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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Troll Blocking

Trolls. They are the bane of the blogosphere. Mean, nasty, belligerent, persistent, malicious, and many times towing other trolls with them. They attack you, and attack your friends, often for no apparent reason. They need mental health help.

I'm sick and tired of putting up with them. They change names, they delete their blogs only to start others, they run multiple accounts. I'm taking steps to stop them. I've been gathering IP addresses for months of visitors, and I have a pretty good idea where at least the original problem comes from. Thus I have employed the IP Address Blocker. Its not exactly what I wanted to do, but its a start. Getting the IP of a visitor isn't something that Blogger makes easy to do, even this tool doesn't show you what the address is. But Ve hass our Vays. I'm going to be looking to block by profile IDs also, in case these trolls decide to become mobile, and I'll be mapping the profile IDs to the IPs to aid identification. If the ID comes from the IP, ban it, if an IP comes up from an ID, block it. If the IP comes from a certain region, ISP, etc, I'll block it. Don't like it? Too bad.

Now down to brass tacks, the how-to.

I found Peter Chen's Blogger Tips and Tricks blog a while ago, and although I was hesitant to use the tools there, I could not find anything we could do to get an IP using just Javascript. I know if we could, the redirection of the browser can be done from Javascript. I finally caved, and so I'll describe what I'm doing at this time.

Peter's tip, How to ban a person from your blog or Website points us to Toolshell IP check and IP ban, pick which button style you'd like and add an IP Address. Click the button to generate the script and copy the code it produces. Basically, you want to add this into your blog template where you'd like the button to appear. With the new blogger templates you'll click the "Add a Page Element" and paste it there, then drag it to where you'd like it to appear. For those of use with the older templates, just paste it into the template where you'd like it. Refer to Peter's instructions if you need more information.

You'll edit the script if you need to add more IPs, alternatively, if you have a huge number of addresses to block, you may need to add more buttons, I don't know if multiple buttons would make it any faster, but I suspect it will. You can always hide the extras, but I'd leave at least one showing to support the authors, since they are hosting the actual program and every time this is invoked it uses their bandwidth.
To edit the script just add the new IP address with the first one and separate the addresses with a pipe ("|", this is on the same key as backslash ("\").) I've tested it with as many as 11 addresses, and it worked. I don't know at what point it becomes too slow.

I would suggest to anyone who is attempting to ban someone from their blog to also include the following tags into their template just before the end </html> tag:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Pragma" CONTENT="no-cache">

This is a second head section, that should prevent the use of the cache to read whatever got loaded before the redirection took place. I hope that this helps.
This should also make certain that in order to read your blog again, your readers return, so it should increase your hit count.

To get the IP Addresses in the first place you'll need to run a hit counter, I'll refer you to Peter's page for instructions and or suggestions.



At Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 1:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger MONA $visitorIP said...

Thank you for posting this!

At Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 2:33:00 PM EDT, Blogger Top cat $visitorIP said...

wow what a cool idea charles. I'm bookmarking this for the future.:)

At Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 5:02:00 PM EDT, Blogger Little Wing $visitorIP said...

Oh I know all about these trolls, many of them with the name anonymous.
I will save these tips.
I am to the point that I wont even post my pics. on my blog anymore, the trolls like to take them and tell me what they did with them.
Some sick bastards out there for sure.

At Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 8:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

Little Wing,
I suspect that there are at least two that we have in common, if you think the same let me know and I'll give you the addresses I have, or you can just pull them from the source of my blog's page.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 12:56:00 AM EDT, Blogger Little Wing $visitorIP said...

Charles, I will have to get a hit counter.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 5:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger wisdomstuff $visitorIP said...

I think I knew who you speak of. Thanks for the info.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 8:52:00 PM EDT, Blogger Little Wing $visitorIP said...

Actually, unfortunately this is way to common.
Trolls are just mean people.
I did a post about them today, sometimes they just make me weary.....

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 11:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

Little Wing,
I think your trolls are the ones I'm blocking just copy the line starting <script src="
from the source of my blog and see if it helps. Then do the
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Pragma" CONTENT="no-cache">
like in my post. I think the problem will reduce if not stop altogether.
Let me know if you need help to get it done.

At Friday, October 19, 2007 at 4:20:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mike M $visitorIP said...

I can always rely on Charles to post informitive info like this. Thanks Charles.

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