Frequently Asked Question

Can't I just edit articles anonymously?
Last Updated 5 years ago

Editors with user names enjoy several benefits. Among them is the positive reputation that goes with quality work. Wikipedians with an established history are respected especially with regard to neutralizing article disputes. In addition, Wikipedians sometimes find collaborating with unregistered users frustrating, because it is more difficult to contact them with questions, concerns, or suggestions. This is not to say there is a Wikipedia hierarchy per se. Although there are editors with administrative abilities (see Wikipedia:Administrators), these are approved by the community.

Wikipedians with user names are, in a sense, more anonymous than contributors that do not log in. That is, while anyone can see the IP address of a user who did not log in when he/she edited, only a few, especially trusted people are able to view the IP address of a logged-in user (and this is rarely done). Therefore, if you are concerned about privacy and anonymity, you may prefer to create a user name for yourself in order to hide your IP address.

But editing as an unregistered user is acceptable. Many valuable contributors have made this choice. That said, you will not be able to create or rename pages without a user name. Some pages are also protected from editing by unregistered users in order to prevent vandalism.

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