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Over Christmas (Dec 26th, 2006 to be precise) I experimented a little with extracting geographical information from poster's IP numbers.
Yes, I do and have always stored the IP numbers of posters. I think every standard message board software would do that. It makes it a lot easier to administrate the postings, e.g. to move all posts made by a certain person on a certain day to a separate page.
The IP number is stored but never displayed on the site.
The IP number can be used to make a guess where the poster is from. In almost all cases it actually means information on the user's ISP. For example my home IP number is 63.193.xxx.xxx
If you plug this number e.g. 22.214.171.124 - into a web site like http://www.ip2location.com/, then you will find out that I am located in San Francisco, California. This is not exact though. My ISP - SBCYahoo DSL - has a hub there. I live about 70 miles south of San Francisco, in a different county.
My thought was that it would be interesting to see where every poster is writing from. So I downloaded the freely available database "MaxMind - GeoLite Country | Open Source IP Address to Country Database" http://www.maxmind.com/app/geoip_country and added it into this site.
I displayed next to each poster the city, state (region) and country where they seemed to be from, together with a little flag.
I did get an email from an unhappy user, who voiced privacy concerns. I had not realized that in some cases, the database could be fairly accurate - in this person's case it had correctly guessed a small town (where he lives in).
So I removed this functionality again.
What do you users think? Would you find it interesting to see geographic information displayed? I could make it an option - like a checkbox
"Yes, display 'xxx' as my geographic information"
Where xxx would be whatever the database suggests. The default should probably be 'unchecked'.
If I get no replies at all, I will not further spend time on this.
UPDATE: (January 10th, 2007)
when you post, you can now choose to display city and country, or just the country or hide your geographical information alltogether.
Anonymous, your last comment does not show your location.
Which comment did you mean?
anonymous from United States
Can someone remove the disgusting picture from page 120 of posts????
anonymous from United Kingdom
IT JUST SHOWS HOW DISHONEST THESES PEOPLE ARE THEY WILL GO TO ANY LENTH TO GET WHAT THEY WANT, NAMELY MONEY AND EXPENSIVE GIFTS, JUST WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE POLICE ARE DOING TO STOP THIS EVIL VIRUS SPREADING AND GIVING COUNTRIES A BAD NAME, MAKING PEOPLE AFRAID TO VISIT. IT HURTS ME TO THE CORE THAT MOST OF THESES ANIMALS NOT HUMAN BEINGS CAN GET AWAY WITH THIS KIND OF CRIME, EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE LOVED BUT TO HAVE YOUR SOUL RIPED OUT OF YOU BY THESES ANIMALS IS DEVASTING, BUT LIGHT WILL ALWAYS SHINE THROUGH THE DARKNESS THEY PUT YOU THROUGH. AND THIS SITE IS THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING. This image was also posted here: Display of the poster's geographical information Dating scammer Roselin Jemba email@example.com from Monrovia, Senegal
anonymous from United Kingdom
ANOTHER HEARTLESS ANIMAL. BEWARE OF THIS ONE, VERY CLEVER AND GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES, HE CLAIMS HE HAS A SISTER CALLED CYNTHIA KOFFE AND CLAIMS TO BE LIVING IN ACCRA GHANA, NORTH AFRICA HE USES HER TO COLLECT THE MONEY FROM WESTION UNION, WHAT A FOOL I WAS, BUT I LOVED THIS MAN UNTIL THINGS STARTED TO DAWN ON ME THAT SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT, I STARTED TO QUESTION HIM, HE WOULD GET ANGRY,THEN I WOULD FEEL GUILTY FOR QESTIONING THE MAN I LOVED, HE WOULD ASK ME 'HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME, WHEN YOU DONT TRUST ME' ITS SAD BUT A WAKE UP CALL ,I ALSO BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THESES PEOPLE SHOULD BE NAMED AND SHAMED, EVEN PUT TO PRISON. This image was also posted here: Display of the poster's geographical information
Peter from Germany
Lady from UK (2008-07-24, 16:37:34)
Sorry to hear what happened to you, but
- your are on the wrong thread. Do some reading please before you start to write.
- Guy from pics got nothing to do with the scam. His photos are most probably stolen and he himself is a victim of identity theft.
- Capitals are hard to read. It hurts the eyes.
Please click on the blue headline above your second pic and add your data there.
Her name is Natalya and in her first email she says:
I live in Russia,town Angarsk, Kirova street 27,flat 15,it is near big city Irkutsk.[unquote]
Following I quote her email #4
My honey ! it is me,can you believe I am in Moscow. I can't believe ,it was wonderful flight and they gave red vine in plane, wow,I have never tried
such tasty one!!!!!
I went the bus up to the Subway from the airport .In Subway long went, it was so is delightful
I was in travel agency today, but my documents are not ready yet, it will be ready tomorrow.
I will go to travel agency again to get all info about my trip. And of course, when I will get it - I will send it to you!
It is such great city and it takes a few hours to travel from one end to other.
I rented the flat for few days.
People said to me some nice places in Moscow while he was
Such a great city it is. I have no words to explain. you can't imagine how great Moscow is,to be fair I wouldn't like to
live here,a lot of cars,people , voice and pollution.Ugly traffic and people with crazy eyes.
When I get off plane in airport Moscow policeman asked about passport and he looked at me like I am any enemy,
I think all people here are a little crazy at terrorism.Life here in Moscow is expensive. I was going through some shops today
and it is much more expensive than in our town. Food and all the general things. It is the same country but different prices, what a great change.
I think people living in Moscow are very cautious ,I think so. But I think that I have done my choice and to be fair I don't want to
live here,it is not the city of my dreams. you know I am not coward I am not afraid I know it is my chance to meet
kind man .I do hope I am right. and I think you are too kind to make any bad things I feel it.
Well,I will close this letter ,please write as soon as possible!see
you soon! KISS . Great kiss from Moscow!!!!!!!!! Natalya