Help:Registering with Ballotpedia

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If you want to contribute material (text, images, etc.) to Ballotpedia, the first step is to register with a user name.

Important Note:

CURRENT STATUS: On October 9, 2014, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was disabled due to a sudden increase in spam.

These steps are being taken because the Captcha system in use on Ballotpedia to ensure that new users are real people, as opposed to spambots, was at least temporarily overwhelmed by a particularly aggressive spambot program that was creating hundreds of new fake users, and new inappropriate articles, every day.

Ballotpedia's staff is monitoring the situation, and eventually one of these options will ensue:

  • Captcha will find a security patch that guards against this new breed of spambot, at which point registration will be re-opened.
  • Captcha will not find a security patch within a few weeks, in which case, we will evaluate other anti-spambot software and test different options.

One way or another, eventually Ballotpedia will re-open for new users to register.

In the meantime, if you want to register at Ballotpedia but you have been blocked from doing so by this new policy, we can add you as a new user manually. To cause that to happen, email newuser@ballotpedia.org with your request. In the email you send, be sure to say what you want your user name to be.

Registration

Choose a user name

The user name you choose when you register on Ballotpedia should be easy for you to remember. This name becomes your signature and gives you credit for your work. You can read material on Ballotpedia without creating an account, but you cannot contribute information without logging in to your account.

You may want to choose some form of your real name so that when you are credited with your edits on the history page, it will be clearly you. However, if you wish your contributions to be anonymous, you can choose a neutral name.

Either way, remember that you cannot change this name later. So, choose carefully.

Also, be aware that Ballotpedia has a policy for names that are identical to or substantially similar to the name of an elected official or candidate. Our policy is that we ask users who register using such a name to verify to us that they are that person. If they don't verify this, depending on how the account is used, the account might be deleted.

When using a Username, your IP address will not be available to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by you or by another user with the same IP address.

If you register and become an editor, each article you edit will contain a history of your edits to it. If you'd like to see what this looks like, go to the top of this page and click on "history." There, you will see a list in reverse chronological order of the registered user names of everyone who has ever made any changes to this page.

Logging in

A user account is created only once. You are then "logged in".

The next time you access Ballotpedia's website, you will need to supply your user name and password again. If you checked the box "Remember my login on this computer" when you registered, or previously logged in, and did not log out the last time you were on this computer, you may still be logged in.

It is not necessary to log in before you read a page, but you do have to register and log in to edit a page. (When you are logged in, you will also see additional editing features that are not visible to readers who are not logged in.)

Edits you make are recorded under your user name. If you are not logged in, you will not be able to make edits.

For more information on logging in, go to the page with troubleshooting help.

Cookies

The wiki will set a temporary session cookie whenever you visit the site. If you do not intend to ever log in, you may deny this cookie, but you cannot log in without it. It will be deleted when you close your browser session.

More cookies may be set when you log in, to avoid typing in your user name (or optionally password) on your next visit. These last up to 30 days. You may clear these cookies after use if you are using a public machine and don't wish to expose your user name to future users of the machine. (If so, clear the browser cache as well.)

Your "user page"

Once you've become a registered user, Ballotpedia automatically generates a user page and an associated user talk page for you.

As soon as you have completed your registration process, if you look in the upper right of your screen, your user name will appear in red. Immediately to the right of your user name, you'll see "my talk" in blue. That's your user "talk" page.

You can put as much or as little (or no) information as you like on your user page. You can use it to link to articles you've written, or projects you're starting or working on. You can use it to add hyperlinks to articles that don't currently exist on Ballotpedia but which you'd eventually like to write. That kind of list on your user page is a nice way to remind yourself of projects you're working on.

Normally, you are the only person who will edit your user page. Similarly, you would not expect to edit the user pages of other users. The way that editors/users/contributors connect to talk about articles, editing and projects is through their respective user "talk" pages, article talk/discussion pages, or project pages.

For example, you might visit the user talk page of another editor, say hello, ask a question, or congratulate them on an especially good article, and so on.

On-wiki registration status

In 2011 the Captcha system in use on Ballotpedia to ensure that new users are real people, as opposed to spambots, was temporarily overwhelmed by a particularly aggressive spambot program that was creating hundreds of new fake users, and new inappropriate articles, every day.

This section highlights the status of the on-wiki registration system. If you encounter any issues or have any questions please let us know by emailing newuser@ballotpedia.org.

Status:

  • On January 28, 2011, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was temporarily turned off.
  • On February 4, 2011, the ability of new users to register was turned back on on an experimental basis.
  • On February 4, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. (CST), the ability of new users to registered was once again temporarily turned off because of a new infestation of spambots.
  • On February 23, 2011, new registrations were again enabled on Ballotpedia.
  • On June 6, 2011, we dis-enabled new user registration again because the problem had once again grown to be a significant level.
  • On December 19, 2011, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was again enabled on Ballotpedia.
  • On January 26, 2012, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was disabled due to a sudden increase in spam.
  • On January 7, 2014, on-wiki user registration was enabled.
  • On September 17, 2014, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was disabled due to a sudden increase in spam.
  • On September 29, 2014, on-wiki user registration was enabled.
  • On October 9, 2014, the ability of new users to register a user account on Ballotpedia was temporarily disabled due to a sudden increase in spam.

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