Are IP addresses on comment notices always correct?

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    I’ve had a number of comments come in from one IP address, and they have been accompanied by four different names. Since its a healthcare site I suspect it is one person trying to maximize his effect by making it look like four different people. However, I don’t want to rule out that the IP tracking could be in error. Are the IP addresses always correct?

    The blog I need help with is



    Yes, they are correct, but they are NOT unique identifiers. This is one of the great myths of the internet. AOL has a block of IPs, lots of proxies have blocks of IPs so it frequently looks like everyone using that service is in the same place. It’s not necessarily true.

    What I did when hit with a similar situation (all pro-Scientology comments, all posted within a very short time and tracing to the same IP) was that I edited each of the comments to show the IP right in the comment and then made a comment myself about how odd it was that they all had the same IP. That doesn’t rule out that they could be different people, but it does cast some doubt.


    I can understand how that might be with email, but when they log on to my blog and wordpress sends me a notice, is it still going through yahoo and thus picking up the same IP?

    For example, here’s four that seem also to include the county and state.

    8:52 Author *: Stewie (IP: ,
    8:56 Author *: Squiggy (IP: ,
    8:56 Author *: Tom (IP: ,
    12:00 Author*: James Madison (IP: ,

    Can I safely say these are the same people?



    IP addresses are network interfaces, not people. It’s common for many people who work in the one office to share a single IP address. (There are even some countries where the entire population shares a handful of IP addresses).

    You can’t draw any conclusion except to say those comments all came from the same network.


    So raincoaster’s posting a note alerting the coincidence is all you really can do?



    Pretty much, yes. There’s nothing in the IP address that will prove anything either way.


    Bummer. So when you mark it as spam you are excluding perhaps all the people on that network, or only when that IP address comes in?


    And can you un-spam an IP after a week or so?



    Marking a comment as spam won’t harm other people with the same IP or on the same network. Akismet is smarter than that.

    You can un-spam any comment poster by approving their comments – that will teach Akismet to regard them as ok.

    If you want to deliberately block an IP address you can put it in your Comment Blacklist on the Settings / Discussion tab.


    Great. Thanks much.

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