In a couple of my previous blogs, I wrote about the negative effects about harassment and vandalism, and in this one I will be tackling yet another prominent issue. Specifically, sockpuppetry.
What is sockpuppetry?
Sockpuppetry, also simply known as socking, is the act of using multiple accounts for malicious and/or deceiving purposes, often to evade blocks and troll. It also includes the act of disguising as another person as a means to hide real identity, often through the help of VPNs and usage of relatives, friends, or affiliates' devices.
Why do people create socks?
Often because their account on a certain wiki is blocked or banned from chat and they are impatient to wait it out, so they decide to circumvent the block/ban through usage of another account.
Why is sockpuppetry a problem?
Because it is very disruptive to the community for one to have multiple accounts for abusive purposes. If you are blocked/banned from chat on a wiki, it is best that you discuss with the banning/blocking admin/moderator the chances of being granted another chance either on your talk page/message wall (if you are allowed to edit it while blocked) or on their Community Central message wall. Creating socks to get around your block is most certainly not a good solution, and the chances of you getting unblocked will become more unlikely and the length could potentially increase. Not only that, but if the socks are created via a device that does not belong to you, it will affect the owner's ability to use the wiki if they ever wanted to.
If they decline your unblock request, there isn't much more you can do other than wait it out. If it is indefinite though, I'd suggest simply moving on and find another wiki that interests you. FANDOM hosts numerous communities on a vast variety of subjects and at least one of them should interest you.
I've decided to keep this one relatively short. However there are two things I'd like to add before finishing this blog:
- Creating multiple accounts does not necessarily equate to sockpuppetry; FANDOM states that users are allowed to have multiple accounts as long as they are not used for malicious purposes.
- It is not a good idea to assume a user is a sock. If you feel that a user is related to a blocked one, it is best that you contact FANDOM Staff via Special:Contact and ask that they run a CheckUser report to confirm that an account is being used abusively. However, it should be kept in mind that this only works if you are an administrator on the wiki you feel an account is a sock and you provide a good/true enough reason; curiousity is not enough and lying about the behavior of a user will likely result in FANDOM declining the request.
That should be all. Hope you all enjoyed reading this blog and I hope to create even more blogs discussing issuous wiki subjects in the future! :)