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Sockpuppet

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A sock puppet in the dock.
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A sockpuppet, also known as a sock, is an account on website, wiki, or forum run by someone who already has an account. Sockpuppetry may be illegal in the United States.[1]

Purpose[edit]

Originally used as a term to describe second identities, it is now used for any account created exclusively to cause spam mischief or mayhem at a site without the original user being identified (IP recognition and blocking notwithstanding).

The name has also led to sites that generate such users being referred to as a "sock drawer." Clever, that.

The reasons for sock puppetry can include:

  • Rigging voting results (Modern Library, anyone?[2])
  • Rigging discussions by creating a sockpuppet who "agrees" with your argument.
  • Rigging discussions by creating a sockpuppet who makes deliberately extreme or moronic (usually strawman) arguments against your own view.
  • Attempts to avoid rules, blocks or scrutiny.
  • Boredom
  • LANCB — but returning under an assumed sock
  • Wandalism

Examples[edit]

All of the subscribers to the Howtheworldworks channel.

The US military is also apparently creating sock puppet accounts and proxy adresses so they can influence online social networking in pro-American directions.[3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]