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Successful Sockpuppetry: A Practical Guide
Successful Sockpuppetry: A Practical Guide
The Apple Dopplin' Gang
Published by The Apple Dopplin' Gang
01-07-2007
Default The Sock Puppeteer’s Code


The Sock Puppeteer’s Code

I view using sock-puppets as a form of online theater. Usually, creating an alternate account is akin to creating a character. It’s a combination of screen/playwriting and acting – the puppeteer is simultaneously writing the character and speaking with his/her/its voice. Making that voice consistent is an artistic endeavor, and as such, it’s a shame to waste that effort by making a muddle of your creation through laziness or inattention to detail. Please don’t misunderstand the intent of this “Code”; I am not making any sort of moral statement, just an aesthetic one. If you don’t want to follow these principles, I for one won’t view it as a moral failing. After all, it’s just the Internet. I will call it what it is, however: sloppy and pointless.

That said, there comes a point when some amount of seriousness is called for. At the risk of repeating myself, this is the core principle of the Code: If you can’t be bothered to pay a little attention to detail, there was no point in creating the alternate account in the first place. A sock puppeteer is, essentially, a liar (although I prefer the term “actor”). If your lies are inconsistent, you’re a bad liar. So, if you forget everything else I say in this article, at least remember this: Preview the post. Review, assess, and revise. If you’re an unrepentant, heart-on-the-sleeve type, either keep that impulse in check or give it up. Also, another obvious yet often-neglected point: Double-check the username you're logged in as before you hit the Submit button. Make it part of your posting routine. Posting from the wrong account is especially dangerous if you've been on a message board for awhile already; a great deal of the elements to posting have become an automatic process, and you'll need to reprogram your habits.

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