Friday, November 30, 2007

Deleting a Comment

I receive an email whenever a comment is posted here, so I see that even long-dead threads sometimes draw comments. For an amusing example of this, see the distraught students who google "Florida'a Culture" and find my short post on "Florida's Culture of Life" about Terry Schiavo and gun control in their research for a school assignment, and take the time to profanely chide me for my lack of helpfulness.

Wednesday evening, though, I received an email notifying me that someone had commented on a post I did way back in 2004 pondering "Why do They Hate Hillary Clinton so Much?" Believe it or not, this post appears near the top of a google search for "hate Hilary", and I regularly receive inarticulate rants about how bad Hillary Clinton is. Few commenters even attempt to explain the bizarre and over-the-top hatred of her, which was the central issue of the post. The comment section has become a dumping ground for weirdos who feel the need to vent about our probable next president.

The comment I received on Wednesday, though, included a suggestion that she should be harmed. I immediately emailed the FBI and provided them with a copy of the comment. According to a comment posted yesterday by someone claiming to be the same poster, the secret service visited him for a couple hours.

I deleted the comment this morning. So, from now on, when I claim that I don't delete comments for reasons of content (except for some spam), please add a mental asterisk to my claim. I will also delete comments that I think are threatening, or that could have the Secret Service knocking at my door for displaying them. Fair enough?

Labels: ,

21 Comments:

Blogger whistleblower said...

I've got ten bucks that says that poster is a regular listener to political shock-jock radio.

Anonymity is one thing, but when you threaten someone, you cross the line.

You did exactly what you should have done; and possibly saved a life while doing it.

11/30/2007 7:23 AM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

I am glad you forwarded the information to the proper authorities.

11/30/2007 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does your software allow you to close posts for commenting after they are X months old?

If so, what do you think of that option?

11/30/2007 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Paco said...

Yikes! Kind of creepy, I think. Good job.

11/30/2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How anonymous are we? What information does the blog operator have access to based on our posts? ISP only, or can they find provider information which idicates name and address? Someone please educate me. Are we subject to the blog operators discretion to conceal our identity, or the provider who we use for internet service?

11/30/2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34,

I think the blogger can track your IP, but you'd need to go to the provider to track down what computer the comment originated from. I don't know how wifi affects this.

11/30/2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger Happy In Bag said...

Was he from New Hampshire?

11/30/2007 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34,

I don't know what the particular software used on this blog gets, if anything, but most web sites get IP name and IP number.

IP number looks like: 123.99.72.33

IP name could be relatively anonymous or not:
A) 123.99.72.33.somephoneorcablecompany.com
or
B) historydepartmentdesk23.somecollege.edu

11/30/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ours looks something like this..


Time (UTC) IP Address IP2Location
12/1/2007 3:25:28 AM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
12/1/2007 3:23:47 AM 65.214.44.29 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
12/1/2007 1:01:34 AM 71.13.208.178 BAY CITY, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:38:20 PM 207.200.32.46 AUSTIN, TEXAS (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:31:18 PM 97.84.153.138 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:20:57 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:08:22 PM 208.252.206.34 BOULDER, COLORADO (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:04:09 PM 206.80.1.253 OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 10:12:28 PM 66.231.234.106 UNITED STATES
11/30/2007 9:54:48 PM 65.17.73.20 HOUSTON, TEXAS (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 9:40:13 PM 141.219.48.171 DODGEVILLE, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 9:26:09 PM 80.1.111.226 LONDON, ENGLAND (UNITED KINGDOM)
11/30/2007 9:02:33 PM 68.9.230.11 PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 9:02:15 PM 69.41.9.12 ESSEXVILLE, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 8:55:46 PM 65.23.81.49 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 8:40:08 PM 64.7.188.46 BAY CITY, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 8:39:41 PM 64.7.188.46 BAY CITY, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 8:13:38 PM 68.188.166.181 BAY CITY, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 8:08:09 PM 97.84.201.205 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 7:44:30 PM 72.235.213.56 HONOLULU, HAWAII (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 7:42:26 PM 67.121.209.250 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 7:37:13 PM 66.54.166.42 WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 7:14:28 PM 216.161.176.100 QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 6:05:03 PM 71.252.64.50 SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 5:59:58 PM 98.135.26.212 UNITED STATES
11/30/2007 5:55:20 PM 67.121.209.250 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 5:36:59 PM 65.214.44.29 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 5:11:27 PM 141.211.9.98 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 5:10:45 PM 98.135.23.251 UNITED STATES
11/30/2007 4:46:23 PM 130.11.172.97 HERNDON, VIRGINIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:39:53 PM 216.165.95.64 MERRICK, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:38:34 PM 68.157.231.98 RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:34:07 PM 208.5.237.66 EAST GREENVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:19:10 PM 97.84.153.147 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:14:54 PM 65.118.157.130 MAYNARD, MASSACHUSETTS (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:01:14 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 3:03:42 PM 207.248.236.50 MONTERREY, NUEVO LEON (MEXICO)
11/30/2007 3:00:38 PM 136.181.195.13 LANSING, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 2:42:26 PM 65.23.81.49 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 2:40:32 PM 70.88.106.60 ROCHESTER, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 2:30:04 PM 194.185.181.101 SONDRIO, LOMBARDIA (ITALY)
11/30/2007 2:15:17 PM 216.138.134.110 MIDLAND, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:54:12 PM 78.137.163.133 IRELAND
11/30/2007 1:35:06 PM 170.191.20.240 HOUSTON, TEXAS (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:30:03 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:29:01 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:25:52 PM 216.99.65.63 MIDLAND, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:25:04 PM 134.174.21.2 MATTAPAN, MASSACHUSETTS (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:12:38 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:12:33 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:10:08 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:08:40 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:02:18 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:48:34 PM 168.170.196.210 WATERTOWN, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:39:05 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:04:37 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:56:22 AM 97.84.217.53 MT. PLEASANT, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:44:21 AM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:08:53 AM 128.193.250.208 CORVALLIS, OREGON (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 11:08:52 AM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 9:10:40 AM 222.253.89.120 HO CHI MINH CITY, HO CHI MINH (VIET NAM)
11/30/2007 8:08:51 AM 78.137.163.133 IRELAND
11/30/2007 6:28:25 AM 24.189.250.111 FREEPORT, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 6:21:46 AM 75.15.117.112 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 4:59:31 AM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 3:58:25 AM 69.85.160.209 SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 3:21:52 AM 67.172.89.203 EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 2:12:00 AM 68.40.40.189 PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:59:44 AM 68.82.7.83 NEWARK, DELAWARE (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 1:59:10 AM 68.82.7.83 NEWARK, DELAWARE (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:59:01 AM 24.247.173.220 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:57:27 AM 70.9.91.99 UNITED STATES
11/30/2007 12:37:56 AM 72.219.135.4 TRABUCO CANYON, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:22:57 AM 70.231.158.197 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:22:51 AM 70.231.158.197 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/30/2007 12:17:13 AM 66.188.12.3 BAY CITY, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:54:23 PM 216.194.32.66 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:47:44 PM 97.84.146.255 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:44:34 PM 97.84.162.164 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:44:16 PM 97.84.162.164 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:40:42 PM 88.151.83.72 SLIGO, SLIGO (IRELAND)
11/29/2007 11:37:34 PM 66.25.158.166 AUSTIN, TEXAS (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:26:50 PM 12.171.143.4 UNITED STATES
11/29/2007 11:21:05 PM 24.236.228.14 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:13:08 PM 97.84.162.164 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 11:01:20 PM 4.231.160.176 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 10:40:54 PM 12.215.214.237 DECATUR, INDIANA (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 10:28:10 PM 97.84.128.153 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 10:17:46 PM 68.239.198.94 PARLIN, NEW JERSEY (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 10:09:56 PM 136.159.209.125 CALGARY, ALBERTA (CANADA)
11/29/2007 10:05:51 PM 65.23.81.49 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 10:01:21 PM 141.217.84.72 DETROIT, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 9:24:43 PM 97.84.131.24 SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 9:14:28 PM 152.72.151.71 RACINE, WISCONSIN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 9:00:43 PM 69.120.116.7 DARIEN, CONNECTICUT (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 8:38:10 PM 151.163.2.8 MIDLAND, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 8:20:38 PM 141.211.9.98 ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 8:20:22 PM 64.113.43.44 BRANT, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 8:12:44 PM 65.31.135.111 MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN (UNITED STATES)
11/29/2007 7:50:44 PM 12.106.148.115 OKEMOS, MICHIGAN (UNITED STATES)

11/30/2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oddly enough, I didn't send the FBI anything other than the text and a link to my page. Despite my incredible knowledge and insight in all the areas I discuss on this blog, I'm a terrible techy. I've never even tried to dig up IP addresses or anything like that. I suspect I COULD learn a few hints at who is behind the comments, but I don't know how.

It's kind of impressive in a creepy way that the Secret Service was able to identify the guy so quickly and effectively. He gave a name and state, but I assume they did enough checking to make sure it was really him.

Happy in Bag - no, he's from Tennessee, but OMG, when I first heard about today's happenings, I thought it might have been him.

11/30/2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO even has this one. There are other ways for more information as well, but you don't have to be tech savvy to use this one.








Hmmmm..not sure this is going to post right. Go look at XO's site for the free IP2 map.

11/30/2007 11:21 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Thanks for the hint, but, really, I don't care to know more about the commenters. I'm simply thankful for 98% of them, and I wouldn't want to be tempted by knowledge of the other 2%.

12/01/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

Dan, you did the only responsible thing by turning him in.

As much as I despise the woman and her husband, I have no wish to see her harmed -- merely defeated and shamed out of public life.

As for deleting comments -- I rarely do, but some folks become so abusive it is necessary. I don't know that I would have deleted the particular comment you did (I never saw it), or if I would have left it in place with an addendum stating that I had reported the commenter to the proper authorities. After all, under federal law you are no way responsible for the content of comments.

12/01/2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

Oh, and I read his follow-up comment -- he really is a loon!

12/01/2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks for the hint, but, really, I don't care to know more about the commenters."

WOW

12/01/2007 10:53 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What's "WOW" about that, anonymous? I don't want to violate your privacy - if you want to post your name, you're welcome to, but I'm not seeking more information about you than you choose to share. I don't see how knowing your IP address or even your name and street address would do either of us any good. Am I missing something?

12/02/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's one thing not to want to violate ones privacy, to not care to know more about who is talking to you speaks volumes.

12/02/2007 10:53 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Okay, anonymous, it sounds like you need someone to talk to. Tell me about your anonymous self . . .

The fact that I'm not interested in prying into your IP address really, truly, honestly is not meant to be a slight. Please don't take it that way. I'm sure you have a fascinating IP address, and I'm sure that in other circumstances, we could become best friends.

12/02/2007 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure seem to like to fight. I don't. I have enough of that already. I posted the IP information because others were asking what people could see from posts. I offered the information to you just in case you were interested. You're not. Fine.

To say you don't care to even know who you are talking to seems a little bizarre to me though. I don't know you personally, but I know who you are in a way. It was a very cold comment in my opinion. Here I am..www.trwnews.net

12/02/2007 11:24 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous - I appreciated the info on the IP data that is available to those who care to track it. I certainly wasn't criticizing you for providing it.

And it's not cold of me when I say that I don't really want IP info on my commenters.

12/03/2007 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not what you said. You said you didn't want to know more about the commenters, not what their IP address was.

12/06/2007 11:11 PM  

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