At some point, running a site with comments threads means you have to have an unavoidable discussion about sockpuppets. Sockpuppeteering, for the uninitiated, is the practice of posting comments in a thread under multiple IDs. I’ve gotten the feeling lately, especially in some of the EHSSQ threads, that there may be a few sockpuppets in the mix, so for the record: if you’re sockpuppetting a discussion (or multiple discussions), stop it.

If you’re dumb enough to be doing it from a static IP address, I’ll notice at some point and block you from commenting. If (more likely) you’re using a dynamic IP address, there’s probably not much I’ll be able to do other than shut down a thread altogether. That would be an unfortunately draconian measure, and I hope it won’t be necessary.

Finally, on a slightly related note: the email addresses you’re required to give in order to post comments are never used for any other purpose than verification that you’re not a spambot and for me to respond to you directly if the fancy strikes me. Obviously people can (and do) just give fake emails (you know who you are … dartanyon). But just in case you’re doing it because you think you’ll be pounded with unsolicited email, rest assured that won’t be the case. And if you don’t want me or others to know who you are (a perfectly reasonable thing in this bidness), just create a real but generic email address with hotmail or yahoo or somebody like that.

As always, you can email me directly with comments, questions, tips, and tirades.

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  1. Chuck Peters wrote:

    wow.. The almighty moderator speaks!

  2. LSJ wrote:

    Thanks for this eye-opening post. That term was no where in my vocabulary, and I had never heard of it before. I always enjoy learning something new about this crazy InterWeb.

  3. quartet-man wrote:

    It seems to me that if someone is doing that, they must not have faith in their position. (Or at least that many others do not share it.) If they believe they are right and that many believe the same way, they shouldn’t need to deceive (make that lie) by pretending to be more than one person. They should say what they think and let nature take its course. They shouldn’t need to make themselves feel better or look better by having “other people” post the same way.

  4. RF wrote:

    Unfortunately, that’s the way the world wide web is. You can be anyone you want and even two or three people, if you want. In our society, my opinion is so much better than yours, especially when it comes to religion or religious subjects.

  5. quartet-man wrote:

    True, but we don’t have to like it. :)

  6. MM wrote:

    I thought this would be the appropriate post to announce that I am changing my posting name as to not hide my Identity any longer. I do not want to be considered rude for making a “negative” comment anonymously. From now on my posts will come from Matthew Moore.

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