Now, I don't know exactly where to begin, it's been awhile since I've really opined on this issue in public. Yes, sockpuppets are a concern. Yes, vandalism is a concern. As a Wikipedian who is no stranger to dealing with either, I take these problems very seriously. But -- and I'm sure you knew there was a "but" -- I'm just as torn when I see willing, helpful people prevented from contributing, sometimes people who have a lot to offer us, or even people who are already widely recognized on the wiki for their work, all on account of potential abuse from others.
There's been a lot Jimbo-quoting, lately. That's all well and good, but let's not forget that there are plenty of apt, eloquent comments on the matter. As Gmaxwell said, just recently:
We're not an anonymity service, but until the day we make giving your real name + DNA sample a requirement for editing we should try to be as friendly towards outside anonymity services as we can reasonably be.Hell, as part of the growing consensus among the community, the "policy" tag on [[WP:NOP]] has been "disputed" since mid-July, and even recently *removed* without any significant argument. I'm clearly not the only person who isn't quite satisfied with our current means and ways of dealing with proxies.
If anything the ability to handle the good users coming through a set of anonymous proxies will allow us to be more aggressive at blocking sources of problems.
There has to be more we can do. On IRC, it's as simple as getting +e set on your nick, to overrride the general quiet on Tor users. Maybe we can to implement a new class of ipblock-exempt. Maybe we can to implement a new class of blocking for proxies, which certain users could circumvent. Such permissions could be granted by invitation, by discussion, by some community process to deal with requests. I'm no tech whiz, but I certainly hope we're open for suggestions, here. Our problem is with the abusive use of proxies, not with the helpful people behind them. There probably is no perfect solution.
But we should try.
(link to list post)