Wikipedia defines a sockpuppet as "an online identity used for purposes of deception." On Wookieepedia, sockpuppetry most commonly takes shape in the form of a blocked user using an alternate account in an attempt to evade their block and continue editing the wiki. Sockpuppetry is strictly prohibited on Wookieepedia and is typically met with the most stringent punitive response by administrators.
Examples of sockpuppetry
The following section lists common examples of sockpuppetry on Wookieepedia. Each of these examples is strictly prohibited and may result in punitive action by an administrator.
- Ban evasion. Users who are blocked or permanently banned from Wookieepedia may not employ any method to evade their block in an attempt to continue editing or influencing the wiki. This applies to both registered and unregistered users, also known as anonymous users or anons. Sockpuppetry in this case may take place in various forms, such as:
- Registering an alternate username or editing anonymously in order to create a new identity
- Using a proxy server or mobile device, such as a cell phone, to generate a new IP address in order to bypass a block on a residential IP address
- Proxy servers and web hosting services are typically banned on sight due to their potential for abuse. Public access ports such as schools, libraries, and restaurants may also be banned if suspected of abuse.
- Recruiting other users to make edits for you while you are blocked
- Ballot stuffing. Users may feel compelled to manipulate the outcome of a community discussion or consensus vote by commenting on a forum using different usernames in order to create the impression of multiple users sharing the same opinion.
- Alternatively, users may try to recruit friends from other websites in order to help them support a particular position. This practice is commonly known as meatpuppetry and is similarly prohibited on Wookieepedia.
- Multiple accounts. Some users may attempt to register and maintain multiple accounts for innocuous reasons, such as for fun or to create multiple user pages for purposes of vanity. Wookieepedia users may only edit from one registered account at a time.
Sockpuppetry on Wookieepedia typically results in the strongest penalties, as it most commonly involves blocked users attempting to evade an existing block or ban. Administrators are to respond to sockpuppetry as follows:
- Sockpuppet accounts of blocked users will be permanently banned. At the discretion of the administrator, the duration of the user's original block may be extended.
- IP addresses used to evade a block will be blocked. Specifically, proxy IP addresses will be permanently banned. At the discretion of the administrator, the duration of the user's original block may be extended.
- Sockpuppet accounts used to create the impression that multiple users support a single user's position will be permanently banned. At the discretion of the administrator, the offending user's original account may also be blocked.
- Any user found to be participating in meatpuppetry, be it the initiator or respondent, will be blocked at the discretion of the administrator.
- Any user found to be making edits on behalf of a blocked user will be blocked at the discretion of the administrator. The administrator may also extend the original block duration of any blocked user found to be soliciting other users for this purpose.
- Any user found to be maintaining multiple accounts for innocuous reasons will be instructed of the Sockpuppet policy and be advised to choose one account to utilize. At the discretion of the administrator, any secondary accounts may then be permanently banned to prevent abuse.
What is not sockpuppetry?
The following section lists common examples of practices that should not be considered sockpuppetry on Wookieepedia.
- Changing usernames. Users may change their usernames as they desire. Fandom has specific protocol for how to change a username, although users often change their username by simply registering a new account. In any event, users who change their usernames may not edit from multiple accounts simultaneously or use a new account to hide from a previous account's editing history, both of which may be construed as sockpuppetry. Users who change their username by registering a new account must either note their name change on their former user page or redirect their former user page to their new user page, in accordance with the User page policy.
- Bots. Some users maintain secondary bot accounts on Wookieepedia for maintenance tasks. The identity of the main user must be specified on the bot user page, and the secondary bot account may only be used for bot edits.
Users who detect or suspect ongoing sockpuppetry should report the issue to the Wookieepedia administration by leaving a message on an administrator's talk page, on the Administrators' noticeboard, or in the official Wookieepedia IRC channel.
Fandom has granted the CheckUser extension to two Wookieepedia administrators, which allows them to look up the IP addresses of registered user accounts for the purposes of combating sockpuppetry, vandalism, and other disruptions. The two Wookieepedia administrators presently assigned this tool are Green tentacle and Grunny. Users wishing to report sockpuppetry may also leave messages directly for these administrators.