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Anonymous Contributions

Problem

Making users register and login adds friction to the process of contributing

Context

It’s important that you are able to quickly collect and fix data from the broadest possible community and you value this more than the ability to track who made specific contributors.

Solution

Allow anonymous contributions.

Anonymous, open contributions can help to quickly collect data from a wider community. People can be quickly converted into contributors.

By allowing anyone to edit anything, you are the community will be able to quickly react to poor quality data, spam or malicious edits, through Retrospective Review.

While this can be a useful approach, particularly in small groups or team of contributors, in practice it has many downsides. By not having Attributable Contributions you are unable to recognise the work that people do, apply Escalating Blocking or build Moderation and other workflows that require some knowledge of the contributor.

It is important to evaluate whether anonymous contributions are the right approach. Balancing the needs of contributors (e.g. privacy) versus the needs of data users (e.g. trust in the contributed data) and the project.

Open Plaques, Common Voice and some Zooniverse projects

Allow you to contribute without signing in. For example https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/shuebner729/snapshot-molopo



Related patterns

Attributable Contributions

Without knowing the source of individual contributions it can be harder to monitor, converse with and recognise the work of the community

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