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Demands for IP bans

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 11, 2010, 9:01 AM


IP Bans Are Not Always The Solution

I'd like to take some time out of my day to briefly talk about certain demands which appear regularly on my desk from various members of the community for various somewhat-related reasons.

A few times each week one of you out there appear in our Support desk and explain a situation, harassment, dArama, abuse, ban evasion, or something along those lines and you end your missive with the same demand;

IP BAN THEM!


It's happened often enough that I really need to say something in public on the issue; I know it won't necessarily get around to everyone but writing a journal on the subject at least makes me feel a bit better and I know the information will at least reach a small portion of the community and that's always a good thing.

I think the demands for IP bans are so prevalent because of a misunderstanding of how connecting through the internet actually works; I've noticed that usually it's younger members who are making the demands.

Maybe half the people who are on the Internet understand that in order to be there you must have an Internet Service Provider (or ISP) and that ISP assigns your connection an IP address.

At the risk of oversimplifying imagine that the Internet was a long hallway full of of locked doors and ownership of the various doors were all divided up among the different ISPs. When you want to enter the hallway which makes up the Internet your ISP tells you which door you can use and gives you the key to that door.

An IP ban essentially boards up and padlocks a door from the inside so that nobody can use it.

I think the main problem is that most people's understanding ends there.

What escapes most people is the fact that most ISPs swap IP addresses between their customers or allow multiple customers to access through one address, so most people don't always have the same address.

Essentially when you want to access the hallway the ISP just gives you the first available key and when you are done and leave the internet you give the key back and it's passed to the next person who needs one; essentially you usually wind up entering the hallway through a different door every time.
In addition you need to consider Proxies; essentially doors which are left deliberately unlocked so that anyone can come and go as they please.

The choices that we are presented with for IP bans amount to placing a single ban on a single address (the equivalent of the old sniper adage "One Shot- One Kill") or a ban on an entire range (the equivalent of "Nuke'Em All & Let God Sort'Em Out").

Obviously with IP addresses being swapped around so much with so many ISPs and the fact that there are so many proxies out there a single IP address ban obviously won't work in all situations; as a matter of fact it won't work at all with anybody who is both determined and internet savvy.

Having ruled out single address bans we have the broader range bans. The problem there is that broad range bans affect more than just the person you want it to affect. If we ban an entire ISP range we're not just affecting that one guy you want us to, we're affecting everybody who uses that ISP and that can easily amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

I would hope that it would be apparent that we aren't going to take such a significant action against huge numbers of innocent bystanders simply because someone told you that your characters head was shaped like a pear.

So basically what I ask is, please don't demand IP bans as the solution for your problem because they either don't work the way you think they do, the one we might consider giving won't work for your problem or, quite frankly, your problem probably doesn't justify the measures we'd need to implement to make it work.

  • Mood: Content

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:icontheft-exlpoiter:
Theft-Exlpoiter Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Does dA allow IP check requests? Like say someone is stealing art and they may have alt accounts to boost their popularity and to protect them from people who report theft, like me? I know admins get a lot of reports and I don't want to ask this through it.

I don't want them banned nor do I want to know their IP of course. Just if they're all the same person. Sorry to bother you!
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
We don't answer questions from the public concerning whether or not two or more accounts appear to be operated by the same person.

I would point out to you that accounts such as this one are largely useless in regards to "reporting art theft" because the only people authorized to file claims of infringement are the actual copyright owner and their legally authorized representatives. Rather than trying to organize a bunch of people to file reports and making lists, which will ultimately be dismissed due to a lack of any of them having any real authority, it would be better to actually identify and inform the actual copyright owner so that they can decide if they want to do anything.
Reply
:icontheft-exlpoiter:
Theft-Exlpoiter Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh okay, that's completely understandable. Thank you! I also wanted to know because people have threatened me that they'd get my IP address from admins.

And yes I know that. I've got that from my reports. It's mostly for artists to be aware and for letting original artists know about that. I don't support mass reporting, and we tell our watchers to not report but to just be aware of the theft in case it happens to them. I've been wondering, if that's against dA policies? Because I haven't really found anything against it, so long as I don't encourage mass reporting and mass harassment, nor do I do those things myself. I've been on dA a long time on my main accounts and I love it here, so I don't want to be breaking any rules. If it is, I'd deactivate immediately.

Thank you so much for replying! I didn't think you would. c:
Reply
:iconidlethe:
Idlethe Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014
I'm not sure if this has happened to me but all of a sudden I can't use my IP adress.

I've been sitting on this account and my last one minding my own business. Im not sure if I've been IP bannes but it seems the only time I can go on dA is whenbi use my phobe data credit. My friend lives in the same area as me and she can get on fine.

I've haven't done anything to anyone and just 3 days ago all of a sudden I think I'm IP banned.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Most likely your issues are related to support.deviantart.com/entries…
Reply
:iconidlethe:
Idlethe Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
I was just concerned because every other site was loading beautifully. My dA works perfectly fine now. Thank you for the response!
Reply
:iconalriandi:
Alriandi Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Student Digital Artist
:iconamy-the-humiliated: is one of those ban evading accounts that are going around slandering people because the original account got banned. Now if they were aiming this at me, I would of sued this person and sued dA at the first sign of refusal of IP ban. But I know why you can't because of changing computers or those with changing IP address which I have one (which is why facebook keeps on poping up with name computer when its the same computer all the time)

But you are able to get the ISP of the IP address. I did some admin work on a forum a couple of times I know it is possible to get an ISP off a IP address. Maybe if someone gets this info and contacts this one spammer's internet service providor and gets his internet provoked and banned because of this drama.
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Flagged as Spam
:iconphantom-dreams:
Phantom-Dreams Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
Are you ~tiago-photo? Please, stop posting crap about =World-Hero21. You're only encouraging the problem to continue by posting this trash.
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
then who are you, why do u care
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
stop spamming fool
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Flagged as Spam
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
I SAID STOP IT
Reply
(2 Replies)
:iconmutantcat:
mutantcat Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
We all know it's you Tiago.
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconmutantcat:
mutantcat Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:icontehegrinplz:
Reply
:iconphantom-dreams:
Phantom-Dreams Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
So? Here on the internet you can say anything. You could claim not to be him, but you act just like him.
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconphantom-dreams:
Phantom-Dreams Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
You didn't even answer me.
Reply
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
why are other websites capable of IP banning but DA dosnt know who to IP ban :lol:
Reply
:iconjuno-gemini:
Juno-Gemini Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
Cause IP banning would mean money lost to them, they make money everytime accounts are made :/ The few sites I mod on don't get money the same way but we IP ban all the time when nessisary
Reply
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
this is true, i just want to hear it from the horses mouth >.^
Reply
:iconjuno-gemini:
Juno-Gemini Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
haha, they don't have the balls to give a legit reason frompast questions I've asked.
Reply
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
LAWL yer
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Flagged as Spam
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
reported lol enjoy your ban
Reply
:iconmoose-sama:
Moose-sama Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
-how
Reply
:iconkateduckxd:
KateDuckXD Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
It's a tough decision to make, I'll say that, but, the thing is? As horrible as trolls are, in my opinion, it's probably best to ban them...but not with IP. The simple reason being that lots of people may be affected.
In some cases, really amazing artists may use a library computer, or a computer at their art studio or something...and then...a troll uses it, and bam! Banned.
It's probably better to persuade deviants to block and ignore trolls.
Reply
:iconmarlowe-smith:
Marlowe-Smith Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011
I want to say that i definitley have a reason to say my reported person needs a ip ban
He's been on 1 account for 6 years and when he was banned he kept making accounts which got banned, now here's the problem: he claims to keep returning to this site for 15 years, so a IP ban might be the only option to get him away
Reply
:iconzombiesandwich:
ZombieSandwich Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I would like to ask you a question and also give you a solution what could be done instead IP banning people.

For months I have been harrassed and stalked now by ONE person who keeps making NEW accounts. I have reported him to the help desk every time, and they took action and banned him after a few days, BUT within these days he managed to spam me and my watchers to heck. One of his last profiles counted OVER 600 comments (!) within ONE week!

I have asked the help desk before, but got no real answer, perhaps because they don't know, so I am with much hope turning my head to you now to word my question:

Instead of IP banning people, there is a much easier way to help people who have been stalked massively: Better comment control!

Can't you give us an option to DEACTIVATE our FRONTPAGE guestbook and perhaps the possibility to leave comments on journals?

Because this stalker has replied to EVERYONE who ever wrote a comment on my journals, flooding their inbox with spam and hate against me this way, annoying everyone!

I've been a customer of this website for 5 years now and I do not wish to have to deactivate my profile just because he keeps making new accounts to put me under terror again and again.
I would be very thankful if you could answer me to my question...
Reply
:iconlombax-world-creator:
It's a difficult thing really, and there''s no easy way of stopping trolls and harassment on the net. Sucks really, but it's just like real life... you can't block out the bullies because they'll keep coming back anyway :P
Reply
:iconfeidhelm:
Feidhelm Featured By Owner May 2, 2010
This was very helpful and it did answer my questions concerning what happens when certain dA users get banned.
Thank you for writing it. :thanks:
Reply
:iconretroboy78:
retroboy78 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010
Sometimes, to make sure no newer members rejoin just to harrass more users, I would suggest just temporarily disabling "become a deviant" request. It will give dA a chance to actually look at complaints a a long list of users who have been harassing and then maybe an ip ban would be necessary. What some people like to do is ban evasion. What they sometimes do is they will harass users and if they get blocked, create a new account, harass the same user, then deactivate. And then create a main account like nothing ever happened. Simple ban evasion. Its happened to me before and I say it would be a great idea for dA to just disable join request for a day so admins could actually look at whos attacking who and who's reporting who, how many times, etc and then consider these types of bans.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
We'll never completely remove the ability to join the community just because one person is being an idiot; it just isn't a good idea to deny access to tens of thousands just because of one person.
Reply
:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2010
If IP is so unreliable, how come dA is using IP to determine which users have logged into a club account - for them to vote on whether one particular person will become the owner?

That was my understanding of how it worked, anyway. :)
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Where exactly did you read this?
Reply
:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2010
I could have sworn I saw it in a journal, but I guess it was only hinted at. (I mean, how else could you guys know who had logged on? ) This was the closest I could find. [link]

I asked the question [link] and one of the answers definitely supports your stance that IP is unreliable. :XD:

Determining a club owner and blocking someone from using the site are not the same level of importance, so it's fine. :)
Reply
:icondannscreations:
DAnnsCreations Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
:clap: :giggle: I Loved your hallways analogy :clap: :w00t!::w00t!::love::tighthug:
Reply
:iconmarcleet:
MarcLeeT Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
It will never work, first you could block an ISP's proxy by mistake or anyone on a dynamic IP address can get banned for no reason at all.

It would probably end up quadrupling your work load as well.

One thing I was considering though which is more important is the option to block outgoing links using a list DA keep. For instance a website iblocklist has a major threats list for spyware and other things.. when someone clicks an outgoing link DA can compare to the block list before allowing the user off DA..
It seems a better idea then having that redirect page as well.. netcraft could even link something from their database (security company with nice info) & make the redirect transparent to the user.
Reply
:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010  Professional General Artist
Back when I was still regularly using Slashdot, I got caught by an IP block that the admins put in to stop some trolls - unfortunately, the address they blocked was one of the transparent proxies that my ISP uses on their network, hence *everyone* connecting throught that part of the ISP's network got blocked too! :doh: The block was eventually lifted, but it was a major hassle not being able to respond to comments, etc. from home for about a fortnight. :(

I know that you guys have systems in place for dealing with *really* abusive individuals, where that behaviour warrants getting in touch with the police and the individual's ISP. Maybe we should be informing and encouraging Deviants to know their rights and how to use them against such individuals? Perhaps an additional section in the Help & FAQ area?

Unfortunately, I suspect that trolls will always be with us, so the only thing we can do is educate Deviants not to respond to their activities. :hmm:
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:iconmryjdrake:
MrYJDrake Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for this clear and concise feedback to the deviantART community.
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:iconlit-twitter:
Lit-Twitter Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010
Chirp, it's been twittered. :)
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:iconsweetsuicidallove:
SweetSuicidalLove Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010
I always wondered if the system worked that way, considering that "IP" stands for internet provider, and since they provide internet to several hundred people at times... It makes perfect sense.
Reply
:iconmysticdragon900:
MysticDragon900 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010  Student General Artist
I think ya got a super sweet idea plan there, hope it comes into force on that, I gotta say something.
I was helping a friend out due to her IRL picture was taken by this guys who i had reported and he uploaded her pic without permission, ne way i'll keep this short and sweet i went to help this friend but various trolls are provoking me and harassing me left and right over it, they even critized mt artwork, being racist and calling me whitey[which if ya look that up it's a drug as well as something else], i got them blocked but they are still provoking me by replying to my comments.

So all in all a IP banning will be perfect for those who disegard the DA rules, copyright, bullying and such other reasons. Maybe if it comes into force DA will be a safe, encouraging and heaven for fellow artists here.
Reply
:iconhandhop:
HandHop Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
Ever heard of Dynamic IP?

Oh, and try to stay on topic - because making drama certainly isn't.
Reply
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