• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


PO is now at the Physics Department of Bielefeld University!

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

205 submissions , 163 unreviewed
5,054 questions , 2,207 unanswered
5,347 answers , 22,728 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
818 active unimported users
More ...

  What is to be done regarding anonymous proxies?

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

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 (1,985 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 (7,720 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 (7,720 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? 

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
Please complete the anti-spam verification

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights