Question about sockpuppetting (follow up to article written by Patrick Groome, your admin)

GolionGolion Registered User new member
edited September 2014 in Help / Advice Forum
Golion on

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  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    Are you some kind of admin on this site or just a user?

  • ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... ... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    I'd say Metal's question is the most pertinent.

    If you run the site, then fix it.

    If you don't, then you have some options.
    1) Believe what the admin is telling you and deal with it
    2) Don't believe what the admin is telling you, but decide that you want to keep hanging out there anyway and deal with it
    3) Don't believe what the admin is telling you, and find some other forum to hang out on.

    I can understand that maybe option #3 is not ideal, but over the years I've stuck around here and stopped using other forums pretty much because I think these forums are well-run. If you feel like the admins are not interested in administrating, there's not a whole lot you can do about it.

    ASimPerson on
    redoctober2.png
    SE++ Forum Battle Archive | PDT is not PST | DRUNKSTUCK: A Homestuck recap
    MetalbourneLostNinja
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Let the moderators do their job as they see fit. It's a (mostly) thankless task, and they (probably) have better eyes than the average user when it comes to problems like sock puppets / troll accounts.


    In my opinion, if you do not like the way a give forum / community is moderated, the onus is on you to move on, not for the community / management to conform to your whims.

    With Love and Courage
    ASimPersonRainfall
  • GolionGolion Registered User new member
    This "advice" I already know.

    But your admin who runs your forum wrote an interesting article about the issue and so as a followup I thought to use my particular situation for MORE specific advice. This isn't the out-of-left-field topic you are making it to be.

    I wanted to use your admin's article as a tool to better understand my situation, hence my hopefully simple questions. If you users are not interested, then I don't blame you. Maybe you can put me in touch with the admin and I take it up with him here or in private?

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Golion wrote: »
    This "advice" I already know.

    But your admin who runs your forum wrote an interesting article about the issue and so as a followup I thought to use my particular situation for MORE specific advice. This isn't the out-of-left-field topic you are making it to be.

    I wanted to use your admin's article as a tool to better understand my situation, hence my hopefully simple questions. If you users are not interested, then I don't blame you. Maybe you can put me in touch with the admin and I take it up with him here or in private?
    @Golion‌ ,
    It'd be nice if we knew what you wanted. I mean, posting "Any thoughts? Advice?" isn't really a question that can be answered unless we have more information about what your looking for advice or thoughts on.
    Any details about your particular situation so we can provide pertinent advice would be appreciated.

    The admin goes by "Tube"‌ on these forums, you can send him a notification by posting @ then his screen name, like I did above with your name, or you can PM him directly. But I'd really recommend you have a concrete question, or specific situation you'd like advice on before you do so rather than just "Any thoughts? Advice?".

    Fake edit: I just saw you edited your original post, so presumably some of this additional info and or questions were there. So, feel free to ignore me, or not. Your call really.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • GolionGolion Registered User new member
    edited September 2014
    see317 wrote: »
    Golion wrote: »
    This "advice" I already know.

    But your admin who runs your forum wrote an interesting article about the issue and so as a followup I thought to use my particular situation for MORE specific advice. This isn't the out-of-left-field topic you are making it to be.

    I wanted to use your admin's article as a tool to better understand my situation, hence my hopefully simple questions. If you users are not interested, then I don't blame you. Maybe you can put me in touch with the admin and I take it up with him here or in private?
    @Golion‌ ,
    It'd be nice if we knew what you wanted. I mean, posting "Any thoughts? Advice?" isn't really a question that can be answered unless we have more information about what your looking for advice or thoughts on.
    Any details about your particular situation so we can provide pertinent advice would be appreciated.

    The admin goes by "Tube"‌ on these forums, you can send him a notification by posting @ then his screen name, like I did above with your name, or you can PM him directly. But I'd really recommend you have a concrete question, or specific situation you'd like advice on before you do so rather than just "Any thoughts? Advice?".

    Fake edit: I just saw you edited your original post, so presumably some of this additional info and or questions were there. So, feel free to ignore me, or not. Your call really.

    Thank you for offering to help!

    Would love that, actually. People seemed to be annoyed at the specifics, so I simplified my original post. However, all I really wanted IS to compare what I consider to be two or three accounts and you can tell me if it is obvious that they are socks. The article goes into the methodology of detecting socks and so forth. It helped me to figure that out.

    So I wanted to see if what I'm seeing here is the same to me and what others are seeing.

    If I showed you 2 or 3 accounts, could you help tell me if you see the socking and how obvious it is? (They seem like the same person to me--it's that obvious).

    Golion on
    bsjezz
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Tube is actually the one who moved this here so he is definitely aware of its existence.

    You still haven't indicated if you are the admin of that forum yourself, a moderator, or a normal user. The advice is different depending on your answer, and this is NOT a general discussion category of the forums. People are telling you that if you're a normal user, the way the forum is moderated is not up to you and there's nothing you can do if the staff there isn't interested in doing anything further.

    If you ARE staff we have more to work with.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Golion wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    Golion wrote: »
    This "advice" I already know.

    But your admin who runs your forum wrote an interesting article about the issue and so as a followup I thought to use my particular situation for MORE specific advice. This isn't the out-of-left-field topic you are making it to be.

    I wanted to use your admin's article as a tool to better understand my situation, hence my hopefully simple questions. If you users are not interested, then I don't blame you. Maybe you can put me in touch with the admin and I take it up with him here or in private?
    @Golion‌ ,
    It'd be nice if we knew what you wanted. I mean, posting "Any thoughts? Advice?" isn't really a question that can be answered unless we have more information about what your looking for advice or thoughts on.
    Any details about your particular situation so we can provide pertinent advice would be appreciated.

    The admin goes by "Tube"‌ on these forums, you can send him a notification by posting @ then his screen name, like I did above with your name, or you can PM him directly. But I'd really recommend you have a concrete question, or specific situation you'd like advice on before you do so rather than just "Any thoughts? Advice?".

    Fake edit: I just saw you edited your original post, so presumably some of this additional info and or questions were there. So, feel free to ignore me, or not. Your call really.

    Thank you for offering to help!

    Would love that, actually. People seemed to be annoyed at the specifics, so I simplified my original post. However, all I really wanted IS to compare what I consider to be two or three accounts and you can tell me if it is obvious that they are socks. The article goes into the methodology of detecting socks and so forth. It helped me to figure that out.

    So I wanted to see if what I'm seeing here is the same to me and what others are seeing.

    If I showed you 2 or 3 accounts, could you help tell me if you see the socking and how obvious it is? (They seem like the same person to me--it's that obvious).

    I really couldn't tell you. Some people have similar mannerisms (and this is particularly true if they're just trolling / posting memes / whatever).


    My takeaway from tube's article is that sockpuppet accounts are a problem best solved by banning them until either the user gives up on making new accounts to troll with or starts behaving. So, really, the extra accounts are less of an issue themselves than the fact that the forum rules are being broken.


    So, rather than attempting to achieve absolute certainty about whether or not an account is an alt (assuming there's any doubt), it's probably in the best interests of an administrator just to ensure that the rules are being followed.

    With Love and Courage
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Golion wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    Golion wrote: »
    This "advice" I already know.

    But your admin who runs your forum wrote an interesting article about the issue and so as a followup I thought to use my particular situation for MORE specific advice. This isn't the out-of-left-field topic you are making it to be.

    I wanted to use your admin's article as a tool to better understand my situation, hence my hopefully simple questions. If you users are not interested, then I don't blame you. Maybe you can put me in touch with the admin and I take it up with him here or in private?
    @Golion‌ ,
    It'd be nice if we knew what you wanted. I mean, posting "Any thoughts? Advice?" isn't really a question that can be answered unless we have more information about what your looking for advice or thoughts on.
    Any details about your particular situation so we can provide pertinent advice would be appreciated.

    The admin goes by "Tube"‌ on these forums, you can send him a notification by posting @ then his screen name, like I did above with your name, or you can PM him directly. But I'd really recommend you have a concrete question, or specific situation you'd like advice on before you do so rather than just "Any thoughts? Advice?".

    Fake edit: I just saw you edited your original post, so presumably some of this additional info and or questions were there. So, feel free to ignore me, or not. Your call really.

    Thank you for offering to help!

    Would love that, actually. People seemed to be annoyed at the specifics, so I simplified my original post. However, all I really wanted IS to compare what I consider to be two or three accounts and you can tell me if it is obvious that they are socks. The article goes into the methodology of detecting socks and so forth. It helped me to figure that out.

    So I wanted to see if what I'm seeing here is the same to me and what others are seeing.

    If I showed you 2 or 3 accounts, could you help tell me if you see the socking and how obvious it is? (They seem like the same person to me--it's that obvious).

    If you showed me 2 or 3 accounts, I might be able to tell from similar posting styles or mannerisms or if the same 2 or 3 accounts always seem to show up in the same threads, within a few minutes of each other (long enough to logout, login and type a post).
    However, that would just be me guessing, I'm not an admin or a mod here or on whatever forum you're talking about. Sometimes it's clear, sometimes it's not. In the end though, as a normal poster I can't do anything either way beyond dropping a mod a PM saying "Hey, users X, Y and Z all seem to be the same person or are posting in a manner that seems suspicious. Can you check their IP addresses?" and list specific threads and posts to back up your theory. At that point, it's up to the mod team as to what they want to do.

    Now, if you ask a mod or an admin on the forum in question, they have additional tools they can use like those mentioned in the article. If these 2 or 3 accounts are all posting from the same IP address, or if they've been known to sockpuppet in the past...

    That's why so many people asked you what your role is on the forums. As a normal poster, all you've got is a hunch and a handful of coincidences that may or may not back it up. As a mod or an admin you have tools that can actually provide evidence. And you have tools to punish the posters as necessary.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    First off, I categorically refuse to believe that Tube isn't actually a hedgehog.

    Second, it's rather hard to parse what's actually being asked in this thread now that the OP has been truncated. All that I can offer from what I've gathered with my untrained ear, if that as a user, you find there's someone you think is an obvious troll, or sock, or somehow doing something wrong, you've reported them, maybe multiple times, and nothing has happened, you just need to let it go. There's a reason why nothing has been visibly done, either you're wrong, the mods are discussing something, or something else. I've seen people go apeshit into some kind of mini-mod mode, declaring someone else needs to be banned, reprimaneded, whatever, getting really upset that gears aren't turning as fast as they want them too, and it's never pretty.

    JaysonFourtynic
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    Golion wrote: »

    The comments got a giggle from me.

    When I moderated a forum (a looooong time ago) I got the guy who maintained the forum script to add a mod feature that automatically added offenders to the ignore list of all other members. Anyone who wanted to read the perps posts was free to unignore him. No one got banned, no one got censored, nothing got deleted (and only one person had to spend the time to protect the 99% who didn't want to read some idiot's posts). This was an important principle amongst a community that formed as a reaction to heavy handed and corrupt moderating: we really cared about not violating it, and doing so would have undermined our raison d'etre. That worked fine in that forum with that community, but it almost certainly wouldn't work so well here. We were a much smaller forum community, and we had different goals and so on.

    I'd say that there is no One True Way for moderating forums; you (the forum admins) need to work out for yourself what's OK and what's not. It's completely routine for utterly normal behaviour in forum A to be infractable or even instant permaban materiel in Forum B. For instance, Patrick bans alts for being alts on Penny Arcade forums, but over on the EVE Online forums, alt posting is a way of life and has some very good reasons to exist, so it's normal and acceptable. On the Penny Arcade forums, it's bannable to make homophobic posts; on a fundamentalist christian forum the opposite might hold true. On PA politics discussions are frequent while they're banned on the EVE forums. And so on. Forum ethics are situational is I guess what I'm saying. So you need to sit down and discuss your forum situation with the other admins and maybe the forum users too and arrive at a workable ethic for the forum.

    The only real common factor should be a clear and concise, visible explaination of what actions are unacceptable.

    V1m on
  • GolionGolion Registered User new member
    Thank you for all the advice mates! Appreciate the feedback. I'm a moderator, just looking for some practical advice before I make some hard decisions. Thank you again.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Are you new to the job? I'm not sure your admin would appreciate you bringing this stuff to another forum.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Psykoma
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    The decision becomes substantially less hard when you say "no breaking the rules, no exceptions."

    If you don't have a rule about alts for your forum, then you should make one.

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