Today, staff has announced that local wiki administrators will be able to disable editing by anonymous/unregistered users. This is the first time that Wikia has placed this ability in the hands of local users. However, deciding to allow or prohibit anonymous editing is a significant decision that should be made on a community level, not an administrative one. Therefore, I'm bringing the matter up here for consideration. The question is simply whether we want to allow editing by anonymous users, or restrict anonymous user edits.
There are several possible positives and negatives to disabling anonymous editing. Disabling anon editing should reduce the amount of vandalism on the wiki, simply because fewer people will bother to register an account in order to vandalize. Additionally, those vandals that do register accounts will be easier to block, since they won't be able to jump to a different IP address without also registering a new account. Ideally, disabling anon editing would also encourage prospective users into creating an account, rather than making an edit under an IP and then leaving. And, ensuring that all users editing on TSW are registered might aid us in building a community, communicating with members, and establishing more permanent members.
On the other hand, it is possible that disabling anon editing will do more harm than good. Many users start their editing "careers" as anons (I did, for example), and may not be motivated enough to create an account. Locking editing by anons may increase the number of accounts created, but it might not have an impact on keeping people around or helping in building a community. There may be a number of people who edit the wiki constructively but have not registered an account for personal reasons, and who will be potentially shut out if anon editing is disabled. Ultimately, cutting off anon editing may cause a decline in activity on the wiki, and may not actually do much to curb vandalism.
I'm sure there are several other valid points on both sides of the issue. No doubt this is a matter that deserves serious consideration and discussion. -- LostInRiverview talk • blog • contribs 02:37, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose per Wikipedia:IPs are human too. We do have IP editors that contribute constructively, even if they don't stick around for long. Many of our IP editors drop in once or twice to fix typos or grammar, and they're still better than nothing. While a lot of vandalism is caused by IP editors, a large proportion of IP edits are not vandalism. Disabling IP editing may not even reduce the amount of vandalism by a significant amount, since dedicated vandals won't mind taking two minutes to register an account.
The only time I will support this measure is during cases where protect site may also be warranted. It will save us the intermediary of poking the VSTF if there are IP-hopping spambots attacking the wiki. This will also replace the never-before enabled filter 7, which was created with such attacks in mind. It's rare that we'll ever come to a point where such measures are warranted. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 02:56, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose Basically due to the reason that k6ka has given. I don't remember a massive IP vandal attack, and long-term vandals often went around mucking with accounts as given by the likes of Corymach7 or ILoveSims5 MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 03:10, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
strong oppose As a countervandalism floodgate, definitely, but those situations are too incredibly rare to justify a complete, always-on block, scaring away potential contributors and making the site less welcoming; I've seen several newer users state that they've edited as an anon for a period of time before registering, and if this was enabled we would have lost users. I believe its best left for scenarios of vandalism that are extreme, persistent, and anonymous, which is far too rare. ―ฬђ talk 08:52, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Oppose - This is a strange "feature" Wikia provides us with. While the benefits LiR pointed out may be true, these are benefits for mainly administrators. It's like an easy way out to limit that vandalism is only done by registered users. It's really unwise. The wiki is not created just for admins. We, on the other hand, have to motivate others to participate and help improve the wiki together, even if users are doing it anonymously. Restricting editing from anonymous users will make participation more difficult and people will tend to be unmotivated before they can even start. Anonymous users are a major part of building a good wiki and I oppose this idea. Nikel Talk – Vote! 10:23, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose Just the same as others have previously stated, really. I had my start as an anon because I had just noticed a typo on a page I was reading at the time. Had anons been blocked, I would have never decided to edit and thereby never eventually joining. Also, those that really want to vandalize will just make accounts like we have already seen with IL5 as one example. Blocking anons won't really discourage vandalism. -- Icemandeaf (talk) 14:45, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
I oppose this because, as others have said, I believe it will discourage people from editing the wiki. As a relatively inexperienced editor here, I know that it can be daunting for new people to begin editing, especially because of all the problems with vandals etc. Although I see how this measure could help with those problems, I think blocking people before they start will just reinforce new users' worries that they aren't trusted.
- I just want to say that this is a community discussion, so you are very much supposed to post here. We need everyone's input, and not just admins. :) -- Icemandeaf (talk) 16:21, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose Everyone has stated my reasons above, but I personally have known some really good anon editors. They had their reasons for not making an account and wanted to edit as an anon. I think if we block anon users from editing, this would make our community smaller and discourage some users from editing, good editors. So for all these reasons, I strongly oppose restricting anonymous editing. --S*pphir3 St*rdust (talk) 16:48, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose - While I've never been the first to praise anonymous editors, I started off as an anon myself, mainly because I had difficulties establishing my account because I didn't know how to confirm my password without assistance, and because there was a bug that used to make me re-confirm or change my password each time I logged in.
While most of the vandalism comes from anonymous editors, most of the contributions that come from anons are in good faith. And if a user really wants to vandalise, they'll just mass create vandal / troll only accounts (e.g. CoryMach7 or ILoveSims19).
Truth be told, an anonymous vandal isn't as bad as a registered one because when you're registered, you're able to join chat, upload images, move pages etc. And a lot of vandals can't be bothered signing up (unless they're dedicated). But forcing people to edit as a registered users may mean more registered vandals. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 06:16, July 27, 2015 (UTC)
The response to this thread is overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining anonymous editor access to The Sims Wiki. I personally had no doubt in this outcome, but it's a relief to see the idea of restricting access so unanimously opposed. In any case, this principle now has the weight of the community behind it as established consensus. It is resolved. - LostInRiverview talk • blog • contribs 00:54, July 28, 2015 (UTC)