sockpuppetry? October 25, 2007 8:45 PM   Subscribe

sockpuppetry?

Are tom123 and mot123 the same person? If so, it seems like a bad use of a sock puppet.
posted by lalex to Etiquette/Policy at 8:45 PM (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

What has tom/mot done with this sockpuppet?
posted by Falconetti at 8:50 PM on October 25, 2007


Looks like, yes, it's the same person; and, more importantly, it looks like they're using the extra account to sidestep the AskMe question limit, which really isn't cool. I'll email 'em about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:54 PM on October 25, 2007


Yup, looks like somebody used two accounts to regularly have more than 1 question on AskMeta in a 7 day period.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:54 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


S/he has asked questions within one day of each other (Oct 15/16, 24/25) on several occasions. Not sure whether this qualifies is egregious sockpuppetry.
posted by googly at 8:55 PM on October 25, 2007


I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe. I understand the subsite's usefulness and appeal, but I'm amazed that people would join to only be on that part of the overall site.
posted by yhbc at 8:57 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK TPS, that's the second time in as many days that I post something only to see you give exactly the same response only a minute or two before. Would you please get out of my head please?
posted by googly at 8:58 PM on October 25, 2007


Actually, a good (if verboten) use of a sockpuppet, but a bad choice of usernames (if any measure of stealth was the objective).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:58 PM on October 25, 2007


I understand it. AskMe is an amazing resource, and would be well worth the $5 by itself.

I started out only on AskMe, and still hang out there some...I always read the blue though, and I'm starting to post there more.
posted by DMan at 8:58 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shhhh, googly, don't let everyone here know that I'm your sock...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:00 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


We're being called upon to debate what MIGHT be a sock puppet? As it is past my bed time, I'll check in the morning to see if I was just dreaming this. Nite nite!
posted by snsranch at 9:01 PM on October 25, 2007



I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe. I understand the subsite's usefulness and appeal, but I'm amazed that people would join to only be on that part of the overall site.


I hate politics, and that alienates be from ... what? ... 20% of MeFi. I hate flaming, insults and rudeness. That probably alienates me from 40% more of it.

I'm not very fond of injokes. That takes care of much of the rest.

I almost never find anything worth posting (I find cool stuff, be someone else always finds it first).

On the other hand, I have a million questions. I have three simultaneous careers in three very different fields, and I'm an inquisitive person in general.

So why wouldn't I love AskMe?
posted by grumblebee at 9:05 PM on October 25, 2007 [15 favorites]


OK...you're right...but can I help it that I'm just so proud that no one has figured it out after we caught all that shit for using SuperheroPinkThe as a sock the last time around?
posted by googly at 9:10 PM on October 25, 2007


I want a sockpuppet so I can name it smyma.
posted by amyms at 9:13 PM on October 25, 2007


grumblebee, you joined in May of 2000 and have made 98 MetaFilter posts. You are not the type of user I was talking about.

(and I'm glad you love AskMe!)
posted by yhbc at 9:18 PM on October 25, 2007


I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe. I understand the subsite's usefulness and appeal, but I'm amazed that people would join to only be on that part of the overall site.
posted by yhbc at 8:57 PM on October 25

I would love to post on the blue, but I'm scared shitless. That, and I never find the best, only the mediocre, and long after everyone has exhausted themselves of it. I show up to the party late, I laugh last, and I usually stick my thumb in the pie too.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:22 PM on October 25, 2007 [20 favorites]


Is one the husband and the other the wife? It sounds like there are two people there.
posted by Locative at 9:22 PM on October 25, 2007


But you comment, iamkimiam! So, I know you're reading and being a part of the community - what I meant with that "observation" is that I'm afraid that lots of new users like tom and mot and who knows how many others are only on the green, asking and answering, and never even reading or taking an interest in the (what I still think of as the) main page of the site.

That's all.
posted by yhbc at 9:27 PM on October 25, 2007


Yvan eht nioj!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:27 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Blazecock, that was simply brilliant. Especially since I just jumped back from the Simpsons thread. I had a moment of "wait, where am I?"
posted by iamkimiam at 9:29 PM on October 25, 2007


Um, also this person ages backward. Don't irritate him, he may destroy us with his black magic.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:37 PM on October 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe. I understand the subsite's usefulness and appeal, but I'm amazed that people would join to only be on that part of the overall site.


That's about as rational as someone saying they don't appreciate users who only participate on the blue.

If you're mostly on the blue, and I'm mostly in the green, then how can I possibly annoy you? What am I taking away from you?

You don't know if people are reading the main page and just choosing not to comment. That's what I do. I rarely feel I have much to add to the discussion that has not already been said by someone else better than I could. If I run into a question on AskMe that I know I can answer, I will. It affects the dynamic of the site as a whole not one bit.
posted by achmorrison at 9:43 PM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Some people never realize their full potential I suppose. They don't want to be a part of the best of the web. It's safer to strive for master of mediocrity than become a failure at genius. I weep for the unposted comments, arguments and flameouts of thousands—dreams never to be realized, never to be favorited. Such wasted talent.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:45 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Should mine be called The Jeed?
posted by The Deej at 9:51 PM on October 25, 2007


I lurked for Askme, joined the site because of AskMe and didn't start reading Metafilter until recently. Usually don't have anything to add there and rarely learn anything I want to know. I come here to learn, not to pontificate. I'm also not at all snarky or witty. I can't come up with limericks on the spot and I'm a pretty serious person in general. And I don't care about politics in any form.

Also, because the rules are stricter in AskMe, I've found the quality of comments to be better. Signal to Noise ratio and all that. The only thing I really like about Metafilter are when good debates break out. But controversial AskMes often lead to Metatalk, so I can get my debate fix that way.
posted by Danila at 10:12 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not only aging backwards but gender changing. I think Locative might be right and this is a husband and wife tag team.
posted by tellurian at 10:14 PM on October 25, 2007


yhbc: "I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe. I understand the subsite's usefulness and appeal, but I'm amazed that people would join to only be on that part of the overall site."

I'll add my usual comment that I don't understand how people can have so many problems or burning questions in their life that they need two accounts to ask them all.

See, at least we're consistent.
posted by dg at 11:46 PM on October 25, 2007


Yes, by all means, let's all post on the blue, at regular intervals, whether we have anything fpp-worthy or not.

MaJetex are just not busy enough.
posted by dreamsign at 12:24 AM on October 26, 2007


I use a sockpuppet to exceed the 1 question/week limit occasionally. What's the big deal? Are $5 bills from sockpuppet accounts somehow worth less?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2007


I use a sockpuppet to exceed the 1 question/week limit occasionally. What's the big deal? Are $5 bills from sockpuppet accounts somehow worth less?

It's long been out there as a sort of grey-market solution for askme emergencies; if someone uses a spare account to dodge the limit Just This Once, it's probably not a big deal and, besides, we'll probably never notice.

But doing it regularly is really not okay. At that point it's just plain abusing the limit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:38 AM on October 26, 2007


I would still be unaware of Plushy Schwarz if not for grumblebee. Just sayin'.
posted by flabdablet at 6:51 AM on October 26, 2007


I've imposed this one question a week limit on all my friends. Every now and then if somebody I don't know very well asks me a question right after someone I know well asks one, I start wondering if they are a sockpuppet. In the absence of IP addresses I check if person I know well still has both socks. So far I have caught no sockpuppets.
posted by srboisvert at 7:29 AM on October 26, 2007 [9 favorites]


Is one the husband and the other the wife? It sounds like there are two people there.

It's only one person that is the husband and the wife. Did you see the Fight Club?
posted by micayetoca at 7:33 AM on October 26, 2007


Man i should start a new account... is Freedom Fry taken?
what about Pomme Frits?
what about gortex? snlranch? nathowie? y2carlos?
posted by French Fry at 7:40 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe.

Users who stay on the green and never venture past the fence don't bother me, but I don't particularly care for it when someone only asks questions and never attempts to answer anyone else's. Yeah, I'm looking at you.
posted by iconomy at 9:22 AM on October 26, 2007


sockpuppetry?

sockpuppetry.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:32 AM on October 26, 2007


OK, just this once I miss the image tag.
posted by GrammarMoses at 10:20 AM on October 26, 2007


Why have a sockpuppet when you can have a minion? or two...

Seriously, with memail out, can't we kibosh these altogether? Ask someone in the community to post as a favor to you if you want. It'll be like real life.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:25 AM on October 26, 2007


How about each user gets one question a week for free and then has to pay $5 for any additional questions asked in that seven-day period? No need for sockpuppets, rake in more cash.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:00 AM on October 26, 2007


yhbc : I'll just add my usual observation that I don't understand (or appreciate) users that only post on AskMe.

I'm more bugged by the ratio.

tom123 : Ask MeFi: 14 questions, 11 answers
mot123 : Ask MeFi: 4 questions, 1 answer

I hate seeing people who ask far more than they answer, but maybe that's just me.
posted by quin at 11:44 AM on October 26, 2007


I hate seeing people who ask far more than they answer

I understand your feeling, but if X has three major issues in his life, what should he do?

1) "It's not fair to ask three questions without answering -- at least -- three, so I'd better answer some questions. I don't actually know any good answers, but I guess I better post anyway."

2) "I have three major questions, but no answers. I guess I can't ask my questions."

To me, option one seems extremely problematic and option two seems harsh.
posted by grumblebee at 11:50 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]



How about each user gets one question a week for free and then has to pay $5 for any additional questions asked in that seven-day period? No need for sockpuppets, rake in more cash.


I've been in favor of this for a long time. But Matt and others are firmly against it. So it's not going to happen.

I think Matt's view is that people with money to burn would clog up the page with questions, and maybe he's right. I wish he'd roll this out as a trial -- just to see. I would recommend $25 for an additional question. For me, at least, that would be expensive. I would use it, but I would think really hard about whether or not that question is REALLY vital.

Mostly, I wouldn't use it, but I would love the insurance of knowing it was there if I needed it.

I'll add my usual comment that I don't understand how people can have so many problems or burning questions in their life that they need two accounts to ask them all.

Imagine that you have a really complicated job and a really complicated hobby: you're a C programmer and a model-railroad builder.

Now, Imagine that google only lets you do one search a week. You know that there's a model-railroad convention coming up, but you have no idea where or when. You really want to use google to find out.

But you're also in the middle of a big, complex work project. So you decide not to ask your question, because you need to save it in case you have a complex C problem.

That's the way I think about AskMe. I rarely ask fun questions any more, because I feel like I have to save my one a week for work emergencies.

And I have more than one complex job and more than one complex hobby. I don't think I'm rare around here that way. MeFi is full over workaholics with complicated lives.

Let me be clear: I DON'T think I'm entitled to anything. It's Matt's site and he should do as he wishes. But I hope other people don't think the way I do. I hope they don't hold back their fun questions. Because those questions add so much life to AskMe.
posted by grumblebee at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2007


By the way, if Matt's really concerned that selling extra questions would open the doors for wealthy users to abuse the site, why not try a combination of plans?: you can buy ONE additional question for $25 a week.
posted by grumblebee at 12:02 PM on October 26, 2007


Nothing on the site—short of initial sign-up donation—is pay for play. Changing that would be a big, big thing, and introduce a giant pile of money-for-value baggage to the situation, which for my part I think would be a big goddam headache. We talk about the way entitlement shows up here sometimes as it is;compare that sense of five-bucks-is-carte-blanche that pops up now and then to an equal or considerably higher fee for just one question, and then imagine that anything, anything at all, goes wrong with the question in the eyes of the paying asker. Yuck.

I don't know if Matt's mind will ever change on the subject, but I'm not excited about the proposition.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2007


How about eliminating quotas altogether and setting a max-number-of-questions-per-day (hour?)? This, along with a max number of chars you can post before you have to use more inside (which I think would be an improvement in any case).

Then, if you want to ask a question, you submit it to a queue. If you already have a question on the queue during that time period, your question goes to the end of the cue (and if others -- who haven't asked a question yet, ask one, they get moved ahead of any 2nd 3rd or Nth questions you ask).

Then an automated process pops questions off the cue when there's room for them. If it's a really slow week, you might be able to ask three questions. All of your questions WOULD appear eventually. And your first question would almost surely appear very soon, because you'd have queue precedence.
posted by grumblebee at 1:26 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Which would introduce into the system a (potentially steadily mounting) blind delay for all questions. All of a sudden, instead of not knowing if you'll have to wait for your next question if you ask this one, you won't even know whether or not you'll have to wait for this one. Timeliness goes entirely out the window.

It's something we deal with already for the anony queue—and occasionally we hear from anonymous submitters who want to know why their question hasn't been posted yet, when it's going to be posted, etc. The delay adds stress for the asker and work for the admins, something that's acceptable for the odd circumstance of vetting-required anonymous questions but not really attractive for askme in general.

Again, I don't know if Matt's feelings on this stuff will shift over time. I know he's said a couple times that he likes the idea of running a no-limit experiment just to see what happens, for example, though I don't think with the expectation that it would work out well or last very long. But changing the basic immediate-with-time-limit mechanic of AskMe to something markedly different (be it for-pay bonus questions or a convoluted blind queue) would require a huge win to justify the upset inherent therein.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:41 PM on October 26, 2007


What Metafilter really needs is some sort of place to discuss aspects of the site and make examples out of people who break the rules. And we could also use this place to dream up things that might be broken about the site, as well as fantasy solutions to fix them. A place for like, all the gray areas.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:42 PM on October 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Okay. I have one last idea, and then I'll shut up: a 2nd page for extra questions.

I get my one shot (per week) for a front-page question. After that, any additional questions I post go to a 2nd page. Some users (looking for more entertainment) will click on that 2nd page and answer my question. Maybe I'll even get the answer I want.

When the next week rolls around, and I get another chance to post a front-page question, I can post a new one or, if I want, I can shift a question from the 2nd page to the front page.

(There could also be an option that allows me to go the other way. I could shift a question from the front page to the 2nd page. Sometime I post a question and it gets answered in five minutes. I'm grateful, but I no longer feel like my question needs to take up space on the front page.)

Searches would bring up both front and page-two questions.
posted by grumblebee at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2007


By the time your question gets to the top of the queue, it may well be irrelevant.
posted by desjardins at 1:56 PM on October 26, 2007


I hate seeing people who ask far more than they answer, but maybe that's just me.

Yeah, but do you really want answers from somebody with so many problems?
posted by The Deej at 5:11 PM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think I'm missing something here. How does Tom having two accounts damage AskMe?
posted by Brocktoon at 2:12 PM on October 27, 2007


Maybe the cost of asking an additional question within the 14 day period should increase exponentially. Ask one question and its covered by your $5 payment. Second one is an additional $25. Third, $125.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 12:47 PM on November 8, 2007


it looks like they're using the extra account to sidestep the AskMe question limit, which really isn't cool. I'll email 'em about it.

Looks like that didn't do anything.
posted by grouse at 1:11 PM on November 11, 2007


Is one the husband and the other the wife? It sounds like there are two people there.
WTF! Now they're not married.
posted by tellurian at 1:38 PM on November 11, 2007


Toldja they move through time backwards.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:40 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is an account that works through bugmenot or something?

Either way, the pregnancy - orphans - mentoring - MBA - OCD about coworker - loneliness path is both intriguing and scary.
posted by k8t at 7:59 PM on November 11, 2007


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