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A better idea for dealing with sockpuppeteers

(15 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

peukpokicuzo Fri 03-Feb-17 23:03:51

So currently when a thread is discovered to be sockpuppeting, the thread is deleted.

Wouldn't it be better if (a) all the sockpuppeting posts get retrospectively highlighted in the same colour (b) the names all get changed so that they show as "XYX (pretending to be someone else)" and (c) if they don't end up being banned, they aren't allowed to change name again (or perhaps just not for a year) so that their mn online persona is associated with their dishonesty for anyone who cares to look, and hopefully use shame as a reminder not to do it.

Or would that be mean? I think this should be taken seriously. I namechange regularly to maintain privacy but I don't sockpuppet obviously. Sockpuppeting makes normal inoffensive name changes seem dodgy. Having the thread deleted lets the offender off lightly as it's difficult to remember who said what one the thread has gone. Keeping it visible in the way suggested would be embarrassing and therefore a more effective deterent.

StealthPolarBear Fri 03-Feb-17 23:06:35

The only problem wpuld be if something is perceived as sockpuppering when it's not
For example if you nc to post about something sensitive and then accidentally post back on a thread you posted on in your original name.

peukpokicuzo Sat 04-Feb-17 02:27:08

I think mnhq can be tolerant of unintended situations like that. I'm sure it already happens regularly on a long-running thread but if you aren't posting "I completely agree with own previous username who is the only sane voice on here" then they do cut some slack for normal name changers. It's just about what happens after detection - the safe anonymity of deletion or the derision of public exposure.

AmeliaJack Sat 04-Feb-17 02:29:22

Just how frequent is sock puppeting? Is it really that big a problem?

IWishMyArseWouldBrexit Sat 04-Feb-17 08:57:04

Sounds like a good idea to me.

StealthPolarBear Sat 04-Feb-17 09:00:33

They don't always read the detail though.

user1484226561 Sat 04-Feb-17 09:06:11

I think mnhq can be tolerant of unintended situations like that they are not, and they absolutely cannot identify sock puppets, they only thinnk they can. They cannot distinguish between people using a shared modem, such as in a hostel, or communual or second hand equipment, or a shared hotspot etc.so two people are likely to be called sock puppets if they simply know each other, and have been discussing the same thread, and return to it separately, or even if they haven't discussed it, or don't know each other.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 04-Feb-17 09:08:29

My first thought is that it could be a bit of a nightmare from a tech point of view.

My second thought is that does anybody really care that much? Does sock-puppetry happen on threads where the advice is so invaluable it has to stay?

My third thought is that the bitch in me thinks "Hell yeah!"

StealthPolarBear Sat 04-Feb-17 09:08:59

I started an innocuous taat, just saying " I can't find it" original thread was non contentious. My thread moved on, we were chatting. It was then deleted as a taat.
If they do something like you suggest it will go wrong at some point. Mnhq don't have time to read all the detail and understand the nuances.

LouMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 04-Feb-17 13:57:06

We hear you - sock puppeting is very frustrating and not what Mumsnet is about at all. We like to think we act swiftly - and fairly - when posters do this. If there are any instances where you think we've got it wrong with particular threads, then please do get in touch and we'll take a look. Thanks all.

amispartacus Sun 05-Feb-17 23:03:44

We hear you - sock puppeting is very frustrating and not what Mumsnet is about at all

Mumsnet is being used for lots of things. Astroturfing, state sponsored gas lighting, nudging......

Just saying...

ErrolTheDragon Sun 05-Feb-17 23:20:53

* they are not, and they absolutely cannot identify sock puppets,*

I'm sure they can tell if its someone just namechanging, using the same login details. If someone has gone to the bother of setting up multiple accounts with different email addresses, that would be much harder.

TeenAndTween Mon 06-Feb-17 17:22:06

Is it possible to just automatically stop people posting on a thread they have posted on already under a different name? Would help the poor OPs who namechange and then mess up later too.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 06-Feb-17 17:44:04

That'd spoil some good fun threads and ones where people overtly change with a <twirl>.

TeenAndTween Mon 06-Feb-17 18:51:38

Oh that's true.

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