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Displaying IP addresses of authors on anonymous comments

Posted by RPP 31 Aug 2009 9 Comments

We have long felt that the user comments are the most valuable part of Carpe Durham.  Because we did not want to discourage participation, when we redesigned the site to include user registration, we left anonymous commenting enabled.  That being said, we recognize that comments on the Internet have the potential to greatly impact (for better or worse) the reputation of local businesses.  To balance accountability and anonymity, within the next few days we plan to implement a new feature displaying the IP address of those users commenting without a registered account.  The primary benefit of this feature will be to allow the Carpe Durham community to detect a single person posting from multiple unregistered accounts.  The IP address of registered users will not be displayed.

Please let us know in the comments if you strongly object to this new policy.

9 Comments »

  • judas_escargot said:

    Seems like the responsible thing to do given the amount of astroturfing I’ve seen in a few threads. I went ahead and registered my nick, didn’t even see that option before. Keep up the good work CD!

    [Reply]

  • blewgo said:

    Thank you guys for making this change. It will help make this site better.

    [Reply]

  • Martin said:

    Why not just use some editorial control and take a look to see if anonymous comments are really abusing the system. Personally I like the idea that I’m not always being identified everywhere I go.

    [Reply]

  • Yanni said:

    I think it’s a great idea. This way it can greatly reduce the amount of “flaming” or even fake praising. Plus IP adresses are something that even if it gets displayed it does not necessarily mean that the security gets compromised.

    [Reply]

  • Brad Proctor said:

    I do not frequent this site but wanted to say that it is a terrible idea. An IP address does not “identify” a person. With most home ISP sticking to DHCP addresses your IP can change frequently meaning people can easily get around it. If they really want to spam/flame a post they will find another way.

    My suggestion is to find another way to filter your content.

    [Reply]

    RPP replies on September 1st, 2009 at 2:55 pm:

    DHCP assignments from most providers are sticky enough that I think the information still has value. But, I agree, it isn’t perfect.

    [Reply]

  • christopher said:

    I have to agree with Brad and Martin. If its not currently an issue do you really need to publish IP addresses? Who will be checking for the same IP from multiple accounts? I can’t imagine a human being very effective at that. Can you write IP/account checking into the backend? That way you don’t have to expose the actual IP but can just flag the comment? Potential abuse is then obvious but no one’s location is compromised.

    [Reply]

  • blewgo said:

    IP address display is a start, but anonymous posting will never work in the real world. People will abuse it. Like it or not, the most useful food site on the internet is chowhound. They require registration and they also moderate, imperfectly for sure. If people were perfect would we need law schools and lawyers? Make ‘em register and ask for volunteers to moderate. Or don’t worry about it.

    [Reply]

  • ip address said:

    I like concept of your post. Very creative post. Best of luck and waiting for some new ideas. I am looking for such useful information and I found here a lot of it. Nice article and exactly what I need. Most of all I like the style. Great job,
    Ip address

    [Reply]

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