Linode has bots, but also hosts Tor exit points. You need to check the IP. Tor exit nodes can change by the day. If they are a Tor exit node it is likely that the original request does not come from Linode. Whether you ban tor is your decision. At one point last year they were used heavily for spamming, but this has receded. I have unbanned them, for now.
I do have a slew of Linode bans from bots (Suptimebot, uptimebot, to name a few) as well as spammers.
Like all server farms, Linode leases ranges to a wide array of customers. Linode's specialty is corporate connectivity, to a lot of companies. This also means a lot of humans surfing the net from work.
If you block any range, you must watch your logs diligently to see who exactly is getting blocked, and when needed, allowing access to those who benefit your interests (humans would be in this category.) This requires a lot of time, several times a day, every single day.
I agree I've removed the challenge to linode AS63949 range for now. I'll be monitoring the IP addresses specifically. I have also stopped using bitly as the social media link shortener it's of no use now..
Yeah I guess this 2-3 ips from Linode are hitting my old bitly links constantly messing with the statistics (bitly) for my bitly links. I've blocked these IPs via fw and so they don't register in my apache logs.
No use using bitly now.. thanks for the right advice keyplyr!