Commons:IP block exemption

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Normally, long-term blocks of IP addresses or ranges do not affect logged-in users. However, it is occasionally necessary to block both anonymous and logged-in users in this way to prevent disruption.

Administrators are always exempt from such blocks. Other users can request IP blocking exemption on a per user basis if they can show good cause.

IP block exemption allows users to edit without interruption, when their usual IP would otherwise be blocked through no fault of their own. It can also be used (exceptionally) to allow editing via an anonymizing proxy such as Tor.

Users granted IP block exemption should be aware that breach of this policy, including unauthorized editing via proxies, or significant concerns over account abuse or other conduct, may lead to removal of the IP block exemption right.

Requesting and granting exemption[edit]

The IP block exemption flag has two main uses:

  • A user who is unfortunately affected by a block intended to prevent vandalism or disruption, can be given the flag. They will then be able to edit without being affected by any IP block.
  • In highly exceptional circumstances, a user may be permitted to edit anonymously, via Tor or another anonymizing proxy.
These are handled differently, due to the additional safeguards involved for open proxy usage.

Used to bypass an IP range block[edit]

"Hard" IP range blocks are used to prevent persistent disruption from temporary accounts and sock-puppets within an IP range. A user with a credible editing record who would be affected by this measure, may be exempted from the block at administrative discretion, to allow them to edit uninterrupted through the IP range block.

The conditions for granting this are that:

  • the user's normal (non-proxy) IP will be disrupted by an IP block that is placed on a range they usually edit on, through no fault of theirs. (This may be confirmed via autoblock or checkuser)
  • the user agrees never to mis-use the exemption to edit through a blocked anonymizing proxy (this may be checked), and,
  • when the block ends, or ceases to be an issue for the user, the exemption will be removed by any administrator.

In addition, IP exemption may also be given by an administrator without a request, to prevent good-faith users being affected by a hard IP range block. The user should be informed that in order to prevent vandalism, a block has been applied to their IP range, and they have been exempted from it. They should clearly be recommended to read this section, and especially that the flag may be removed if used to edit via a blocked proxy. (See tags and templates below)

Who may request – A user affected by an IP block that is unrelated to their editing and that prevents them editing with a logged-in account.
How to request – Request IP block exemption as part of an unblock request. You must ask from your registered account. Requests posted to the user talk page of the IP address will be automatically declined. Administrators granting this right may sometimes need to consult a checkuser to confirm the problem, or may wish to obtain further review by posting the request onto an administrative list or page for discussion if unfamiliar with the case.

Used for anonymous proxy editing[edit]

Editing via an anonymous proxy can be easily abused, so it is only granted under exceptional circumstances. Examples of users who may reasonably request an exemption include users who show they can contribute to the encyclopedia, and (for existing users) with a history of valid non-disruptive contribution, but are either being hindered by restrictive firewalls, or for exceptional reasons must edit via anonymous proxies.

Note that avoidance of checkuser, or specific checkusers, is not usually considered a sufficient reason - concerns over checkusers should be discussed with the stewards or the Ombudsman commission.

Who may request -- A user who has genuine and exceptional need, and can be trusted not to abuse the right. This is a level of trust equal to that given Administrators, as IP block exemption is an administrative tool.
How to request -- Email your request to info-commons@wikimedia.org.

Removal[edit]

IP exemption is a privilege given to users who need the right, and who are trusted not to abuse it. Typical reasons why exemption may be removed from an account:

  • No longer needed or insufficient rationale for granting - relevant hard IP block ended and not anticipated to recur; user has access to Wikipedia through a non-firewalled IP, user becomes a sysop, etc
  • Bad faith or misleading statement in request
  • Credible evidence or concern of abuse (including conflict of interest by granting admin) - in unclear cases questions might be raised before assumptions are made.

As with any block (which exemption removal can effectively be), a neutral administrator may remove the right or seek discussion of perceived issues by the community. Due to the potential for abuse, credible concerns over abuse endorsed by the community may at times be sufficient for removal. However in all cases, removal should be preventative and not punitive.

Administrators guide[edit]

  • All IP block exemptions are subject to review and repeal. Exemption may be, and will usually be, withdrawn if there is credible evidence or concern of abuse. It is advisable for administrators to discuss first if in doubt, since a poorly-founded exemption will be quickly withdrawn.
  • When considering IP block exemption, the editing history of the user and the abusive range concerned should be carefully reviewed before making a decision.
  • IP block exemption is granted or removed via Special:UserRights. Users having the IP-block-exempt right are visible as a user group under Special:ListUsers and can be reviewed. (Note that if the user is an administrator, they will not usually appear in this list.) The reason for granting or removal are given in the relevant user's rights log.

Tags and templates[edit]

  • {{Ipexemptgranted}} contains a suggested note for a user who has been granted the IP-block-exempt right in order to edit through a hard block of their IP.
  • Suggested narrative for a hard-blocked IP range: "This IP range is blocked to prevent vandalism. If you are one of the bona fide users on this IP range, and affected by this, please request unblocking, and ask for checkuser and IP block exemption"

See also[edit]