Main Sock Puppet Discussion

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02:38:10 PM Aug 11th 2016
I've read the Charles Stross book Halting State. I'm not sure that sock puppets make any appearance. The missing man isn't a case of a false identity created to allow somebody to carry out anonymous actions to support their real self; while somebody finds a way to take advantage of his "missingness" (he's not at home), nothing is being done in his name for any purpose other than covering up how long he's been missing. In fact, the trope is actually being inverted in that it's a setup to allow a third party to pull The Real Remington Steele: the missing man and his work are entirely based off of a real person, somebody who has never heard of the false identity but has been tapped to eventually get hired to become the missing man or his successor. Other than that, the work uses the concept of genuine (gaming) accounts obtained and subsequently used under dubious pretenses as a minor ongoing plot point, but they're not really being used to impersonate people (even the original accountholders), if only because software hasn't evolved enough to make it worth the effort. There's one actual systematic case of multiple identity impersonation, but its nature actually bars it from having any effect on public discourse or debate. There are several people who quite likely have sock puppet accounts, but this is never explicitly stated (there's one employee briefly using a "house" account as an admin, but there's no clear implication he actually plays this game and has a personal account).

Summing up, identity is indeed a major focus of this book, and it uses a number of tropes in that category, but I'm unsure anything we'd specifically call a sock puppet shows up.
09:24:15 AM Jan 14th 2014
I'm not sure if this belongs here but there is an inversion of this where the prime minister of Australia, Alfred Deakin, who was already a writer for a London newspaper, anonymously wrote articles criticizing himself and his policies through out his time in office.
09:21:59 PM Jul 17th 2013

Someone should really add an entry for the famous "Warlizard" situation on reddit. I would, but I'm not good at wiki edits.
06:10:24 AM Aug 12th 2010
The laconic entry in inaccurate—a sock can can also be to form a strawman disagreement, or even just as a way of being able to say stuff without it being traced back to you.
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