Explain me what is justice, what is right? (lady_angelina) wrote in suggestions,
Explain me what is justice, what is right?

More Control over Comment IP Logging Settings

More Control over Comment IP Logging Settings

Short, concise description of the idea
I would like to have more options with respect to comment IP logging, such as per-entry enabling or disabling, and the ability to limit IP logging to non-friends or Public entries, etc.

Full description of the idea
I originally suggested per-entry toggling of the comment IP logging feature back in 2008, and it's long overdue for a revisiting, especially after the fallout from Release #80.

Currently, it is only possible to enable or disable Comment IP Logging for an entire journal. Although it is possible to override other comment settings for a specific entry, such as comment disabling or screening, it is not possible to override IP Logging. Furthermore, IP logging settings are limited; they don't allow for exempting friended users from IP logging, nor do they allow for restricting IP logging to Public entries. As it stands, it's pretty much all or nothing.

Being able to disable and/or enable IP logging on a per-entry basis might be desirable in some situations. For instance, someone who has IP Logging enabled for their whole journal as the default setting may want to disable it for an entry in which they are inviting anonymous feedback and want to reassure commenters that they won't be tracking their IP addresses. At the same time, they may not want to effectively disable IP logging for all of their other entries just to disable it for one entry. Or someone whose journal is mostly Friends-only (like mine) but has a few Public entries may only want to enable IP logging for the Public entries, which are much more prone to being hit by random spammers or trolls.

Per-entry toggling would prevent this problem and allow for more control and flexibility over which entries are IP logged. If feasible, I'd also like to see an additional level of IP logging, whereby one can choose to restrict IP logging to all non-friended users of the journal owner (or non-members of a community, as applicable), in addition to the existing levels of "all users," "anonymous users," and "no one". And perhaps a default setting where one can choose to make IP logging automatic only for Public entries, or for all entries regardless of security level.

From my understanding, the basic purpose of comment IP logging is to help control abuse, such as spamming and trolling. I think that these possibilities for making the feature more customizable will help maintain the fine balance between security and users' comfort.

An ordered list of benefits
  • More flexibility in security options for individual journal entries, and less of an "all or nothing" approach to this feature.
  • Users won't have to compromise IP logging for all of their journal entries just in order to disable it for individual entries (or enable it for all entries just to do so for a particular one).
  • Possibly less reluctance on the anonymous commenter's part to leave a comment in an entry where anonymous feedback is encouraged.
  • Possibly less discomfort amongst friends of the user whose IP addresses are currently logged despite their commenting in said user's Friends-only entries.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • As always, the time and trouble needed to code this; it might be more troublesome to implement the ability to disable IP logging for individual entries, than it would be for per-entry enabling, as well as creating additional options for limiting automatic IP logging to non-friends and/or Public entries.
  • ***This would NOT be a guarantee of absolute privacy on the part of the commenter.*** I repeat: This would NOT be a guarantee of absolute privacy on the part of the commenter. Even if comment IP logging is disabled for the entry, etc., the entry's author can still use other means to try to determine who might have left an anonymous comment.
  • As with the current implementation, IP numbers cannot be logged retroactively. I'm sure that should go without saying, but I might as well bring it up. ;)
  • Probably other things I'm not remembering at the moment.
Tags: comments, ip addresses, § no status
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