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How Often Are Sock Puppet Accounts Looked For?

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posted on May, 22 2011 @ 01:21 AM
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I looked in the board information, and used the search but all I saw were a few discussions about multiple accounts.

How often are multiple accounts reconciled? Or is this a hit&miss thing based on a mod suspecting someone?




posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:42 AM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


i second this can sock puppet accounts be found and removed as the tecnology is now avaliable
and it is public knowledge we are targets here at ats

is there anything ongoing that can be done to remove sck puppet accounts?

i have studied a few accounts and the wording and phaseology and posting style
i can show that certain words and methods are being employed to "steer" a thread
this will stifle and destroy ats.

this should be considered when reading this post
if i wanted to push a point
and i had 10 sock puppet accounts
i could spam a thread as 10 difffernet members
and create a consensus that the thread is wrong and make reading that thread a waste of time
i have seen certain issues and the way the first post is always negitive to steer members away from reading any more and a doctored concensus of opinion from seemingly differnt members
WITH THE EXACT SAME
phraseology and posting style

if allowed to continue it will become a sock puppet war of who can spam thier opinion on differnt accounts the most times an hour

are the owners aware of the problem and is their a system to counter puppets?

xp?



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:49 AM
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...we pretty much just check if we're suspicious...or if something gets alerted to us by the membership...

...sometimes you just *smell* when someone is either a returned banned member, or running a sock...can be rather obvious at times.

What do we do when he pick up a sock or a returnee? Depends what the situation is.
If we note that a member may have a number of a/cs we tend to u2u them, make them aware that we are aware and suggest they select their favourite a/c, let us know which one they want to keep and then ban the rest of them.


For returning banned members...well...again it depends. If the manner in which they wound up banned is severe then they may be tagged as 'Ban on Sight'...in which case if we pick them up there's no discussion, we ban that new a/c...play a game of whack-a-mole...

Others however...providing the returnee keeps to the T&Cs, chances are we'll just leave them to it.
Thats the thing...all we really care about is that people post within the T&Cs...as long as the person is agreeable to that and doesn't get up to their old tricks then really, hey, we leave it...

...how often does that happen?? You'd be surprised.
Even those who tend to go out in a blaze of cyber-glory with the usual "This place sucks I'm NEVER EVER EVER EVER coming back. Curse your eyeballs!!!!!!!" ...dime a dozen for those who can't even last a day away before sneaking back in with a new a/c...

There are also numerous previously banned members who are now current members...and have been for quite some time...but who are now remaining within the T&Cs. Many of them we know about but haven't sent them a u2u to let them know we know...you know...




posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:02 AM
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reply to post by alien
 



What do we do when he pick up a sock or a returnee? Depends what the situation is.
If we note that a member may have a number of a/cs we tend to u2u them, make them aware that we are aware and suggest they select their favourite a/c, let us know which one they want to keep and then ban the rest of them.


Surely having multiple accounts is an EXTREME T&C violation and deserves a total ban..
Not a "choose your favorite account and carry on" message..
Especially if they are using multiple accounts in the same thread..



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:14 AM
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reply to post by backinblack
 


In that case it would be a severe T&C violation, would it not?



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:24 AM
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can sock puppet accounts come in a flag and star themselfs many times on there own thread?



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:36 AM
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I've noticed sock puppets in Lloyd Pye threads; they pop up, make a couple of posts in support of Pye and vanish again without leaving enough evidence to ban them. A recent suspect purported to be a girl in a wheelchair...same MO - two pro-Pye posts and gone again.

Over time, I've come to respect Chad's eye for the returning banned members and sock-puppets. I'm not bad at spotting them, but he's the Jedi-master.

It's hard to care if banned members come back and stick to the T&Cs ( guys in this thread would agree
), their style is a dead giveaway. At least one guy's on his 4th obvious account since 2009. The sock-puppets are the ones that need to go, but if they run the accounts 'Pye-style,' it's almost impossible to prove.



can sock puppet accounts come in a flag and star themselfs many times on there own thread?


They can do anything regular members can do. I think you'd need to be one sad, sorry SOB to flag and star your own posts, but we've seen it happen *many* times over the years.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:40 AM
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Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by alien
 



What do we do when he pick up a sock or a returnee? Depends what the situation is.
If we note that a member may have a number of a/cs we tend to u2u them, make them aware that we are aware and suggest they select their favourite a/c, let us know which one they want to keep and then ban the rest of them.


Surely having multiple accounts is an EXTREME T&C violation and deserves a total ban..
Not a "choose your favorite account and carry on" message..
Especially if they are using multiple accounts in the same thread..


If you understand that sometimes, it's good for business to have a rule, but bad for business to actually enforce it, you will understand most of the mysterious discrepancies between policy and action which occur on this board.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:54 AM
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reply to post by sepermeru
 



If you understand that sometimes, it's good for business to have a rule, but bad for business to actually enforce it, you will understand most of the mysterious discrepancies between policy and action which occur on this board.


I'd disagree with that..
Some of these organized multiple account holders are actually here to kill threads and that is NOT good for business..
I'm sure ATS would rather them gone..



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:55 AM
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reply to post by sepermeru
 
I think that Alien's explanation is reasonable and shows that human understanding can overide/bend the rules when necessary. It doesn't need to be based on a business advantage and ATS has not been afraid to ban some very popular members who's posts could be said to generate site-traffic...the ban-hammer falls regardless.

Likewise, I can think of an instance when a ban was revoked last year. In that case, it was fair and reasonable rather than a business consideration.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:03 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


I guess we'd have to see exactly how inflated the user numbers are by sock accounts to know for sure how much turning a blind eye could benefit the organization.

Regardless, I do also think it's better this way. But one can't deny that it contradicts the T&C, and it's just one example of how those T&C are treated more like guidelines than rules by the staff. Sure, sometimes the result is actually stronger, more humanized moderation, and I agree that's a good thing when it happens. And I certainly didn't mean to suggest that every mod makes decisions based on some esoteric calculation of profit vs risk -- I think as individuals they all seem to work hard at doing a fair job. The issues I see are more subtle and have to do with how businesses develop cultures around certain unwritten rules, and why.
edit on 22-5-2011 by sepermeru because: edit button likes my hair this way



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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So I understand it is easy to trace IP addresses, and writing styles can be as unique as a fingerprint if you know what you're looking for. In fact you can get programs to scan huge amounts of data and give you a percentage chance that works are written by the same person not to mention checking for consistent writing styles to catch plagiarism.

All of these things are relatively easy to fool to the point you couldn't reasonably prove it.

Are we relying on the fact that people who do this sort of stuff are just stupid? Which makes sense to me, I'm just wondering.

I suppose we have no choice put to let the most clever push their agenda...



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by sepermeru
 
Agreed. Sock puppets can be a worse prospect than the return of banned members.

Using them for political trolling is inevitable and typically dishonest...it's politics. The guys using them as viagra to inflate their egos are just funny!



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by sepermeru
 


Agree but it can't be easy to catch out a well run alt just going by writing style isn't the best way and waiting for them to slip up on an ip would take some work and could take some time



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 06:05 AM
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What do you expect the staff to do?

I would assume the ones you care about most are the "organized sock puppets" with nefarious motives, yes? The ones that try to kill threads that are against their interest?

Well, anyone that organized is not going to use the same IP address for all their accounts, that would just be stupid. So you probably aren't going to catch them that way.

Your not going to catch them by writing style either. It's incredibly easy to change your writing style, especially if you are doing it to avoid being associated with someone else.

There is no way to catch these people, if they truly exist. Just use your head, and when you suspect such a thing happening, ignore the person. Going around banning people just because they agreed with someone else too many times, or have a similar writing style is the same type of tactics that the government everyone here hates so much would use. I would really hate to see ATS sink that low.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 06:58 AM
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I was under the impression that there could not be even 2 accounts with the same IP address. I seem to recall reading someone complaining because both she and her husband could not sign up using the same computer. The sock puppets must surely therefore, each use different IP addresses, no?

That there are sock puppets out there is just part of the reality that has to be taken into account, along with the large grain of salt we already use when trying understand the phenomenon that is the on-line discussion.

We can't expect honesty and full disclosure when anonymity is part of the game.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by wayno
 



We can't expect honesty and full disclosure when anonymity is part of the game.


Not necessarily! How many ATSers discuss topics that are close to their hearts and are of no interest to people in their real-lives? Even more, some of the ATS topics are pretty nutty and can have a negative impact in their real lives.

In some arenas, anonymity allows people to be themselves in ways that are unavailable otherwise...not always for the good either.

Believe it or not, the internet is the only place I discuss UFOs and general weirdness; most friends and family have no idea of these freaky interests. Despite the anonymity, what I write is always as honest as I'm able to be.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


You are absolutely right!


Opposites can both be true.


Anonymity does allow you to be more honest about some things you wouldn't admit otherwise. It also allows those with an agenda to lie thru their teeth and not worry about being personally I.D.'d.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by wayno
 



It also allows those with an agenda to lie thru their teeth and not worry about being personally I.D.'d.



True enuff!



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by backinblack
I'd disagree with that..
Some of these organized multiple account holders are actually here to kill threads and that is NOT good for business..


For the record, I agree. It does shut down debate, and thats what it is designed to do.



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