Forums: Index > Village Dump > Indefinite IP blocks
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I seem to recall there was an agreement some years ago to remove all indefinite blocks on IP addresses. However, there are several such blocks currently in place, and they're still being made. I'd like to see them overturned and this practice ended. IP addresses are often dynamic, as is the case with the latest problematic IP user 156.something, so indefinitely blocking one tends to eventually affect someone else instead of the intended target. They are also often shared by many people. It's just not a good idea. (Wikipedia has more to say about this, FWIW.)

With that in mind, would there be any objection to my removing all the years-old indefinite IP blocks, and would everyone reading this agree to not place any more of them in the future? Maybe something about this could be added to the blocking policy.

All indefinite IP blocks can be viewed with these settings on Special:BlockList. There are a lot of them, and they date back to 2007 at the earliest. I could use some help. A large number of these were placed in 2008 on supposed open proxies [1] [2] [3] [4]. This is arguably a legitimate reason, but it's been a whole decade -- how likely is it that they're still open proxies? I could do a whois on them to be sure if you really want.

Not sure if maybe this belongs in Ministry of Love. Feel free to move it. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 07:16 23 September 2018

I've reserved infinite blocks for multiple repeat vandals and vandals who have made significant attacks. I have agreed with permabans on those that other sysops made recently when I have encountered the vandal in question. It seems to work, or at least the message is made evident. Putting these types in the corner for a week or a month doesn't discourage them. This is apparently typical behavior nowadays; my experience with boards in ancient days is that the vandals were quite lazy and usually wouldn't come back again and again. Our current Egyptian vandal is quite persistent, so obviously a permaban has limited effectiveness with the truly obnoxious. Will have to turn him over to the Muslim Brotherhood, I suppose.
I did not relish reverting over 60 major edits made in about an hour from one vandal though I did learn the idiot's MO. (Yes, I could have done a mass rollback which wouldn't have been the solution) But why give someone like this a second chance by providing a limited ban? And so you take out access for a couple of IPs from a middle school; I and they could care less. And so it is for dynamic IPs used by Tor users.
At worst, limit restoring IPs to ones that are a couple of years old or more. Would a decade-old IP have a code that could still exist today? Rare, I think; providers have changed or dissolved in the meantime, modems, too. While sign-in has always been a formidable barrier to contribution, I find IPs generally don't have much useful/funny stuff to contribute these days with the exception of correcting grammar, spelling and the like. It's a completely different world here than it used to be, even before the fork. And I doubt that IP cleanup will result in more actual writers. So, where's the benefit?
Without permabans, I see any attempt to thwart persistent vandals is a waste of time. How do you propose to limit them? --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 11:23, September 24, 2018 (UTC)
I suggest we start with the oldest ip blocks (going back to 2005) in the expectation that the vandals have since grown up and got a job or something. More recent IP blocks (say a year) can remain. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 13:26, September 24, 2018 (UTC)
I see your point. Maybe I shouldn't criticize people who actually work in this area given that I don't, but I do what I can. Indeffing people like 156 doesn't even work because they just come back. A long (several months to a year or two) finite block would still send a strong message while eventually leaving the IP open for a different person. I'm not saying give them a second chance, I'm saying they'll most likely get one whether you like it or not and it's better if someone else isn't blocked instead. But you're probably right that not much would be gained by opening these addresses. We don't get a lot of traffic or new users nowadays. Happy to do what Romartus said. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 18:06 25 September 2018
Anyone else? If not, okay, I'll help with the project assuming no objections from others. Just agree on a cutoff date; I'd go along with older than 1 year from this date. Meanwhile, found the ancient(?) trouble list of non-IP users:'s_Office . Interesting bunch of users on the paroled list and their offenses. I then suppose all ancient banned users are now under general amnesty and should be marked as paroled. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 23:18, September 25, 2018 (UTC)
That's fine with me. We can issue a general amnesty for the old IPs and old users whose user handle has been sitting on the naughty step for years.--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 13:43, September 26, 2018 (UTC)
The Flammable's Office list is an entirely different issue IMO because one account = one person usually, but sure. Everything there is from 2014 or older. I don't think any of those people would come back, though. It probably shouldn't be called "Flammable's" because he's also long gone (since 2010). Used to be "Special Rules". ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 20:25 26 September 2018

I'm thinking more in terms of general cleanup; I don't expect anybody returning, either. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 21:48, September 26, 2018 (UTC)

Okay, I think enough time has been allowed for discussion. Let's have at those IP addresses. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 05:52, October 1, 2018 (UTC)
Sorry Nigel, I've been working on other stuff. I'll help you in a bit. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 06:46 1 October 2018
Not a problem; they've all been sitting for many a year anyway and the list can be worked as time allows. Thanks for the list by IP, by the way. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 12:13, October 1, 2018 (UTC) (from 2007 or earlier) says no open proxies are allowed to edit so they should be blocked. Tracked back to find that it was considered notworthit to allow open proxies. As also said there, this seems to be a truly impossible task. I am skipping over such marked infinibanned IPs for the time being. Guidance, please. WWRomartusD? --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 22:43, October 1, 2018 (UTC)

EDIT: Had a look at Wikipedia policy who are not us, but it tells me more about ban policy. Summary: while they oppose permabans, they do note that bans could last up to an unspecified number of years. So for indefinite bans in the last year (or so) and in the future, I'd think they could still be set that way so long as there is some review way down the road, much like we're doing now. Wikipedia has changed its policy on open proxies, no longer permabanning them but actually still not unbanning previously marked IPs. There's a useful list of open proxy IPs linked to the page above, though our abuse filter seems to catch those somehow. Wikipedia notes a practical length of long term ban for open proxies to be several months.

Much ado about nothing, "Recent Changes" only reports a total of (I think) 96 changes of the Block Log. So if 80 are already reported and you make 25 changes, only 16 will report in your session. EDIT: This only happens if "Recent Changes" is set to 100. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 22:17, October 2, 2018 (UTC)

Re open proxies: I've been trying to figure out how to tell if an IP address is an open proxy but haven't gotten anywhere. Your linked page uses a template that links to, which provides results I don't know how to interpret that are also partly in Polish. I've done a whois in a terminal window on several IPs including the one at home and some from Wikipedia's block list that are currently blocked as open proxies, and I didn't see any info that suggested anything about this to me. Wikipedia has this page on finding open proxies that could be a starting point if I ever figure out how to apply that method. Leaving them blocked if they were blocked for this reason seems like the sensible option until we can check them somehow. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 01:21 3 October 2018
Maybe I referred you to the wrong Wikipedia page. This list is what I'm about: . Some pretty solid blocks of IPs imply there are open proxies there. I note that the abuse filter makes reports that an IP was from a range of known open proxies. I don't know if it bans all. I know nothing about IDing open proxies other than checking against the list of known IPs, but will try learning that after "standard" unblocking is done. I have read where IvP6s are not used as proxies; we'll see, I guess. I've also left blocks marked "Spambot" alone for the time being. But once again, Wikipedia sez the IPs usually don't last longer than a few months for open proxies. Perhaps too many blocks against one IP cause a shift to using a new IP. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 05:35, October 3, 2018 (UTC)
I meant User:Hinoa/proxy, your first link. I unblocked some that were spambots -- should I not have? I figure they probably aren't after 11 years. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 07:42 3 October 2018
Unblock whatever you feel needs to be unblocked; it would not be fatal, obviously. Like the open proxies, they probably aren't that anymore after many years, but if you could keep a few more recent ones that are marked as spambots (too), I wanted to see if I could identify those (too) after cleaning up most of the block log. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 19:15, October 3, 2018 (UTC)
EDIT: From looking at more stuff online, Whatis is THE resource with identifying proxies and also spambots. The result form has a "Check Blacklist Status" button which gives good/bad reports from 80 anti-spam sites. So there's the spambot check to use. Not quite sure how to weight a SORBS rating as they are pretty major and can show "bad" when nearly all others are "good". I haven't seen ad spam in a long time but that doesn't mean it wasn't cleaned up by another admin first. The abuse filter might be taking care of those, too. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 03:13, October 5, 2018 (UTC)
I don't know how reliable that is -- I tried it with my own home IP address and it showed up on one of the lists. Just one though. I also tried it with some spam IPs from Illogicopedia's abuse log and they were only on a few each (as few as 2 IIRC). In other news I seem to have rendered my admin account essentially unusable (for now?) with some misbehaving JavaScript. Oops... Llwy-ar-lawr (alt) (talk) 09:03, October 14, 2018 (UTC)
Never mind. It was CSS... long story. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 21:46 14 October 2018

Well done. Your icon never left the admin rogues gallery, so I guessed you were still in the club (ha). Or not allowed to escape (ha?).

None of those anti-spam sites give their criteria or tell you if you are on the list once, you can be cleared or are just on it forever. If you know someone who got captured by a botnet and cleaned it out of their computer, testing their address would be an indicator of how the antispam sites work. I'm looking for someone who would 'fess up to having that happen but most people I know are oblivious. So, we just wing it as best as we can for the old IPs. On the other hand, I found some (not all) of those 10yo proxy IPs are STILL proxies. Eh, if it comes down to it, we just block spambots again but me, I'd rather keep active proxy IPs out of play. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 22:12, October 14, 2018 (UTC)

Oh I was still an admin, but my CSS was hiding everything. BTW this page looks awesome with my new JavaScript. The forum potatoes are back. They depend on the previously nonexistent #p-logo.
I don't think this Linux box was ever infested by a spam Trojan. My laptop caught something once, but I got rid of it pretty quickly. We use a dynamic IP, so it was probably somebody else. (Whatis claims it's static, but I know better.)
So are you using Whatis to check for open proxies? I thought their blacklist was only for spam. Something I'm missing? ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 00:32 15 October 2018
Well, it looks like you finished them off. I don't see anything on that list that isn't marked as a proxy or spambot. You're really dedicated. Wow. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 22:28 15 October 2018 never mind -- don't know what I was looking at but it was the wrong thing. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 05:53 16 October 2018

Welcome to TunnelBear. This is SimsilikeSims using TunnelBear. 06:15, October 16, 2018 (UTC) This is Simsilikesims using TunnelBear and CyberGhost, the free version of which will be gone in about a month. 06:27, October 16, 2018 (UTC)

The first page of Whatis that gives geolocation also tells you if an IP is suspected or a definite proxy. If you don't get the added comment line, then the IP is presumed clear of that problem. Otherwise, the project is pretty far along; only about 1600 records more to go before I go back and check those listed open proxies and spambots (at leisure). At about 100 each day, the basics will be finished soon. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 06:46, October 16, 2018 (UTC)
I did eventually figure that out. Should have noticed earlier. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 07:16 16 October 2018

What should be done about the range blocks? We seem to have skipped over those (a few at that link). ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 20:23 22 October 2018

Saved for later. I don't immediately know how to test the IPs around the offending IP except to guess a specific IP and try it. (EDIT: I think I found it in MediaWiki) They're essentially proxies already. Not sure if I want to unblock the ones already identified as schools, either. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 21:14, October 22, 2018 (UTC)
There's a JavaScript gadget for showing contributions from an IP range on Special:Contributions, but I don't think we have it here. I enabled it on Wikipedia some time back. They store it at wikipedia:MediaWiki:Gadget-contribsrange.js, which we might be able to import. How are ranges essentially proxies? ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 00:33 23 October 2018 is apparently a static IP registered to the Eastern Institute of Technology in New Zealand, which the edits suggest was also the case in 2011. Unblock or skip? ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 02:35 23 October 2018
Ranges (to be blocked) are a bunch of IPs in the same location, like maybe a middle school library. So a vandal can jump from one machine to another when one IP is blocked. If it's a local network as usual, that's even better for vandals as the ISP or network just gives them a new IP in its collection every time they connect. There is an art to determining the range size to block which I have yet to learn (based on the 2 digits after the slash). I doubt one could get the range perfect without a lot of research. I believe the anti-abuse filter has range blocks stored to keep out those IPs. Don't know if its just Uncyc's or FANDOM's, but I suspect it is the latter.
For EIT, unblock, I'd say, at this point in time. I was thinking more of bored high school and middle school vandals to be kept blocked. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 07:01, October 23, 2018 (UTC)
This can tell you what the range is from two or more IPs, FWIW. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 07:38 23 October 2018
If it is blocked at a school or library, you're blocking everybody who might edit from there. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) Miley Spears Discordian American Princess (let's talk) 19:20, October 24, 2018 (UTC)
I admin what was one of the most vandalized wikis on Wikia, We got marauded with a mess of people who didn't think Bobbies or new SubGenii should be admins. But with IPs, all you got to do is block for three days or a week. I've never had an IP come back after a week ban. Named users with accounts will come back, but IP vandals don't. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 19:24, October 24, 2018 (UTC)
Spambot IPs, too? I've found a couple 8yo that are still spambots. And open proxies/other proxies seem to be problematic enough that they are permabanned by Wikipedia and us. IP vandals use the latter nowadays (knowingly or unknowingly) and phones provide different IPs as they move around anyway. Me, I shut them down long enough to get a handle on if they're using a proxy. If it takes me infinity to check, well, so be it. There aren't that many permabans lately compared to our back history though the abuse filter auto-permabans. We'll check those when we get to 'em. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 01:22, October 25, 2018 (UTC)
All the "basic" unbans are done to September 2017, as far as I'm going for the moment. Review of old spambots and proxies has started as well as things caught by Mr./Ms. Abuse filter. Abuse filter has an early condition of "something something" which is currently undefined and is probably a catch-all. There's about 800 of everything to do. Think I should re-ban old IPs that deserve it or just leave as is?; otherwise sometimes date breaks would make it clear where I stopped, sometimes not. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 04:57, October 26, 2018 (UTC)
Use your own judgement. I wouldn't reblock any that weren't currently causing trouble, but that's me. Also, wow. Thanks. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 07:10 26 October 2018
Thanks for doing that work. I wouldn't bother rebanning old IPs; they change a lot anyway, so chances are really good whoever had them before doesn't have them now. Usually, even if you stay with the same Internet service they change your IP address every now and then. AdminBadge King of the Internet Alden Loveshade??? (royal court)  Alden Loveshade (talk) 21:52, October 27, 2018 (UTC)
Actually, neither Wikipedia nor Wikia permaban open proxies/other proxies. Wikimedia Foundation and/or Wikipedia has a relatively recent policy that they will ban a range for a period of some months, but not permanently. IPs can still change--what was an open proxy last year can be an assigned IP next year. Permanbans potentially ban legitimate editors--including me, as it happened to me. I don't want to go into details publicly, but I worked as a legitimate journalist (which is getting increasingly rare) and some people don't like journalists. Because of my situation, I filed for and received an exemption to use any open or other proxy to edit Wikimedia Foundation projects (Wikipedia, etc.). Compassrose Serjeant-at-Law A.L.??? (legal consultations)  Alden Loveshade (talk) 16:19, October 27, 2018 (UTC)
Here's the long-standing statement from Wikipedia in regard to an IP address: "This is the contributions page for an IP user, identified by the user's IP address. Many IP addresses change periodically, and are often shared by several users. If you are an IP user, you may create an account or log in to avoid future confusion with other IP users. Registering also hides your IP address." Compassrose Serjeant-at-Law A.L.??? (legal consultations)  22:18, October 27, 2018 (UTC)

Okay, Alden, I stand corrected. But Uncyclopedia policy is still stated to include permabans. If you want to lawyer up, then this is like UK indeterminate sentencing which is not a life sentence, but could be in fact. I have so far reviewed thousands of cases and "paroled" the vast majority of IPs, going back to ones banned up to 11 years (No record of any older ones, as the site began in 2005). So yes, things can change to IPs over a matter of weeks or months, but not always. Currently, the "unparoled" proxy and spambot IPs after 10 years or so stands at about 4-5% of the total IP blocks made at that time. Maybe you would give a blanket pardon for old blocks like that but I'm not about to do that. Also, to get technical, there really is no permaban here either since there is a review process, albeit done after 11 years. Plus you still had to get an exemption from Wikipedia to use proxies, as you state; no free pass there.

In reviewing old banned IPs, there are still IPs after 10 years identified as proxies and spambots. There are clear patterns of where those come from generally, and it's not from where most people would suspect (i.e., not Russia, not China). There are also spambots and vandals via proxy that have struck Uncyclopedia over a period of years and quite persistently when they have. I'm not about to hand such idiots the keys to the kingdom after one week's ban. Further, the repeat customers are hard to identify as sysops here are not on duty 24/7 and can't take the time to follow every single thing edited here (vandalism/spam or corrective action) done in several days' time. Uncyclopedia does have "angels" dropping by from time to time who can rollback attacked articles, but do not have privileges to ban anybody and they don't talk to admins. A mixed "blessing" there, as it is not always clear to me that Uncyclopedia is under a larger attack unless I recognize the name of the "angel" in repeated edits.

As for permabans cockblocking a potential editor, give me a fukkin break. In this swipe and touch world, not knowing Wiki markup and/or HTML is THE major handicap here. There is your barrier to being an editor or a meaningful contributor. Let's throw in all the useful tools and templates deeply buried on the site as well. The existing history of pure computer nerd Uncyclopedia content is proof of that requirement. The inaccuracies in Wikipedia are directly attributable to the nature of such a self-limited editor population and creates barriers to any corrections of articles by unaccomplished people.

And permabans are circumvented easily; I see little point in arguing against them. I assume you do indeed live in a First World country where a few dollars and instructions via the internet give you a whole new persona. We have an editor currently who likes to spellcheck/grammarnazi but worse, is a true expert at sucking the humor out of any article it touches. It has been permabanned twice over a period of years on Uncyclopedia and is still active, now under two other names. Do you need a copy editor? I'll give you their handle.

And just where are you drawing the line here? The other way around, someone who has a hardon for you can just DoS or DDos you. A week's ban? A year's ban? And of how many IPs? Then you physically change your online presence, and your enemy can find you easily and continue the attack if they have any decent tools or a profile of you. Then it's like THX-1138, the student film, where pursuit continues until the money runs out. In the case of a journo, does your money run out first or the attacker's?

"I wouldn't bother rebanning old IPs; they change a lot anyway" And just what would you define as old? 6 months? 5 years? And on what basis? Your statement only applies to the First World and China by my current experiences. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 23:00, October 27, 2018 (UTC)

I don't think the written blocking policy carries a lot of weight these days. At least the "pretty table" doesn't -- you'll notice it says "Recommended Penalty" (emphasis mine) and has an entry for "insubordination", which I don't think any of the current admins would consider a blockable offense or even a defined thing here. Indefinite blocks for open proxies are only mentioned in that table, and the advice to indefinitely block IPs that have been used for regular abuse was added by one person (Spike), AFAIK without any discussion. If we're treating that page as a policy to be followed, we should also block for insubordination. Either that or remove that entry because it's ridiculous. Don't pick and choose. Also, as a Wikipedian I believe the inaccuracies are just as much due to Wikipedia being too open. Lots of people have agendas or commercial interests or just plain want to mess things up. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 23:31 27 October 2018
Sorry, I was trying to be helpful; I didn't mean to get your ire up. But my concern remains. "And permabans are circumvented easily"--that's true for spammers and hackers and people getting around the system. But the permabans are most likely to stop innocent people. Compassrose Serjeant-at-Law A.L.??? (legal consultations)  00:34, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
Blocking for insubordination looks like it was being done in Spike days; that was certainly true for our existing 2-permaban evader; Romartus is very much more tolerant. I might block on that old basis, but then I'd have to be banning myself, including for doing a couple of reversions that Rom noticed and allowed originally. But such blocking doesn't work as far as I've seen.
Again, permabans/any bans can be circumvented with just a little trouble. As I see it, the fault is on an IP offender, not the admins. Sign in (and you don't ever have to sign out), from Tor or wherever else, and user problems with IPs go away, do they not? And as for IP contributions, I do read much of what's being done here currently and I find beneficial IP contributions are limited to spellcheck/grammarnazi and little else. It's no longer like when someone under an IP would start or add major parts of an article, which can be seen in older article histories.
Inspired enough to write and the non-lethals will find a way too. Again, a fair amount of technical expertise is required here with using Wikitext/HTML, so the simpler knowledge base to get around blocked IPs is easily assumed. It's online, anyway. I avoided contributing to Wikipedia on the basis of having to learn Wikitext/HTML, but here I am. But I still find writing to be cumbersome here and prefer just to do 'shops as originally intended. We also don't know how many non-vandals are or are not blocked. In the end, Uncyclopedia is eliminating old permablocks -- is that bad? --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 00:59, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
You know Wikipedia has a WYSIWYG "visual editor", right? It's not perfect, but a lot of people edit that way. Uncyclopedia is supposed to have one too, but it doesn't seem to work. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 01:22 28 October 2018
Yes, thanks, I've seen it, tried it a bit. The occasional problems would bug me enough, equally as when formatting gets screwed up or things display as not intended on Uncyclopedia. And I've probably learned enough here in the meantime to edit decently over there. I just don't want to spend more time writing. --Nigel Scribbler sig2 (talk) 01:39, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
You know why I quit Uncyclopedia the first time? Because my IP kept getting blocked. I know nothing about code, have no idea how to beat a permaban or a block. I was editing at school where I guess somebody else was editing wikia too. I got blocked, somebody helped me get back in, I got blocked again, somebody helped me get in, I got blocked again, and gave up and left.
IP blocks should be short. I admined a wiki that was vandalized so much three staff members got involved! I blocked IPs for a week and they didn't come back. If you don't want to block editors like me, don't permaban IPs. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 16:59, October 28, 2018 (UTC)