Edit Wikipedia Articles Anonymously In The UK - gHacks Tech News

Edit Wikipedia Articles Anonymously In The UK

You might have heard the news that several UK Internet Providers are restricting to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia after the Internet Watch Foundation identified the Wikipedia page of the Scorpions album Virgin Killer as a "potentially indecent image of a child". Listing the page on the watchlist had the effect that several Internet Service Providers included it automatically in their list of pages that are blocked in the UK.

A side-effect was that users of those Internet Service Providers in the United Kingdom were not able to modify other Wikipedia articles anonymously anymore.

It did not take long however before some users created a Greasemonkey script Antiproxy 4 Wikipedia so that users from the United Kingdom who cannot edit Wikipedia entries anonymously anymore have the opportunity to do so. A Firefox extension based on that Greasemonkey script has been designed in the meanwhile which can also be used to edit articles anonymously.

A more technical explanation can be found at Computerworld:

The measures applied caused the ISPs to redirect traffic for a significant portion of the UK's Internet population through six proxy servers, which can log and filter the content that is available to the end user, Wikinews say. But the knock on effect resulted in Wikipedia being unable to distinguish UK users from one another by their IP address. That triggered Wikipedia's anti-abuse mechanism, blocking all non-registered UK users from editing articles, according to the foundation.

A search for Virgin Killer will reveal the album cover on many websites who are still available for UK users.

Update: The Firefox extension has been taken down, it is no longer available on the Mozilla website. You can still use the userscript.

Update 2: The userscript has not been updated since 2008, which indicates that it may not be working properly anymore. I suggest to use TOR instead. It comes as a software, browser for instance, that you can make use of to stay anonymous while editing Wikipedia articles.

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Comments

  1. Stefan said on December 9, 2008 at 6:56 pm
    Reply

    I use UrlBarExt and Errorzilla Plus, both work fine at bypassing this and have many features besides just proxying.

  2. GRTerrero said on December 10, 2008 at 12:19 am
    Reply

    Interestingly enough, both versions of the cover of that 1976 album appear on Wikipedia. But Wikipeadia has prevented editing of the article because of what it terms “edit warring”. Apparently the censors have been hitting hard and they’ve been hit just as hard.

    In the discussion section this appears:

    ” Important notice: Prior discussion has determined by broad consensus that the Virgin Killer cover will not be removed. If you find this image offensive, it is possible to configure your browser not to display it. Please keep in mind that Wikipedia is not censored. See the image talk page for the archived discussions.”

  3. marcelo said on December 10, 2008 at 9:06 am
    Reply

    ban is lifted now.. :)

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