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Wikipedia has recently decided they would like more of their “anonymous editors” or “IP editors” (because they are identified solely by their IP address) to register sooner, preferably at the very beginning of their activities. Wikipedia are citing advantages to joining the Wikipedia community, and introducing new prompts to entice people to sign up.

Advantages to joining up include notifications, a personal contribution history, and access to new beta features. There is also the pride of having your work displayed to the whole world and receiving credit. There is no need to provide any personal details when registering.

Wikipedia have quoted figures that say that 10% of new registrations are editing anonymously before deciding to register. That figure is 18% for the German Wikipedia and 21% for Japan. Wikipedia would like to get those figures down.

A small subset of editors will be shown prompts to register. The aim of this experiment is to see if this will attract more valuable contributors to the Wikipedia community. If it doesn’t work, it will be dropped.

There are many reasons why you may want to edit a Wikipedia page anonymously. Apart from the unethical reasons of not wanting to get caught editing your own page or trashing someone else’s, you may also just be innocently testing the waters to see how you like it, before registering. You may also just like the idea of contributing to a group project and still having a measure of privacy to fall back on.


On the English version of Wikipedia alone, anonymous users make about 900,000 edits every month. These edits represent roughly a third of all contributions to the project. Anonymous editors may have a huge influence on our project, but we know little about who they are. — Wikipedia

For some random test editors, there will be a prompt which will appear when they click “edit“. They will see this :

And for other random editors, when they click “create account” they will see this :

Are you an “IP editor” on Wikipedia? If so, what are your reasons for not registering? Would you register now that Wikipedia is suggesting it? Are the benefits enough to sacrifice your anonymity?

Source: Wikimedia Foundation

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  1. Leah
    May 23, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    I'm registered, but I often forget to sign into my account. I don't edit wikipedia all the time so I don't remember my details as well.

  2. techno
    May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Well, Wikipedia is notorious for reverting your edits, even if you sign in and they are correct, then permabanning you if you dare deign to question their glorious knowledge of all, so for me it doesn't seem worth it to create an account where all my work is just going to get flushed away by some mod on a power trip. You see it on any social network where you have permanent stats attached to a user name, anonymous at least gives you a chance for a do over so you have to really trust the community you're going with and Wikipedia doesn't have that trust.

    • A41202813GMAIL
      May 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Well Said.

      I Was Registered Once - Now My IP Address Is All They Will Get From Me.