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29th November 2007 
face of the me

Title
Banning users from communities: usernames and IP addresses

Short, concise description of the idea
It would be very helpful to many communities on LiveJournal if the moderators were able to ban users either by banning their username OR by banning any user with the same IP address as the offender.

Full description of the idea
There are many, MANY selling and trading communities on LifeJournal. Usually they are based on trust and some kind of a feedback system because no one likes getting scammed out of their money or goods. I'm not sure what it is (perhaps the holiday cheer?) but for some reason lately a lot of the communities that I'm in have been having a lot of issues either with scammers or (like all communities occasionally) with drama. While the latter is just annoying, the former, however, is a more serious matter. Case in point: one of the communities that I frequent had a lot of posts asking about whether anyone received their goods from a transaction with a user a while ago (the answer was a "no" all around). Well, turns out that this user indeed took their money and didn't send anything in return; in fact, some of the things she was selling ended up being sold to more than one person, even! In total, she made ~$200 and took off with it. The problem is that the account that she used was a sockpuppet account, the "real" username has been an active and responsible participant in the community, with good feedback, etc.. She just needed money badly and used one of her sockpuppet accounts to get it, so the sockpuppet would get the blame and she would not be affected and continue doing business. Obviously, she was discovered and both the accounts got banned. There's no reason, however, that she couldn't make another account and use that in the future to pull more scams.

Things like that have happened before. It seems like the moderators could simply review journals of those who join their communities for obvious signs of trouble, but there are people who have journals for the sole purpose of participating in communities, with no entries or friends, so it's not always possible to tell the good from the bad this way.

It would be VERY helpful in protecting people in trading and selling communities from scammers if the moderators could ban IP addresses, not just usernames. It seems that if banning automatically resulted in having the IP banned in every case there would be unhappy people--say if my husband were a well-known troll and he got banned from communities that I like posting in, I'd be upset that I wouldn't be able to post there anymore since we share the same IP address. So, I think it would be nice if the moderators could have a choice--ban the username OR ban the IP. Simply in the case of someone annoying perhaps they could only ban the username. In the case of someone scamming people out of their money, it'd be far better to ban the IP altogether.

It wouldn't solve all of the problems, but would eliminate many, I think. I don't know if this sounds like an unreasonable thing to suggest, but thought I'd throw that out there....

An ordered list of benefits
  • Theft prevention
  • Community members feeling safer
  • Repeat offence prevention
  • Drama reduction
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Occasional accidental bannination of harmless members
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