I've been a Tor user for many years and I frequently make use of anonymising
proxies services. Recently (yesterday), I set up my first Tor relay. This
has once again gotten the use of Tor and other anonymising services with
Wikipedia on my mind again.
In a recent article on the Tor blog, Wikipedia is actually called out a
number of times for being unfriendly to Tor, and I think they make a good point.
"[H]ow can we quantify the loss to Wikipedia, and to society at large, from
turning away anonymous contributors? Wikipedians say 'we have to blacklist all
these IP addresses because of trolls' and 'Wikipedia is rotting because nobody
wants to edit it anymore' in the same breath, and we believe these points
There must be a way that we can allow users to work from Tor. My understanding
of why we block Tor categorically is that it is very hard to block individual
Tor users. Perhaps we could allow Tor users to only edit pages if they make
an account? That would allow us to at least block those accounts, which
increases the cost of being problematic on Wikipedia a bit.
Or to take from the blog post, perhaps Tor users could be issued a certificate
that they could use to prove their identity from one session to another. New
Tor users would need to prove they are the same person as someone we already
trust or their edits would be put in some sort of review queue.
Or combine the two and new accounts made from Tor connections would need to have
their edits reviewed, or perhaps just wouldn't get autopatrolled status as
quickly (if ever).
There has got to be a better solution to the problem than just blocking all Tor