• Grifter,

    I'm not the expert on this, but I understand an IP address is assigned to a computer when it receives Internet access. That's fairly simple if you're talking about a single computer at a single home. It gets more complicated when multiple computers are receiving Internet access through a router. In that case, there would be just a single IP address assigned, and you'd have to do some more detective work to figure out which computer was posting.

    Hope that helps.

    July 2, 2008 at 10:29 a.m.

  • I was wondering how all the IP stuff works. Does an IP address get assigned to a computer or location? Like if someone went to the Hardback Cafe with a laptop and got on line and blogged and then if that same person went and parked outside of Best Buy and got on line and blogged will it show up as two different IP address? Sorry for getting off topic.

    July 1, 2008 at 3:15 p.m.

  • Thank you, John, for the support.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:34 a.m.

  • Interesting idea, Ernie. We do use an obscenity filter, which can be entertaining as people come up with creative new words to add to the list.

    If we started using proper names in the filter, we could run into problem if people with the same first and/or last name make the news for some other reason. But definitely an idea worth considering.

    For the record, Ernie, I appreciate you and the handful of others who identify themselves on the site. I'm not saying everyone should do that, but those who do deserve extra respect. The anonymous sniping gets old. Is there a filter for that? Most who post anonymously still engage in civil discourse, but the veil of anonymity goes to the head of a few.

    Our challenge in moderating the forums is to encourage a level of discourse that attracts reasonable readers. If the sniping gets too much, it will drive away much of our audience. It also can be unhealthy for our community.

    June 28, 2008 at 6:41 a.m.

  • Yeah, I wanna be anonymous! :-)
    Obviously it wouldn't work in this recent threat situation, Chris, but you obivously have a filter on the public forums. Otherwise we wouldn't have been asking so often why no one could address STX in a post. In the matter of the poster who kept putting Ratcliff's alleged victim's name in the public domain though it seems it would work. Just as obviously though it'd be difficult to put every victim's name into the filter list - but it's thought.

    June 27, 2008 at 10 p.m.

  • Yes, Rainwater, our graphic with today's story explained how it would be much more difficult to trace someone using a public or pirated wifi. I suspect someone motivated enough could still do it, though. How anonymous are we really these days in the digital age?

    June 27, 2008 at 9:23 p.m.

  • Thanks, Luminary. And, Toni Anne, I'll have to try that site meter. I'm not familiar with it.

    I want to add that I received a frantic e-mail and phone call from an online user asking whether law enforcement investigators were seeking any other computer records. She feared she'd be exposed and her employment placed at risk.

    I assured her that we have received no other requests or subpoenas for users' information. We wouldn't release the information without a subpoena. We want to protect your privacy as much as we can.

    Of course, we also encourage you to abide by our site's policies and have a civil conversation. If you do that, you shouldn't have anything to worry about from law enforcement.

    June 27, 2008 at 4:40 p.m.

  • Just my opinion,

    No, only one poster is being investigated. As an ethics board we discussed the other post, but no law enforcement agency came to us and requested any computer records. We were just preparing for the possibility that could happen. As it turns out, it did.

    June 27, 2008 at 12:35 p.m.

  • um... i have a site meter on my page that is hidden for that very reason.
    I never really cared for one, but after my first "threat" (not on VicAd) - I started using one on all my blogs.
    They are free some places and I recommend everyone get one. Not only can you see who reads your blog (I have some readers from China, Germany, UK, Canada - to name a few)... but you can see who made that nice or nasty comment.
    For those interested: just search "free site counter" or go to (free one I use).
    I don't have an opinion on the Tyler thing - because as I said before - I have ZERO facts of the case (except what I have read on this site). That being said - no one deserves to be threatened. From the way it was described - the video was uncalled for and while I think someone may have just been fooling around - they have to be accountable for what they do and say.
    Threats are very real and shouldn't be taken lightly.

    June 27, 2008 at 12:21 p.m.

  • Wow,so is there two different posters that are being investigated because the article in the paper today stated that a poster made a threat towards Tyler not Ratcliff ? I remember the poster that posted the the alleged victims name in the Ratcliff case but did not get to view the video where the threat was made¬†towards Tyler so I can't say if it was a threat or not.
    Regardless,these threats need to be looked into.I do not agree with what Tyler is doing in office but I would never wish bad on him for that is taking things way to far and personal.

    June 27, 2008 at noon