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What is to be done regarding anonymous proxies?

+ 2 like - 0 dislike
946 views

There have been a few posts by anonymous users on this question, I decided to check whom they are, since we don't want many opinions from some people.  

So I geolocated the IP, only to find out it's an anonymous proxy server and a reported spam source. I am slightly afraid that anonymous proxies could be used for serial voting, and other such uses, which moderators cannot prove.  

Should we disallow anonymous proxies?  

asked Apr 10, 2014 in Discussion by dimension10 (1,950 points) [ no revision ]

You don't want many opinions from some people? That sounds like censorship.

He means you don't want identical opinions from the same person disguised as many people, coming in from an anonymizing proxy. It makes sock-puppeting hard to detect. This is a problem for voting, but not for posting answers.

2 Answers

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

It is standard on Wikipedia and other sites of this nature to simply disallow proxy servers from posting, I think we should do this for the time being. (I don't think this anymore, see comments below, I think proxy posting is fine)

Still, proxy posting can be useful to assure anonymity, and this might be useful for reviews. People will get paranoid about being located through their IP. How many experts on supernova cores live in Basel, Switzerland, for example? So perhaps one can make it in the future that anonymous proxy stuff is placed posted hidden with a flag, waiting for a manual review. If the post ok, then an admin can unhide it. This shouldn't lead to spamming or trolling, since the spammers won't be able to see the spam.
 

answered Apr 10, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,535 points) [ revision history ]
edited Apr 11, 2014 by Ron Maimon

This is a pretty good idea, but I think the community should decide what's censored and what isn't, rather than a moderator.

Maybe the request for undelete votes thread can be used in this context ...
For example a copy of the hidden and flagged stuff could be put as an answer there for the community to vote if it should get reshown ?
 

I hate to say it, but physicsnewbie has a point--- it gives admins too much power to unhide anonymous contributions. For instance, an academic admin might hide a scathing review of a paper, then edit the paper to incorporate the review. It is important to allow anonymous contributions to show up without manual review--- I retract my suggestion.

Hm yes didn't think about that. Though the possibility of such a thing is always there, this encourages this. I think that anonymous proxies should be banned altogether, reviewers who want to be anonymous can just post with their IP, and mods shouldn't deanonymise them like I blatantly did day before yesterday : (     

The problem is that you can still see the IP, even if you don't deanonymize, you still know where the post is coming from. This is why proxies are useful. I think they should not be banned, as they can only manually post, and not vote. That means they pose no real danger.

+ 0 like - 2 dislike

No, nothing should be done about them. They are welcome.

All they can do is post, manually. They cannot vote, they cannot do automatic spamming. They should be treated as any other anonymous users, anything else is too easy to abuse.

answered Apr 11, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,535 points) [ no revision ]
edited Apr 11, 2014 by Ron Maimon

This is dangerous (serial voting etc.).  

Anons can't vote.

@Ron Maimon But they can register as new users.  

Then disallow only this.

@Ron Maimon You mean disallowing anonymous proxies from registering as new users, right? Good idea.  

Can we ban voting from anonymous proxies then?

@physicsnewbie What's your point? Did you even read the previous comments? 

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