Since approximately October 2012, social networking site Tumblr have altered their “anonymous” message service which removes the ability to track the originating IP address from simply right clicking on the “block” link and viewing the selection source.
For a social networking site with half of their visitor site under the age of 25, the use of an anonymous messaging and sharing of inappropriate content is astounding considering the rate of cyberbullying within this age demographic. To then remove the ability and suspend the functions to track where this content has come from continues to highlight the ongoing frustrations concerned parents and caregivers have when allowing their children to venture online. When users of these sites do not understand the consequences of online harassment or defamation, technology certainly can become a dangerous tool.
One such victim of the ‘anonymous’ messaging function was a previous client of ours who, together with her parents, gave permission for Online Investigations to share the messages she had anonymously received with our readers. Despite the lack of co-operation from Tumblr themselves, through the use of online private investigators we were able to successfully identify the original sender of these hurtful comments.
Faced with continuing inquiries regarding the use of the anonymous Tumblr messaging system, we wanted to share with parents and users of Tumblr an alternative solution to tracking the IP address of an ‘anonymous’ message. (Although it does go without saying the best solution to this is removing the option to message your profile anonymously, or simply not having an account to being with!)
In order to identify the sender of ‘anonymous’ Tumblr messages, you will now need to install a tracking device on your account. Here’s how you do you it:
Installing a tracking device on a Tumblr account
2. Copy the Analytics or StatCounter code.
3. Log into your Tumblr account and click on the settings/gear icon at the top right.
4. On the left hand panel, click on your avatar.
5. Then under the Theme section, click on “customize”.
6. Click “Edit HTML”.
7. Scroll down to the bottom of the code.
8. Paste your tracking code directly before the tag.
9. Click “Update Preview”.
10. Click “Save”.
11. Click “Appearance”.
13. Return back to the tracking site (ie Google Analytics / Statcounter) and confirm the tracking html has been installed correctly. Ensure the tracker has been successfully installed so it tracks visits on every page, and not just the homepage.
Now that you have successfully installed the code, you can now track the IP addresses of your visitors, and more importantly identify which IP addresses were active on your site at the time the anonymous messages were sent. We recommend Infosniper as our preferred IP address geolocation service.
Do you recognise the IP address? If not, you may require the use of one of our professional online private investigators to trace it further. To discuss our range of services, please contact our friendly staff via our contact us page or on 1300 884 596.
Have you been cyberbullied by an ‘anonymous’ individual/s on the Internet? Don’t suffer in silence.