[tor-talk] some websites are blocking me now

Dave Warren dw at thedave.ca
Tue Jan 9 19:06:06 UTC 2018

On 2018-01-08 16:29, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 08, 2018 at 03:25:09PM -0800, jbclem wrote:
>> Since I started using Tor browser I can't reach certain websites.  www.craigslist.org is a good example.  I get an error message that "this ip has been automatically blocked".
>> I wonder if using Tor is causing this, or if I've been assigned an ip address that is unacceptable to these websites?  And how can I get Tor to change the ip address so I can test with a different one...any thoughts on this problem?
> Check out this blog post for a good start to the issue:
> https://blog.torproject.org/call-arms-helping-internet-services-accept-anonymous-users
> Craigslist's business model is basically to have a proprietary data set
> that its users can interact with but that its competitors can't get. So
> they're stuck being scared of the Internet and blocking connections from
> anyplace that yelp, tripadvisor, etc might use to fetch their secrets.

I don't think that that is why Craigslist blocks Tor, rather, I think 
it's more about geo-locating IPs to help negate a wide range of scams 
which don't require a local presence, and also, to make it easier to 
detect and track abuse when it does happen.

Craigslist relies heavily on a shadow-ban system, such that when you 
violate rules and get flagged, your future posts may appear to succeed 
without ever being published publicly (they show up to you, and possibly 
other shadow-banned users). This system relies upon being able to 
identify users and for better or for worse, blocking Tor, proxies, and 
similar increases the difficulty of signing up multiple accounts in an 
attempt to keep them unique.

While Craigslist does take steps to avoid being scraped, I believe 
blocking Tor is more about scam and spam prevention. I could be wrong.

> As for getting Tor to switch circuits, Tor Browser has a "New Tor
> Circuit for this Site" option (click the little green onion). But
> for sites like Craiglist, moving to a new circuit will rarely help.

Indeed, switching circuits won't make any difference at all when 
accessing a service designed to restrict/block Tor.

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