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2023:Program/Submissions/The effects of IP address range blocking on the Global South - 8FCWJD

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Title: The effects of IP address range blocking on the Global South


Tochi Precious

Tochi Precious has been a Wikimedian since 2017. She’s currently a founding member of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group as well as a Wikimedian in Residence.

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Start time:

End time:

Type: Workshop

Track: Equity, Inclusion, and Community Health

Submission state: submitted

Duration: 60 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

In February 2004, the decision was made to block open proxies on Meta and all other Wikimedia projects. Although with a good intention, this policy has began to do more harm than good especially to the Global South. In this session, we would be discussing the effects of this policy on the Global South.

Description[edit source]

According to the no open proxies policy : Publicly available proxies (including paid proxies) may be blocked for any period at any time. While this may affect legitimate users, they are not the intended targets and may freely use proxies until those are blocked. Non-static IP addresses or hosts that are otherwise not permanent proxies should typically be blocked for a shorter period of time, as it is likely the IP address will eventually be transferred or dynamically reassigned, or the open proxy closed. Once closed, the IP address should be unblocked.

According to the policy page, « the Editors can be permitted to edit by way of an open proxy with the IP block exempt flag. This is granted on local projects by administrators and globally by stewards. It's understood that this policy was meant for the better but as it is, but over time, the number of users reporting being blocked for « open proxies » has been increasing. This particularly affect editors from the Global South and it's becoming a REAL issue to this community. In fact, it's an issue of community health as the situation got worse in 2021 and 2022.

The aims and objectives of this panel discussion is to hear first hand from panelists in the Global South how the issue of IP block has affected them, how best to reach out to stewards to get faster responses from them and how best to review and improve the process of getting editors unblocked.

Further details[edit source]

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

IP block issue is a challenge faced by both old and new editors mostly from the Global South. If we're discussing diversity, I believe that there should be a fair leveled playing ground for everyone to accommodate all our diversity which would in turn encourage collaboration.

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
  • Tick Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand