Sock puppet

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A sock puppet is a member account made by an existing member, usually used for such purposes as trolling, fun, and gaining an extra vote in polls. The use of sock puppets on SciForums is frowned upon by many members, but so is intelligent discussion.

The name has two origins. One of them refers to the puppet of a ventriloquist, who speaks the words of the ventriloquist while superficially appearing to be a different personality. Thus, sock puppets on internet forums are often created to give the false impression that there are two separate personalities where in fact there is only one. Losers sometimes use sock puppets to support themselves in arguments (which they are usually losing) by pretending to be a different person who just happens to support the point of view they are expressing. Sadly, such sock puppets are usually far too easy to spot by anyone who has a modicum of experience on internet forums.

The other origin of the name is something geeky, tied up with computery stuff to do with internet connections. Never mind - it's all probably too technical anyway.

A sock puppet (at the back) http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/paramount_pictures/team_america__world_police/trey_parker/trey_parker1.jpg

Known sock puppets

  • kebabomatic — A short-lived sock puppet of spuriousmonkey. Allegedly kebabomatic grew up in Russia but emigrated to the USA because he won the green card lottery. Unfortunately, he became involved with the law rather quickly and he fled to Hamburg. Kebabomatic loves monster truck racing, strip clubs, and kebabs.
  • Sock puppet path — A sock puppet of path. Technically this account is not a sock puppet since his original account is not used anymore.
  • Nickelodeon has one, but no-one has uncovered him yet.