Sockpuppetry, or Socking is a behavioral phenomenon where a user misuses multiple accounts. Sockpuppetry comes in a variety of ways, shapes, and forms. To maintain community trust and faith, users are recommended to keep to only one account. While there are valid reasons for maintaining multiple accounts, it is a serious offense to use multiple accounts in any bad-faith way, for personal gain, deception, manipulation, evading blocks/sanctions/bans, disrupt the wiki, or other bad-faith actions. Users who commit such offenses are called sockpuppeteers, sockmasters, or just socking.
- Sockpuppetry Generally takes on the following forms
- Logging out by a sockpuppeteer to cause disruption as an ungregistered user
- Create new accounts to evade blocks/sanctions/bans or recognition by the community or be detected
- Hijack another person's account to appear as that user (This form is particularly dangerous because a compromised account can cause severe damage to the wiki)
- Reviving old unused accounts (sometimes referred to as sleeper accounts/socks) and presenting them as different users
- Recruiting relatives, collogues, and friends to sway an argument or debate
Sockpuppetry is very serious breach of community faith and conduct, and can lead to severe sanctions from the community. This will likely lead to the following:
- A indefinite block or ban on ALL accounts (as all accounts are operated by one person, and the person, not the account, is held accountable for thier conduct)
- A revocation of rights if the user is a wiki staff member
- A reporting of activities to FANDOM staff, which may lead to:
- A global block
- A global blocking of the user's underlying IP address(es)
- A permanent disabling of all known accounts
Valid Reasons[edit source]
Editors who operate multiple accounts are encouraged to link or publicly disclose their alternate accounts in some form. This may be achevied in the folowing manners:
- A userbox on both the main and alternate account indicating that the user operates the indicates account(s)
- A similar username to indicate that the user is a alternate account of another (Beware, you might be considered a sockpuppet if you don't disclose somehow!)
- Doppelgänger accounts, An account which is created to prevent impersonation.
- A user operates a bot account
- A Fresh Start, where a user stops using a old account, and create a new account. The old account must not be blocked or banned, and must not be in a ongoing discussion.
Finding Sockpuppets[edit source]
Finding a sockpuppet can be difficult or easy. They come in a wide range of behaviors, conduct, and temperament. Generally, on Fandom, since users are generally younger, and are not very mature, leaking of alternate account name is common. A careless user could mention an alternate account in a casual manner, or in a mistake message. They may also may use a very similar username, or use the same profile picture. A more determined sockmaster can be difficult to catch. Such users likely use Sleeper accounts, which are accounts left to "sleep" for a long time, then are revived and presented as different users.
Signs of Sockpuppetry[edit source]
Signs of sockpuppetry often involve similarities in all sorts of ways:
- Similar userpages, editing patterns, areas of interest, grammar, maturity, and so on.
- A user may have a similar/same account creation date.
- A user may have a logged a creation of another account.
- A user mentions that they have an alternate account, possibly leaking the name of the account