Are IP addresses on comment notices always correct?

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  • #389700

    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 moneyedpoliticians.net.

    #389832

    raincoaster
    Member

    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.

    #389834

    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: 65.219.110.180 , fw.co.marquette.wi.us)
    8:56 Author *: Squiggy (IP: 65.219.110.180 , fw.co.marquette.wi.us)
    8:56 Author *: Tom (IP: 65.219.110.180 , fw.co.marquette.wi.us)
    12:00 Author*: James Madison (IP: 65.219.110.180 , fw.co.marquette.wi.us)

    Can I safely say these are the same people?

    #389835

    tellyworth
    Staff

    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.

    #389836

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

    #389837

    tellyworth
    Staff

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

    #389839

    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?

    #389840

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

    #389841

    tellyworth
    Staff

    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.

    #389844

    Great. Thanks much.

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