Playing games and IP address’s

maddie-laptopLisa wrote a post a long time ago (last May when we were a brand new blog) called “12 year old wants her belly button pierced.”  This post has been our most read post.  It’s had 5,377 views. We’ve had 135 Responses.  I had to close the comments yesterday.  I didn’t want to delete it so I just shut her down.  This is what happened and what made me do it and I wondered if any of you have ever had to do this and what do people really think when they leave comments or even “travel” around on the Internet.

I’m sure most of the bloggers here know what an IP Address is but for those of you who don’t, here are some Definitions of an IP address.  This is what happened and what has me wondering why people do stuff like this.

This belly button piercing sees a lot of hits daily and a few comments every now and then even though it’s just shy of a year old.  I don’t really pay attention to them anymore to be honest with you.  I do read every comment on this blog though so I still know most of them are kids or worse yet, adults who haven’t grown up. If you have never read through these and need a shock one day, read some of the things people have had to say.

I was at a wedding on Saturday night and when I got home I saw that there were 4 new comments and I thought “not again” but I went to look at them.  The aviator icons were all the same so I knew it was the same person but one of the names were different. I’m not sure if you know this or not but every email address has it’s own icon so I knew whoever this person was, was using the same email address.  I also knew this person didn’t know this because she was talking back and forth to herself in the comments.  Can you even imagine? Egging “each other on” and they are the same person?? Okay then. So I looked closer in the comments and did some IP checking and this has gone on throughout the entire post. The biggest bust was 9, yes 9 different names with the same IP address.  This person must have known about the aviators but not the IP address’s or thought I wouldn’t look.  Which I didn’t until things started falling into place.  In other words, you can use the same IP address but if you change the email, the icon will be different.  It’s the email address that makes the icons not the IP address.  So, Layla, Avril, LiLo, Sammyyyyyyy, lily, El, Stacy, LeAh and elizaa were all the same person.  Rosie and Mollie were also. So much for the stats on that post now and I got sick of reading these kids anyway so I just stopped allowing comments.

BUT….It really does make me wonder if kids and a lot of adults know there is a footprint left when you go places online.  I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t know these things before I started blogging. I’m completely self taught so what I didn’t know, how would I know?  I mean if you don’t know, how do you look or more importantly, why would you look?  You just don’t know.  I knew there was a “history” on your own computer and I kind of knew places not to go that have a tendency toward carrying virus’s but I didn’t know you left this kind of thing.  

When I first got sitemeter, I’ll admit in the beginning I spent a lot of time looking around and seeing where everyone was coming from. You can find out where people are coming from but not “who” they are.  You can see the IP’s and states and even what browser is being used.  You can see who’s on your site and what they are reading.  You can see all kinds of things.  I got bored with it after a while and can’t tell you the last time I looked.  The Dashboard on WordPress also tells you an awful lot but again, I just don’t spend a whole lot of time reading these things because a lot of stuff, I just didn’t know what any of it actually means.  But it will tell you what tags were used to search and who’s blog you were on if you clicked on my name somewhere on their blog and came to mine that way. It really is hard to hide “if” someone is looking around.

I can tell the “kids” who did this are “kids” because of the language and bad spelling and grammar but don’t they know this?  Maybe they don’t care but an adult isn’t going to say “Joy, you’re a real downer” or “Joy, I don’t like you” or “Joy, your kids won’t like you when they grow up if you never let them do anything”.  Well they are grown up and I think they like me just fine.  I guess what I feel the worst about is I didn’t catch on to it sooner.  Nikki, Sue and I have talked about this many times over the last year and we can’t believe how long this post has lived.  Now to find out a lot of it was a couple of people playing with us.

Has this ever happened to you or don’t you ever pay attention to your stats and comments?  Had I not seen the same aviator icon the other night with different names, I wouldn’t have checked but I’ll be a lot more aware now.

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22 Responses to Playing games and IP address’s

  1. Doraz says:

    My sons told me a couple of things that made sense to me regarding this type of stuff.
    The kids in the dorms share computers.
    The kids in the neighborhood share computers.
    People at my house share.
    Public places share.
    So, a lot of people who comment on my blog have the same IP.
    They all make “nice” comments.
    Sorry you have a problem!!

    • Joy says:

      I thought of all those scenario’s Luisa while I was looking at all these comments on Sunday. The kids were way to young to be in dorms. I thought of a slumber party or after school types of things but the times didn’t add up right. Some of these comments would come at different times and the language and grammar mannerisms were to the same for it to be different people. I wouldn’t have done this or written it without thinking of those things. Paul and I share two computers but you could tell if I wrote something or he did.

      I know what happened and this kid wasn’t out in a public place. The age is just to young. She said over and over she was 12 or 13 and not in college. The wording and grammar would have been different. If had been a bunch of neighborhood kids, the times would have been closer together. Some of them came days apart so it was someone who just kept coming back and reading the comments and kept adding fuel to the fire.

      Thanks though.

  2. joanharvest says:

    It’s never happened to be because I seldom write anything unless it’s about me. Ha! Ha! Wow, that sounds sort of egotistical. Anyway, I seldom have anyone leave comments except for my regulars even though I get between 300-350 hits a day. But I really do think it’s because I don’t bring up the questions (which I love) that you do.

    I will tell you that when my grandchild is 12 she won’t be looking down and seeing a pierced belly button. I may be a wild grandma but I am also a fairly strict one.

    I still check sitemeter out of curiosity. I just went and checked out the kids’ comments. You are so right about it being a kid.

  3. fibi says:

    Thanks Joy, a real eye opener for me..

  4. pammy wammy says:

    I am glad you put a stop to that.Out of curiosity i read those childish comments.I saw those remarks and thought how stupid.Love you Joy and you do an awesome job on your blog.I enjoy coming to your blog everyday.Thats how I start my day.A cup of coffee and YOU 🙂

  5. javajunkee says:

    so far I’ve had only regulars commenting. Once in a great while I’ll get some off the wall comment from somebody but that hasn’t happened often.

  6. SKL says:

    Well, I have to admit I was finding it a bit amusing that people kept coming and commenting on such a topic. Can you imagine that person on the more controversial websites once they grow up?

    But that is an important point. We need to teach kids that they are really putting themselves out there when they are on the internet.

    I got a shock once, years ago, when I was researching conjoined twins. Some jerk had put up an immature post about a set of twins and people were adding really crude comments. I left what I assumed was an “anonymous” comment telling the guy off. He responded by posting my email address, which happens to include most of my name, for all to see. That was the lesson I needed.

    We had a family visiting us some years ago from a middle eastern country. The dad had a book with him and asked to use one of our computers. Turns out the book was full of porn sites and he was checking them all out now that he was in a “safe place.” Great. That computer was spammed with so many porn ads after that! Not that we’re running for president or anything, but really, people need to be aware that they are leaving a trail.

    So Joy, I appreciate your telling everyone how much information the Internet holds about the travels of each Web surfer and commenter. I think a lot of people still don’t know these things. They should really teach it in school, don’t you think?

    • Joy says:

      You know SKL I wanted to add something about all the parents I know who know NOTHING about computers and yet they let their kids go online without batting an eye but the post had gotten so long as it was.

      I know a couple different people who can barely check their own email and yet their kids spend hours and hours online and they have no idea where they go and then wonder why the computer if full of spam and porn. They seem to just turn a blind eye thinking “not my kids” but kids are kids and they have the “nothing can happen to me attitude”.

      We have to check on our kids and we have to make them aware that they are leaving a footprint where they go and I honestly feel that if you don’t know where your kids are going, you shouldn’t have a computer in your home.

      One day my husband was looking for a site he was at months ago and he asked me if I remembered the address and I went back in the history and found it and he couldn’t believe I knew how to do that and I’m not anywhere near a computer genius but some things you need to learn. Parent’s need to learn how to monitor their kids and make sure they are safe. Even if you ever watch any of the CSI’s or Law and Orders, you know the first thing they ask for after their cell phones is access to their computers. It’s all in there. If you have multiple people using your computer, you better be aware of what they are doing as well. If an officer comes to your door with a warrant for your computer, telling them that it was a neighbor kid or someone else that has access to your computer, they’ll look at you like “ya right.” If someone is using your computer, you better be well informed as to where they are going and what they are doing because it’s your home and your computer and you will be held accountable. You can’t pass the buck when it suits you. I feel that if anyone uses your computer, you’d best know what’s going on.

      • Just a Mom says:

        I check my oldest daughter’s computer once a week. She thinks she is smart because she deletes the history but she does not realize that there are other ways for me to check on where she’s been. If she has been to a site that I have told her not to go to or if she sneaks onto the computer past her allowed time then her computer is gone for a week or longer.

  7. Sue says:

    I’m glad you wrote a post about this! It’s just too bad that some people get a kick out of pretending to be other people. What does it gain them really? I will admit that I was getting sick of people commenting on that post!

  8. Gary says:

    I keep a pretty close eye on my visitors, comments, stats, etc. Thankfully I haven’t had these types of problems as of YET anyway.

    Before I became a phototographer/stay-at-home dad, I was a Network Administrator for a large hospital so it’s a little easier for me to detect the “bulls%^t stuff”.

  9. Wow, that is completely horrible, Joy! Talk about infantile behavior =/… It’s sad, but many many many people abuse the internet’s free speech in this manner – for their own pointless amusement and to hurt others. I really don’t understand it, but there are those people who just forever spam forums or comment meanly on posts and they truly find amusement in them. It makes me kind of feel sorry for them, that they don’t have anything more interesting going on in their lives and they succumb to this sort of dumb amusement…

  10. SKL says:

    I have to say that I have changed my screen name to post on a site where there were people who vehemently disagreed with me before. I didn’t do it to try to fool the blog owner, but because I didn’t want readers’ negative attitudes to taint my message, which was intended in good faith. It didn’t work because the blog owner outed me, after which I was attacked anew.

    Do you think there should be an unwritten rule where blog owners protect the anonymity of posters who clearly want to be anonymous? I mean, that’s a lot of power the blog owners hold. Should commenters assume the blog owners can and will publicize their personal information, or should blog owners show restraint? Obviously many/most of us behave as if the latter will be observed. Otherwise we wouldn’t post stuff like what we hate about our siblings, which of our associates are gay, embarrassing things about our kids . . . .

    • Joy says:

      That is a very good point to bring up SKL. I would NEVER tell anyone someone’s email address or anything I knew or know about any commenter. No matter what. I think that would be a terrible thing to do. I feel that it is an unwritten rule but that might just be me. Anyone else out there want to comment on that?

      If someone wanted to ask someone something or whatever, I’d email the person and be the middle man but that has never happened. The names I used above in this post is the first time I’ve ever done it but I KNOW those are all fake names. In order to leave a comment you are required to leave an email address but it can be a fake or made up one. Did you know that? I tried it Sunday night and then deleted my comment so even though you are supposed to leave one, it doesn’t need to necessarily be a real one.

      • SKL says:

        I know you can leave a fake email, but that time when that crude blogger posted my email address, I had left a fake one. Somehow he had access to my real one. Scary thought.

        • Joy says:

          This is what has me wondering though SKL. Like on “that other blog” you can click your name and see all the comments you’ve made even if you used a different name. This leaves me to wonder that they know by your IP in this case. Or other comments you’ve left.

  11. mssc54 says:

    I think that most people who listen to the news now know that IP addresses will get you caught doing something wrong.

    Can you say “Craig’s List Killer?”

  12. starlaschat says:

    I do know about the IP address my husband builds websites every once in awhile so some things I hear about a little bit like osmosis. I guess Tony was having some troubles too. It sure is no fun and takes some of the fun away from blogging. A lot of times I don’t put tags on my post I actually forget and Ive been forgetting to do that a lot lately. Probably brings me less traffic and new people I would imagine. There’s a lot of stuff I’m still learning.

    • Joy says:

      It really didn’t make work for me Starla or bring me down but it really made me think. I should have looked into those comments a long time ago because now that I know, they are all so similar. I don’t really care that much either but it made me wonder if these kids really thought I wouldn’t find out that instead of 9 of them, there might only been 2 or 3. I do know siblings and friends might computer share like Luisa mentioned. I did think of that when I was putting this together. But they were just all to much alike for it to be more than a few kids. Not 9.

      Blogging is fun for me and it’s taught me a lot about how things work and if I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, I wouldn’t do it because it’s turned into a lot of work. I’m not sure I can even keep this pace up alone for a whole lot longer. I may have to not post new things everyday. I’m just not sure but I do know how much I’ve loved meeting everyone. People have come and gone but we have a darned nice group here now.

      I do tag everything because I do like the variety of people coming here but I don’t like the “fake” of it. I see no reason for that. I also don’t want “fake” hits from websites that want to flood you with hits. What’s the point of hits if your not meeting and getting to know new people through the talking part?

      Remember that you can still block people and I did block that IP address in the above post. I’ve had to do that a few other times and so have many people had to. I really wrote this to try and get people to realize that they might think they are a fly on the wall but “someone” knows you were there.

  13. Kristen says:


    I read (most of) the comments on the other blog about the belly button piercing, and I thought it was hysterical! In a few years, these kids are going to look back at some of the things they felt so strongly about and feel so immature.

    Maybe I’m doing the same thing. I’m fifteen, so maybe I sound like a real idiot too, but at least I can spell like a fifteen year old. There were people claiming to be seventeen spelin lyk dis. I hope to God they aren’t actually seventeen or else our world is in trouble.

    I also wanted to thank you. I’m still a stupid teenager, and actually was seriously considering going behind my mother’s back and getting my belly button pierced. But after reading all of these comments and the things you’ve posted, and I’ve come to realise that it’s really insignificant and I don’t know why I felt like I HAD to have it. I’ll wait until I’m eighteen and see how I feel then. I can almost guarantee that I’ll have changed my mind about this.

    So anyway, thanks for your posts, I really enjoy reading them.


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