1. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Puppet Show...

    Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Wreybies, Dec 5, 2016.

    We've talked about this in the past, but there have been a couple of incidents lately (one I caught just now) that would seem to warrant a reiteration of this issue.

    If you are new to the internet, please be informed that sock-puppetting (the creation of more than one account in order to have a "sock-puppet" to agree with you and serve as verbal toady, amongst other uses) is a despised practice in all corners of the digital universe. If you think it's a minor offense, be thou disabused of that thought. We have zero tolerance for that kind of thing and I will ban the blazes out of all accounts involved. I don't care who you are or how chummy you think you are with me. It's spelled out very clearly in the Forum Rules, but just in case you bypassed reading them....

    If you are not new to the internet....

    I will catch you eventually. It may not be today, but it will happen. And if the few days you get away with it counts as a "win" in your life, you have all of my pity and condolences for what must surely be a sad little existence, indeed.
     
  2. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Active Member

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    I do agree but to be fair, I have to add that I've seen two likely sockpuppets on here recently where the offenders both made reference to feeling ganged up on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't disagree with you, but at the same time we do espouse a pretty strong freedom of speech concept here. I will tell you that no matter which way I go on that one, the one who invariably gets the shitty end of the stick is me.

    I give people their freedom = I condone trollerie.

    I cut things off = I'm a tyrant.

    It's an absolute and 100% Kobayshi Maru for me because no matter where I draw the line (seriously, doesn't - matter - where. I've occasionally chosen at random in the past just to make a point.) there is a well entrenched camp of members drawing breath to tell me that I could not have chosen a poorer place to draw that line. Again, doesn't matter where I draw the line, there's a camp waiting in the wings.

    So, what's a fellah to do? A fellah' interprets the rules set down by the owner 'best he can. As long as people are on the right side of a rule, then a fellah tries to show restraint, even when he sees a thread title that pretty much reads: "Napalm! Bring matches!"

    I'm not angry at you, @Carly Berg, and I don't want you to read this as such. You simply opened a venue to explain, at least in part, how rules are applied and the obstacles the staff faces in their application.
     
  4. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Active Member

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    Ah, I see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    Wreybies likes this.
  5. A man called Valance

    A man called Valance Senior Member

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    That's the way to do it @Wreybies
     
  6. 20oz

    20oz Active Member

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    I've never made a sock-puppet.

    <---- So, buddy, do I get a medal for that? :supergrin:
     
  7. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    @Wreybies

    I really want to change my forum name. Is there anyway to do this without creating a "sock puppet" account?

    (thanks in advance)
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    We only change forum names for beginner members who don't really have history as of yet, and usually to discourage them from using their actual, legal names as member names because that's just not a good idea and sometimes people don't think that one through. Other than that, we don't do it. Trust me, even my own member name gives me the cringes. Wrey + bies = "rabies"... I thought it was clever at the time; now it just looks painfully juvenile. o_O
     
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  9. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    In my defense, when I made this account, I wasn't planning on frequenting the forum. Now I'm stuck with it. :bigfrown:
     
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  10. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    How would you distinguish between "ganging up" and "a lot of people disagreeing with the same thing"?
     
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  11. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    They felt the need, they were not 'put in a position to need'.
    Felt the need = felt the need
    Put in position to need = only forum to use, due to nefariousness
     
  12. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Okay.... I can already see where this is going and frankly, I just don't have the time for it today. I have a number of sworn statements I need to translate for a hearing tomorrow.

    The purpose of this thread is to make plain my stance on sock-puppetry. This is not a stance I am going to change or take opinions on or put before committee. It's final If we want to discuss that topic, I will leave the thread open. If the thread is going to devolve into something else, it can be closed given that its purpose is served.
     
  13. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I'm so bad at spotting sockpuppets. I didn't even twig when those two really really obvious ones were here - they claimed to be a boyfriend and girlfriend from Sweden (or somewhere in west Europe) and their posting style was exactly the same, but still I didn't suspect until they screwed up.

    I'm so unobservant.
     
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  14. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Once there is suspicion, there are "back-end" tools in the forum that make identification pretty easy. We're a large-ish forum, so scanning for this sort of thing as a regular task is unwieldy. We get between 7k and 10k unique members visiting within any 3 month period. Unfortunately for me, as staff, for whatever reason, it's not something people report and only after I myself suspect sock-puppetry do I find evidence of suspicion in member comments in threads. I also don't live in here as code (just taking the oportunity to say that) so I don't see every thread and post. If the thread isn't interesting to me and it's not causing trouble, I don't Big Brother things...
     
  15. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Could folks who're better at spotting sockpuppets offer tips on identifying them, for those of us who're a bit oblivious but would like to help out the staff? I had no idea this was a problem here. To be fair I don't go to the debate room so if it's just going on there I wouldn't know.
     
  16. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are no 100% ways of knowing through just forum interaction, but there are some behaviors that are suspicious. Again, none of these things are 100% red flags.

    Brand new member who suddenly enters into discussion defending just one person.
    Similarities in word use, diction, style of writing. (Catching them this way is my specialty.) ;)
    Member A signed in, signed out. Member B signed in, signed out. Member A signed in, signed out, etc., etc, etc...

    Other than that the ways to truly detect this behavior are more technical and have to do with shared IPs (not always a red flag, but when there's a pattern...) and because IPs are easy to change with a smidge of savvy, the software has other things it can detect that point to two or more accounts coming from the same location.
     
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  17. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I had suspected the most recent pair based on content and timing of the posts, but dismissed my suspicion because I thought the writing styles were too different. I'm a bad detective!
     
  18. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I heard they light up at night, have a tremendous fear of stamps, and instead of a mouth they have four arses.
     
  19. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I seem to miss all the action.
    I leave the internet café and the next day when I return someone is banned and I'm like how'd that happen.
    Puppets? Never would've guessed that one.
     
  20. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Who are the latest sockpuppets? I'm so unobservant I don't even know who they are after they've been caught...
     
  21. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Don't worry guys, Sherlock1990 is always on the case.:supercool:

    My one-time success has gone to my head.
     
  22. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    [fukwit]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  23. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    @Tenderiser cydney was half of the latest pair. I think StayRed was the other half?
     
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  24. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    So wrong @Muesli, we buried them long back. Rumour says it was the Katrain sisters.
     
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  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Its a thankless job you guys do ( I was a mod on a narrow boat forum for a while so i feel your pain - who would have thought that narrow boats could be contentious) but I've always thought that the moderation on here is pretty damn good tbh , and i'm not saying that to suck up.

    Its certainly a breath of fresh air compared to how a lot of other forums are run
     
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