Update on IPs and "sock puppets"

December 05, 2005  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog

In my last blog, I noted how Tim Lambert seems to make his living claiming other people are using "sock puppets" (false names) on blogs, even though he does so on his own blog. But Lambert says he has proof. He says he finds that allegedly different entities are using a single internet provider address. I already noted one major weakness in this: That we must take Lambert's word for it that the same IP address was used and Lambert, to put it as delicately as possible, is a chronic liar.

But a reader also wrote to me to note that, "An IP address isn't proof of an individual's accessing a web page. Depending on your ISP's network configuration, the IP address a web server sees when you visit it might be shared with many other users who use the same ISP. About all a webmaster can do with an IP address is narrow down the ISP or organization from which the requests originated."

Therefore assuming Lambert got two identical IPs from my name and that of another person, he must take into account the possibility the someone else who shares my address and knows me wants to post in support of me anonymously. That hardly makes me a damned dirty dog, does it? Why doesn't Lambert think of such things? Is it because he doesn't like to mess with details that might not support his Vendetta.com blog?