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2023:Program/Submissions/IP Masking: Big Change to Protect Editor Privacy - AXK8FA

From Wikimania

Title: IP Masking: Big Change to Protect Editor Privacy


Niharika Kohli

I have been associated with the Wikimedia movement since 2014. I have a background in software development and worked as a software engineer in the Community Tech team for three years focusing on the wishlist survey. I have since transitioned into a Product Manager and now am leading the Anti-Harassment Tools team. My team is at the forefront of leading the technical effort on IP Masking.

Madi Moss

I joined the Foundation as an attorney in 2021 working on privacy topics. I went to law school specifically because I was interested in the intersection of law and the Wikimedia movement. I have been editing Wikipedia since 2010 in a volunteer capacity, but with large bouts of inactivity. Talk to me about templates.

Pretalx link

Etherpad link


Start time:

End time:

Type: Roundtable / open discussion

Track: Legal, Advocacy, and Risks

Submission state: submitted

Duration: 90 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description

[edit source]


[edit source]

Wikimedia projects can be edited with or without a user account. Currently, editing without an account means your edits will be publicly attributed to your IP address. IP addresses carry [personal information](https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Policy:Privacy_policy#definitions) and can present a privacy concern for our unregistered editors. The Wikimedia Foundation is leading an initiative to mask the IP addresses of editors across Wikimedia projects in a program we call IP Masking. In this session, we will go over the work that has happened so far and detail our plans going forward.


[edit source]

IP Masking is aimed at improving our users’ privacy and ensuring that they can contribute to our projects effectively and safely. At the same time, we want to address legal risk around publishing and storing these IP addresses indefinitely.

The biggest changes coming are: 1. IP addresses of unregistered editors will no longer be public; access will be restricted to editors who need to see them to fight spam, vandalism, harassment and disinformation 2. Unregistered editors will be assigned a temporary account with an auto-generated username which will be treated differently than registered users

This is a huge change, not just because of the amount of work but also because of the impact it will have on our patroller workflows.

Our objectives for this session are to:

  • Recap previous phases of this work, including an overview of the IP Info tool
  • Discuss the proposed MVP features for IP Masking, with a particular focus on what changes users can expect and when to expect them
  • Provide an open space for feedback, questions and discussion

Note: This proposal is also relevant to the "Technology" track in addition to "Legal, Advocacy and Risks"

Further details

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Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

This session is directly related to the “Future” theme: IP Masking is designed to better situate our movement for the future and ties into the “Provide for Safety and Inclusion” Movement Strategy recommendation. This session also relates to the “Diversity” and “Collaboration” themes by providing a learning opportunity for individuals who may have otherwise been unaware of IP Masking, allowing for greater inclusion and participation as this work progresses.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand