This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was Wookieepedia:Sock puppetry made policy - discuss changes on its talk pages. —Silly Dan(talk) 22:58, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
RMF recently pointed out to me that we don't seem to have written policies on sockpuppets. We customarily block sockpuppets of vandals when found (and have done since our earliest vandalism incidents back when we only had two admins), but it might be good to formalize those policies and put them somewhere: possibly Wookieepedia:Blocking policy? —Silly Dan(talk) 00:16, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Sockpuppets are alternate usernames created by a registered user. The use of sockpuppets is discouraged on most wikis, including Wookieepedia. Sockpuppetry may be dealt with by administrators as follows:
The use of sockpuppets to get around a ban will result in the sockpuppet username being permanently blocked. At the discretion of the administrators, the length of the original username's block may be extended.
The use of sockpuppets to create the impression that multiple users support a single user's views will result in the sockpuppet username being permanently blocked. However, the original user should not be blocked: only warned. Persistent use of such sockpuppets may be considered disruptive behaviour similar to vandalism, however.
If a registered user wishes to change his or her username, thus having two separate usernames, this is not an example of sockpuppetry. (This is important to note: one of our founders changed his username early in this wiki's history.) The old username need not be blocked: however, a note must be placed on their old userpage noting the change of name.
Similarly, if a user who has used sockpuppets in the past wishes to change their username to that of one of their sockpuppets — even one which has been previously blocked — this is acceptable if the original username is not currently being blocked. The "new" name must then be unblocked, and the old user page must note the namechange.
The use of multiple accounts for other reasons (for example, registering a separate account in order to run a bot or "droid") may be acceptable. In fact, if a user wishes to run helpful bots, this is necessary so an accidentally out-of-control droid can be blocked while the droidmaster is still allowed to edit. However, the identity of the main user must be specified, and the secondary account cannot be used to vote separately in discussions. Use of alternate usernames solely in order to make additional userpages — i.e. for purposes of vanity — will contravene our user page policy (once we have one.)
Sounds good, though I think putting this on its own page (Wookieepedia:Sock puppetry) is a better idea than integrating it into the blocking policy, as this page covers more than just the blocking-related aspects of sock usage (i.e. legitimate uses, such as in running droids). RMF 00:28, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
While we're here, we need to formalise our policy on meatpuppets as well. QuentinGeorge 00:41, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. But what are meatpuppets? I know about sockpuppets...but meatpuppets? —Mirlen 12:35, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Basically, meatpuppetry is when someone who wants the outcome of a vote or debate to go his way persuades his friends to create an account for the sole purpose of supporting his issue. StarNeptuneTalk to me! 17:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
It's also sometimes considered to be a very harsh insult, so we may not want to use the actual term in the policy. —Silly Dan(talk) 21:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Another thing that occurs to me: we should probably change "must redirect to the new user page" to "should", just to be fair. (I can imagine legitimate situations where someone wants to start an entirely new online identity, without ties to their old one.) —Silly Dan(talk) 21:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC)