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Tracking Trolls (How Realiable Are Ip Addresses?)

  1. I have 6 different people leaving comments on my blog that have the same IP address. They deny that they are the same people and have faulted wordpress for issuing faulty IP Addresses. 3 of the identies admit to living in Saudi Arabia, one was traced back to California by the person I accused of being the troll, and the other 2 have not said anything. All comments were made around the same time regarding the same issues. Is this a coindidence or what? How accurate is wordpresses IP trackers?

  2. IPs are accurate. They can be hard to interpret, though. If they all go through AOL, for instance, they could all appear to come from AOL HQ. They very, very rarely identify individuals if that's what you're asking.

    Does it really matter if they're one troll or six? Just deal with the comments however you deal with trolls and move on.

  3. Well it matters now, because I alled myself exposing the identity of the troll on my blog. I've since then removed the post, but the damage may have already been done because the person is swearing it was not them. They are using IP: and IP: All servers are in Riyadh KSA. The person I accused and named as being all 6 trolls lives in Jeddah KSA, another claims to live in Qaseem KSA and another in a different region. The wife of one has contacted me and said she has traced down one of the others and that accoring to his myspace he lives in California. I personally think her husband may just be twisted (has a little fun on the net under other identities but keeps his real name clean and honorable) but that is merely suspicion.

    My main concern is falsely accusing someone. For that I need to repent. I hate harboring this suspicion, because they are actually swearing it is not them and her husband has given me his phone number and so has one of the others so that I can confirm that they are two different people (haven't done that yet. I'm not comfortable leaving my virtual world to talk to real life people on the phone). They are claiming that the fault is in wordpress and how the issue the ip addresses and possibly in the fact that KSA is relatively knew to technology. Still sounds fishy, so i really need some FACTS here.

  4. Fact: you can say it is the same IP, but you cannot say it was the same person. Even if it was the same computer (and lots of IPs change all the time) you can't tell if it was the same person.

  5. ummadam,
    Wordpress does not issue the IP address - it is the address of the computer through which the person is gaining access to the 'net. If I use the 'net from work, many computers will share the address from which I am connecting, as all communications from my office go out through one computer.
    If you really want to be able to track people you need to use a tool like the paid version of activemeter - which places a cookie on visitors' computers and can track them through that cookie.
    in the end, though, no method is perfect. The cookies can be deleted or corrupted and IP addresses spoofed or changed.
    From what you have said, I would also suspect trolling through sockpuppets, give a warning and then ban them if it continues. Unless you really need them on your site for a reason, warn and then ban.

  6. Thank you both. I don't think I will have a problem from this partuclar IP address anymore, so there is no need to ban. However, there is a need to open clear the person who I accused. This person is in otherwise good standing and by exposing them with the same ip address as others who have made malicious comments and slandered me on my blog - has now caused humialiation to this person. I could understand if they claimed they wrote in from work. This is not the claim. The claim is that it is a mere coincedence that they all have been issued the same ip address around the same time commenting on many of the same threads. Apublic apology is in order if I was wrong. I have no problem doing that and will even publically apologise if I was right, because it was an immature way of handling it. I could have just ignored it. However, if I was wrong I want to not only apologisee but remove all doubts and suspicions from the hearts of those who read my blog and try to clear the person's name to the best of my ability.
    From the email of the wife of the accused:
    "I think the problem with matching I.P addresses on your blog lies in the hands of Word Press ..."
    "Again, the problem with matching I.P addresses could possibly lie in the hands of WordPress, or the net router, ..."
    "It's an odd coincidence that you recieved all those comments around the same time, but odd things happen all the time. KSA is still a developing country. There are going to be some teachincal bugs here and there."

    Those are her theories. I'm looking advice from wordpress about their possible theories.

  7. I'm not that expert in IP-related drama, but here are some facts:

    * IP addresses are not issued by, they are merely recorded by I have never heard of any cases of servers recording the wrong IP address for a visitor. Technically, I can't see how it would happen.

    * If these trolls knew what they were talking about, they wouldn't be coming up with these arguments about it being WP's 'fault' or something to do with technical bugs in Saudi Arabia. They'd be telling you the same thing as raincoaster and osrisk: that it's perfectly possible for separate users on the same network to be issued the same IP. Hell, if they knew the first thing about IP addresses they'd have used a proxy server to cover their tracks. The fact that they are talking such nonsense suggests they have something to hide.

    * "they all have been issued the same ip address around the same time commenting on many of the same threads"
    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you know what? It's probably a duck.

    * IP-related drama is a really unproductive way to spend your time. Please don't bother debating with these idiots any further. Draw a line under the episode and get back to blogging.

  8. Agreed. We cannot help you any further with this - wank has said it all.
    So will you please mark this thread as "resolved".

  9. Ditto to that. It's completely possible for the same IP to be used for many computers. My house has one public IP. All computers on the network show the same IP when connecting outside. Same thing for here at work. For each gateway (we have three), there is a public IP. Multiple computers accessing the internet through a single gateway will all have the same IP.

    To top it all off, it is possible to spoof an IP (although it is rarely done) or route through an entirely different one (a proxy as wank said).

    But, it's best to just move on. It's easier to delete comments than to trace.

  10. Found something via Google:

    Both addresses are known open relays used by spammers. They're
    probably just screwing with the poster.

    A honeypot is a computer that's completely open to viruses, btw.

  11. @raincoaster
    w00t! good on you for doing the research.

  12. wow! that was great! now can you explain it in english (for slow learners)? lol

  13. It's probably some kind of spammers or something just messing with you. I would do what the others say, delete the whole drama, and not allow comments from those people. If they're innocent people anyway, there are many other blogs they can comment on. It's not the end of the world for them.

  14. that was fast! thanks again!

  15. You're welcome. Hope things go well for you in future.

  16. Maybe this wil help, a beta-plugin for wordpress

    Cave Your Trolls
    Don't kill obnoxious posters. Feed Them!

    When an angry troll enters a forum, he can't believe his eyes. His posting is accepted.

    That's sneaky!

    Only you and I know that the troll is the only person who can see the improper posting. Other forum users can't see the troll at all. The troll sits in its cave and feels proud. Good for him. And you. Your discussions stay clean.

  17. That may be so, but doesn't allow users to add plugins. We can only work with the ones provided by them. New plugins have to be added by Automattic, but glaciers move faster than new additions being made.

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