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Diamond mods have a tool on user profile pages for IP addresses. It does a few handy IP-related tasks. I'd like it to be expanded to do a check to see if the IP is an active TOR exit node. Currently, many TOR exit nodes are kind enough to reference TOR in their DNS, so these are conveniently indicated right in the tool once the DNS lookup is completed. Many exit nodes don't though, which means I need to take the IP to an exit node lookup tool to determine if it is one.

There are a few websites that do TOR exit node lookups, which suggests to me it can be done with some reliability. Can we get this integrated into the mod tool? A little indicator that just says that the IP is or is not a possible TOR exit node would help save time when doing checks on trolls.

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    I don't think I particularly like the "using TOR == troll" association. If a user is posting trolling content, who cares what their IP is? – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:27
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    @Yannis well if we're already looking up their IP...we're almost certainly sure there's already a problem. I don't see it as a source of bias at all. It just makes it easier to recognize if this troll is the last troll because they both used TOR/anonymouse. – Ben Brocka Apr 4 '13 at 16:32
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    @BenBrocka That's kinda my point. If you are already at that stage, you've already decided there's a problem and the only useful information you can expect from the IP is associating the account with another account. Everything else, including the fact that the user is using TOR isn't really useful in any way (at least not in a way I can think of). Sounds more like information porn to me, really. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:36
  • @Yannis If I'm looking at a user's IP, it means there's something afoot. – Keen Apr 4 '13 at 16:36
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    @Keen And if you've already decided something's afoot, what's the point of knowing if they are using TOR or not? – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:37
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    @Yannis for users using TOR, that fact IS useful for associating the account with another account, because the IPs may be different, but still on TOR. That's the point. – Ben Brocka Apr 4 '13 at 16:38
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    @BenBrocka Saying that two users are associated just because they are both using TOR is quite a stretch. If you've already identified two problematic accounts, there are quite a few things you can do about them as a mod, and since merging isn't one of them anymore, I don't even see the point of seeing the IP at all to be honest. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:44
  • @Yannis I also didn't associate "using TOR == troll". I said that if I'm checking on a troll, and they're using TOR, it's useful information to have. Having the TOR check automated saves me time. – Keen Apr 4 '13 at 16:49
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    @Keen What I don't understand is how is that useful information to have. If what you are saying is that it'll be the final piece of the puzzle that will convince you the user is a troll, then you are kind of associating using TOR with being a troll (and I don't like that). If not, then please explain. I honestly don't get it. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:50
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    @Keen When detecting sockpuppets, IP information is useful only if they are sharing an IP. If not (or if they are using TOR), what's the use? – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:53
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    @Yannis two confirmed trolls acting similar that are both using TOR are more likely the same person than two confirmed trolls, one using TOR and one using a plain IP – Ben Brocka Apr 4 '13 at 16:54
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    @BenBrocka And that's what I don't like, operating on speculation. At the end of the day, who cares, if the accounts are being problematic and are indeed confirmed trolls, I'll suspend (or do whatever else is appropriate). Why waste time finding out (or worse speculating) if they are the same person or not. What useful thing can I do with that piece of information? Yes, it will probably satisfy my curiosity, but that's just about it. Info-porn. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 16:55
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    @Keen A user who posts crap is a troll period. Who cares what's their IP? – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 17:08
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    @Yannis: I have hat to xref many times because I thought that the user was a sock. We have had a user make a sock just for agreeing with himself on meta. "agreeing with someone on meta" is not an offence. But I would IP xref suspicious users who do that. If there was TOR in the way, I'd take note that this may be a sock, and I ought to keep a close watch. If not, then I wouldn't bother. – Manishearth Apr 4 '13 at 17:23
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    @Ben We are going in circles and have been for a while. We all know what we are talking about, and my opinion is that knowing that a user is using TOR is the least useful piece of information for a mod (and when I say least useful, I mean completely useless). Yes, this is the internet and you can never be absolutely certain, and perhaps every tiny bit of the puzzle may be useful in some way and in some very specific scenario. But in general I think it will only lead to moderators quickly branding someone a troublemaker just because they are using TOR. You disagree, that's cool, let's move on. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 18:07

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