Wikipedia talk:Signs of sock puppetry

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Common spelling/punctuation/grammar errors[edit]

"Travelling" is not a misspelling. Indeed, as "travelling" is the English spelling of an English word there is a case for saying that the (American) version "traveling" is the misspelling. The principle is sound, but a more scrupulously chosen example is needed here. — Tim riley (talk) 18:51, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


Article mentions "naboxes". I was hoping to wikilink it but can't find what to link it to. Is it meant to be "navboxes"? --Northernhenge (talk) 20:48, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Anonymous rerouting[edit]

We had an interesting case over on Talk:Ronald Ryan a while back. The article had a history of sockpuppetry, eventually resulting in semi-protection and banning of identified sock accounts. Not long afterwards, a whole bunch of IP editors started posting on the talk page, all with the same agenda and writing style as the banned user, all claiming to be distinct people.

Traceroute showed that the IPs were coming from all over the world - Slovakia, Japan, Netherlands, and a range of hosting services etc. in the USA. Ryan is a controversial topic within Australia (last man hanged in Australia) but not of much interest to the rest of the world, so a sudden influx of multi-national IPs is suspicious in itself; presumably the guy was using some sort of anonymous rerouting service. (One of the IPs was named "", which was a bit of a giveaway...)

So it's not just highly regionalised addresses that you need to watch for; excessive diversity (in the context of the article) can also be a symptom of sock abuse. --GenericBob (talk) 12:24, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Sockpuppetry blocks and the duck test[edit]

A recent SPI has led me to wonder if the WP:DUCK test might not be as reliable as we want in cases involving non-native speakers of English and/or topics of interest to small communities of users. Supposedly "unique" linguistic features of an alleged sock could, in fact, be class characteristics applying to an entire group of people (analogous to the risks of an eyewitness fingering an innocent suspect whose regional or foreign accent resembles that of the perpetrator). And if some obscure topic happens to be the talk of the town in a small region, then multiple users from that region could risk being misidentified as socks of a single user. I'm especially uneasy about this because, once a user has been labelled (or perhaps mis-labelled) as a sock, it can be well-nigh impossible to convince anyone to second-guess or even seriously reconsider that determination later on, no matter what sort of evidence the presumed sock might try to offer in his defence. Especially given that WP:DUCK ranks the "duck test" as occupying the realm of "suspicion" rather than any real level of proof, I think it may be appropriate to suggest that a sockpuppet ruling based primarily on the "duck test" is not necessarily entitled to the same level of hands-off deference as a ruling based on more clear-cut evidence would be. Comments? Richwales (talk · contribs) 19:13, 4 December 2010 (UTC)