affect all users, registered and unregistered, equally.
- Comments by unregistered users on talk pages don't count: Yes they do. The purpose of talk page discussion is to build consensus. Contributions from unregistered users are just as important in determining consensus as contributions from registered users. Unregistered users edit here too. Almost all of our readers are unregistered users. Comment on the contribution, not the contributor. Never disregard a contribution just because it was made by someone who has not registered for an account.
- Unregistered users are more likely to vandalise articles: This is true; by contrast, the greater proportion of their contributions are non-vandalism edits. In a February 2007 study of 248 edits, 80.2% of vandalism was done by unregistered editors. But 81.9% of edits by unregistered users were not vandalism. Non-vandalism edits by unregistered users accounted for 29.4% of all article edits. Of the article edits, only 6.5% were vandalism by unregistered users; in contrast, unregistered users reverted over a quarter (28.5%) of all vandalism. 91.9% of the edits to Wikipedia articles were constructive and unregistered users accounted for nearly a third of those. Another study carried out by IBM found "no clear connection between anonymity and vandalism"; in addition, the research group found anonymous users provide significant and substantial positive contributions.
- Unregistered users are more likely to be sock puppets: This doesn't even make sense. Unregistered users cannot be sock puppets. You would need to register for an account in order to have a sock puppet account. Disreputable registered users can sign out of their accounts and contribute under their IP address for disruptive or deceptive purposes (e.g. ballot stuffing). In that event, it is not an unregistered user behaving disreputably, it is a registered user. Unless you see signs of sock puppetry, assume good faith. Otherwise request a CheckUser to confirm if they are actually sock puppets.
- Unregistered users don't know/understand policy: Maybe. Some of them. Often, neither do registered users. An unregistered user may be a one-off contributor or a first-time editor (it's just more difficult to tell). Bear that in mind and remember: don't be a dick and don't bite the newcomer.
- Policy doesn't apply to unregistered users (e.g. assume good faith): Policy applies to you. You need to assume good faith. You need to behave in a civil fashion. You need to engage in discussion. It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with an unregistered user or not. It is you that needs to follow policy.
- They should register for an account (e.g. if they want to participate): No. You need to accept their contributions, heed their suggestions and participate in consensus building with them. There is no requirement for anyone to register for an account before they can participate in the building of this encyclopedia. There is, however, a requirement on you that you behave.
What an unregistered user can't do[編輯]
As a general rule, unregistered users can do everything that registered users can. Unregistered users may edit articles, participate in talk page discussions, contribute to policy proposals and do (almost) everything else that a registered user can do. There are, however, some specific restrictions on what unregistered users can do without the assistance of registered users.
- Create articles: Unregistered users may not create articles. This restriction was placed on unregistered users in response to the Seigenthaler incident. They may, however, submit an article at Articles for creation, so it can be created by any registered user. Similarly, they are able to fully participate in deletion discussions, and have been since 2005.
- Edit semi-protected pages: Some articles (particularly biographies of living persons or seasonal articles, such as Christmas) attract vandalism or persistent breaches of policy from infrequent editors, be they registered and unregistered. To deal with this, articles can be placed under semi-protection. Semi-protection is not a means to prevent vandalism from unregistered users but from users registered for less than four days and with less than 10 edits. Since there is no way to determine the length of time during which an unregistered user has been contributing (because many different people may be sharing the same IP address), this consequently affects unregistered users. This doesn't mean that unregistered users are equated with novice users or that they are considered less trustworthy.
- Edit from a blocked IP address or range: Registered users that persist in vandalism or disruptive editing can be blocked from editing by an administrator. Unregistered users that persist in vandalism or disruption can similarly be prevented from editing by the similar measure of blocking contributions from their IP address or range. If you see a block notice on an unregistered user's user page, however, remember that the person contributing today from that IP address may not be the same person that received the block. Similarly, innocent users (registered and unregistered) may be blocked from contributing because of a block placed on an IP address or range.
- Upload images/rename pages: Like semi-protection, newly-registered users, and consequently unregistered users too, may not upload new files or rename articles directly. Unregistered users and users not yet confirmed may submit file upload requests here or request moves here.
- Become an admin (or similar): Wikipedia withholds certain "buttons" from most users. These "buttons" are, for example, the ability to delete an article or block a user. In nearly all cases, it is the Wikipedia community that decides who may have access to these "buttons". The community decides whether a user can have these privileges based on evidence that they are trustworthy and exercise good judgement. Since many people may contribute from the same IP address, if these rights were given to an unregistered user there would be no way to guarantee that only that user would have access to the "buttons". For the same reason, unregistered users cannot be elected to a committee, such as the arbitration committee.
- Vote: On the few occasions when decisions on Wikipedia are decided by democracy (e.g. request for adminship, elections to the arbitration committee) unregistered users may not vote; they may, however, participate in the discussions. Rather than being evidence of the untrustworthiness of unregistered users, this is in fact because of the untrustworthiness of registered users. If unregistered users were allowed to vote, disreputable registered users could log out of their accounts to vote twice.
As well as these restrictions, there are some specific advantages to becoming a registered user. There are also some other, lesser used, limitations placed on newly-registered users that consequently affect unregistered users (e.g. being able to mark new pages as being patrolled).
- Perennial proposals: Prohibit anonymous users from editing
- Wikipedia:Not every IP is a vandal
- Wikipedia:Wikipedia is anonymous
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies
- See: Opabinia regalis' studies, Feb 2007
- Viégas, F. B.; Wattenberg, M.; Dave, K (April 2004). "history flow: results" [executive summary], and "Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with history flow Visualizations" (PDF). IBM Collaborative User Experience Research group.