Wikipedia talk:Sock puppetry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiProject Wikipedia (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Wikipedia, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of itself. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page. Please remember to avoid self-references and maintain a neutral point of view on topics relating to Wikipedia.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
Counter-Vandalism Unit
WikiProject iconThis project page is within the scope of the Counter-Vandalism Unit, a WikiProject dedicated to combating vandalism on Wikipedia. You can help the CVU by watching the recent changes and undoing unconstructive edits. For more information go to the CVU's home page or see cleaning up vandalism.


Bbb23 - sorry, but I gotta ask; how is this better? E^pi*i batch's version was;

  • Editors are generally expected to edit using only one account, which you changed to
  • Editors are generally expected to edit using at most one account (changes in both versions are underlined). If they're limited to one, we are basically saying "only", and to use "at most" is rather superfluous. It implies a choice that is non-existent. Just curious... - theWOLFchild 05:02, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
An IP (unregistered editor) may have zero accounts and "at most one" covers that. Johnuniq (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@Johnuniq and JJMC89: Why don't we just change it to "only one account or IP address"? That's more clear than this "at most one" business. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 06:41, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Most anonymous editors have little to no control of changes to the IP they appear under; it would not be reasonable to hold them to a single address. Some do remain stable for months, but others last only minutes to hours.—Odysseus1479 07:27, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
JJMC89; "an account is not required", ok, but this particular sentence is speaking to the limitation on registered accounts, so again, saying "using at most one" is grammatically clunky. One means one, and one only, so it should read "using only one", which is the correct way to phrase that. - theWOLFchild 09:36, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Let's move off the policy language. @E to the Pi times i: You are using two other accounts:

Donkey Kong Fanatic (talk · contribs · count), which you describe as an "Old account, used for gnomish activities before I seriously started editing Wikipedia."
E^pi*i batch (talk · contribs · count), which you describe as a "Bot, pending approval".

E^pi*i batch's second edit on the same day the account was created was to change the policy. As a CheckUser, that raised immediate red flags for me, and my knee-jerk reaction was to revert, even though I could see the change was innocuous. I didn't realize until later, at which point it was time for me to go off-wiki, that you had declared the accounts. Notwithstanding, E to the Pi times i reverted me. First, that was not the right thing to do for so many obvious reasons I won't spell them out. Second, if you're going to have three accounts ostensibly for three different purposes, you'd better keep them straight and not use two of the three to make the identical changes to a policy. Why is an account that is seeking bot approval making manual changes to a core policy? Why is an account that is seeking bot approval making a change to the bot policy page? Those are just a few of the items that cause me concern. I'd like to hear from other CUs on this issue because I am sometimes over-strict. Because it's the weekend, some may not be around until Monday or later. @Zzuuzz, DoRD, Ponyo, and Berean Hunter: --Bbb23 (talk) 14:04, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm sorry for making that change under an alternative account. I made the change because I was logged into that account for configuring the account. I will not make further non-bot edits using that account, since you have highlighted how this can be problematic. In regards to the revert, I will not do similar action in the future; I only did it in this case because I thought there may be a misunderstanding because of the account I made the edits on. I have also restored the edit to the other page; feel free to revert it again. As for the third issue, "you're going to have three accounts ostensibly for three different purposes": I have two accounts I use, for two intended purposes. If I could, I would merge Donkey Kong Fanatic with my main account, E to the Pi times i; however I do not believe that is possible. Donkey Kong Fanatic is an old account from a previous dead computer that I recently recovered the password to. If you look at its recent contributions, you will note the only thing I have done with it is verify it as my own account. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 14:21, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
As my opinion was sought, I hope [E to the Pi times i] has now appreciated the relevant important take away, as I'm reading above. I find these two usernames a little confusing, but you can do what you want with that. For what it's worth, separating batch edits isn't profitable, IMO, unless it's a full-blooded dedicated bot. Regarding the edits, I agree that the proposed change is sub-optimal for the reasons already outlined. There is enough confusion around IP addresses not being accounts, and IP addresses changing, and this being the lede of the policy that governs all things, it this needs to be crystal clear even if grammatically clunky. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:48, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Grammatically clunky isn't crystal clear. I didn't understand the meaning of "at most", and policies should be clear from the outset. Perhaps the change to "only" in isolation is not an appropriate change. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 16:37, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I note that Dennis Brown has re-added in the "only" phrasing. Reconsidering it, the lead already says Logging out to make problematic edits as an IP address is sock puppetry, so I don't think it needs to be overly broad in "at least" one account. "Only" is more clear, and "at least one" leads to more ambiguity. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 16:59, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  • I didn't see this discussion before I reverted, but "only" does appear to the better phrase, for reasons already pointed out. It is the more concise phrasing, and clarity is the goal. Dennis Brown - 17:57, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I would like to "move back onto the policy language", if only for a brief moment, to thank Dennis Brown for restoring that edit (concise beats clunky, every time), and remind Bbb23 that I started this thread to specifically address that edit, not so you could just broom it aside with no response and then jump over to a completely different topic, addressed to a completely different user. There, that's all I had to say. Thanks. Carry on... - theWOLFchild 01:27, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
@Thewolfchild: I'm sorry I contributed to derailing this thread (albeit indirectly). Fortunately (for me), it looks like SPI concerns are probably resolved now. I think we're one step closer to having more clear policies, and I thank you for defending my edit. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 16:41, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Possible redundancy in "Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts"[edit]

I was just casually reading the section Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts when I noticed the bullet points "Creating an illusion of support" and "Contributing to the same page or discussion with multiple accounts" appear to be similar enough to be merged as part of the same idea. I plan to do further investigation, and I'm just posting here in case any experienced editors can offer insight on the matter. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 15:18, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

No, they shouldn't be merged because, in any way, if someone creates an illusion of support or contributes to the same page or discussion with multiple accounts they will be blocked. An example would be that sock 1 gets into an incident with an editor. The editor reports to a noticeboard where sock 2 works to undermine the reporting editor. They didn't have to contribute to the same page or discussion to be socking.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 03:27, 11 April 2018 (UTC)