Wikipedia talk:Sock puppetry

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Editing project space: Undisclosed alternative accounts are not to be used in discussions internal to the project.[edit]

I can see no reason for this rule. I suggest we strike it. All the best: Rich Farmbrough01:36, 28 January 2015 (UTC).

If everyone agrees that it is redundant to "Contributing to the same page or discussion with multiple accounts...", "Avoiding scrutiny..." and "Creating an illusion of support..." then I might be convinced. My concern with removing it is that it makes it a harder to investigate brand new accounts which edit the project space with a knowledge of Wikipedia, as this is a provision which can be used to demonstrate a suspected breach without needing to know what the other account is. Given that I am hesitant to support removing it. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
It's an important rule, which permits us to immediately block and ban people that are attempting to influence policy while avoiding scrutiny without having to precisely identify which party is avoiding scrutiny. If you want to influence the project direction, you need to have the context for your argument available when doing so.—Kww(talk) 14:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Wording[edit]

Paragraph 4 in the lede has an important but long and unwieldy sentence which is quite hard to digest:

"It is likely to lead to a block of all affected accounts, a ban of the user (the sockmaster or sockpuppeteer) behind the accounts (each of which is a sockpuppet or sock), and on-project exposure of all accounts and IP addresses used across Wikipedia and its sister projects, as well as the (potential) public exposure of any "real-world" activities or personal information deemed relevant to preventing future sock puppetry or certain other abuses."

To make it easier to follow, I suggest it be broken up in this way:

"It is likely to lead to: (a) a block of all affected accounts; (b) a ban of the user (the sockmaster or sockpuppeteer) behind the accounts (each of which is a sockpuppet or sock); (c) on-project exposure of all accounts and IP addresses used across Wikipedia and its sister projects; (d) the (potential) public exposure of any "real-world" activities or personal information deemed relevant to preventing future sock puppetry or certain other abuses."

Or better still in this way:

"It is likely to lead to:
  • a block of all affected accounts
  • a ban of the user (the sockmaster or sockpuppeteer) behind the accounts (each of which is a sockpuppet or sock)
  • on-project exposure of all accounts and IP addresses used across Wikipedia and its sister projects
  • the (potential) public exposure of any "real-world" activities or personal information deemed relevant to preventing future sock puppetry or certain other abuses"

Would one of these edits be acceptable? ~ P-123 (talk) 11:13, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I have edited the passage to follow the second layout above. None of the wording has been changed. ~ P-123 (talk) 23:06, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

More on wording[edit]

Is there or is there not a policy on editing while logged out? The wording on this is misleading. First it is implied that there is a policy, and then later it is said that there is no policy.

To start with, in section 1, "Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts", it says that "Editing logged out to mislead" is impermissible, which is clear enough and suggests there is a policy, although there is nothing about editing when logged out generally. The next reference to editing while logged out is in section 2.1, Editing while logged out, where it then bluntly and rather confusingly says, in the very first sentence, "There is no policy against editing while logged out". (Though it does go on to say when it is unacceptable.)

To make the policy (if that is what it is) on editing while logged out clearer, I think the text should be adjusted in the following ways: (a) add to the end of section 1's "Editing logged out to mislead" the words "(See also "Editing while logged out" below)", and (b) rearrange the sentences in paragraph 2.1. Currently that paragraph reads:

"There is no policy against editing while logged out. This happens for many reasons, including not noticing that the login session had expired, changing computers, going to a Wikipedia page directly from a link, and forgetting passwords. Editors who are not logged in must not actively try to deceive other editors, such as by directly saying that they do not have an account or by using the session for the inappropriate uses of alternate accounts listed earlier in this policy. To protect their privacy, editors who are editing while logged out are never required to disclose their usernames on-wiki"

For the sake of clarity, especially on where editing while logged out is impermissible, the paragraph would read better in this way, I think:

"There is no policy against editing while logged out. This happens for many reasons, including not noticing that the login session had expired, changing computers, going to a Wikipedia page directly from a link, and forgetting passwords. To protect their privacy, editors who are editing while logged out are never required to disclose their usernames on-wiki.
However, editors who are not logged in must not actively try to deceive other editors, such as by directly saying that they do not have an account, or by using the session for the inappropriate uses of alternate accounts listed earlier in this policy."

Would these edits be acceptable? I am thinking of the uninformed reader who wants to be absolutely clear on this policy. ~ P-123 (talk) 14:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to have the second section at all. The "to mislead" qualifier is sufficient to narrow the scope of WP:ILLEGIT. The second section just provides a spot for people misbehaving to point and say "Look! I'm allowed to edit while logged out!".—Kww(talk) 14:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Kww: Do you mean by the "to mislead" qualifier the Editing logged out to mislead in section 1? If you were to say section 2.1 is not needed because some of it just repeats that qualifier, I would agree. That leaves the rest of section 2.1. From that it is very unclear whether editing when logged out is overlooked/not sanctionable in the other circumstances it mentions there. Is it or is it not? As you say, 2.1 looks at first glance like a get-out clause for those wanting to deceive. ~ P-123 (talk) 16:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The way 2.1 is worded now, there is a nice loophole for someone who wanted to argue that they had accidentally used an IP, when it fact they intended to deceive. ~ P-123 (talk)
Editing while logged out is certainly permissible so long as one is not using the logged-out state as a de facto second account. I don't think we need to have a paragraph stating that in this policy at all.—Kww(talk) 19:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Inappropriate uses of multiple accounts[edit]

Should "promotion" be added, as people might abuse multiple accounts for the sole purpose of promoting themselves? Just wondering. TheCoffeeAddict talk|contribs 12:54, 20 February 2015 (UTC)