Wikipedia now limits anonymous users to updating exsting articles, preventing them from creating new ones. Anonymous access has been a prized feature, on the theory that, for example, a Chinese dissident should not be limited any more than [s]he already is by the government in Internet participation.
But arguably, an encyclopedia–on line or otherwise–is the wrong place for one-sided information, whether from governments or dissidents. And recent incidents have forced Wikipedia’s hand.
Frankly, I find it surprising it’s taken this long. Comments in this blog are limited to registered users. And I’m certainly not hiding my identity here.
Even when I allowed anonymous comments, I moderated them, and wound up deleting all that came in, because I wasn’t hearing from Chinese dissidents but people who worship President Bush and the ground he walks on, and accept as gospel all his lies and distortions. People who, for instance, insist that the accumulation of scientific evidence on global warming is some kind of politically-motivated scientific groupthink.
It’s too bad. Because it is entirely too easy to imagine a legitimate need for anonymous access. And even easier to imagine how people can abuse it.