Catch Me If You Can!

If you’ve ever been anonymously harassed on the internet, you may be wondering how these people can be caught without us knowing who they are? Well, I’m here to tell you there’s definitely a way!

Kashmir Hill, of the Forbes staff, has created an article with the steps to catching your anonymous harassers, in response to a man in Ireland being constantly harassed on every internet platform imaginable. This person found out a way to bait their harassers and trap them, and was able to identify them.27

Hill writes the following steps for finding your anons-

“1. Your troll-trap is a blog. If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to set one up.

2. You’ll want to be able to keep track of the IP addresses of visitors to your blog. Programs like AWStats or Webalizer will keep visitor logs for you that will reveal where your readers are coming from. Alternatively, you can hope your troll comments on your blog. If they do, their IP address will be captured and sent to you along with the comment. Yes, readers of the Not-So Private Parts, I see your IP addresses when you leave your (usually delightful) remarks here.

3. Lure your troll to your blog. Traynor did so by including links to the blog on Facebook and on Twitter. If you’re very audacious, you could email your troll directly with the link. (Keep your fingers crossed that your troll is not using an IP masker.)

4. Once you’ve captured the IP address, whether from a blog comment or from visitor logs, it’s time to see where it originates from. You can do that onIPTracker. ”It will show you the user’s Internet Provider, a fairly exact location, the map coordinates and a satellite view of their location,” writesBopp. The Google stock advice comment spam above, for example,  appears to originate from an office building in Islamabad, Pakistan, a block away, coincidentally, from Kashmir Highway.

5. Now you may know where your troll lives, and if it’s someone you know in real life, you may already know who it is. Alternately, you can try searching the address online and see if it turns up anyone who seems likely to be the culprit. “Plug the location into Google Streetview and it will give you the actual address,” writes Bopp. “You can then put the address into Google to find out more details.” “

Now, this method clearly isn’t perfect. What would you do in the event your troll decides not to bite? What if your troll uses a public computer?

Despite these drawbacks, this method is definitely something to keep in mind in the event of an anon harassing you. People who use their anonymity for evil instead of good definitely deserve to be brought to justice.

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