Vulgar Online Comment Costs Man His Job

He posts dirty word, then gets tracked via his IP address
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009 8:40 AM CST
A vulgar comment posted online cost a man his job.   (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop, file)

(Newser) – Commenters, beware. A St. Louis man who posted a vulgarity at a newspaper website soon found himself out of a job. When the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked readers to weigh in with the strangest thing they've ever eaten, one guy responded with what the paper describes as a "vulgar expression for a part of a woman’s anatomy." The single-word post was quickly deleted, but just as quickly reposted. When website editor Kurt Greenbaum noticed in a WordPress email alert that the IP address came from a local school, he forwarded the info to officials there.

"About six hours later, I heard from the school’s headmaster," writes Greenbaum. "The school’s IT director took a shine to the challenge. Long story short: Using the time-frame of the comments, our website location, and the IP addresses in the WordPress e-mail, he tracked it back to a specific computer. The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot."