Sock Puppets: Not Just for Kids Anymore


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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79 Responses

  1. Avatar BSK says:

    Do people really have nothing better to do than engage in a 2-year-crusade against a relatively small blog?Report

  2. Avatar Erik Kain says:

    Thanks for this. But James has no identiy. Who is this mysterious James?Report

  3. I’ve often been concerned about a regular around here using two identities. Which is it, E.D. or Erik? We need to know!

    Dumb jokes aside, thanks for doing all this work to keep this place humming, Mark.Report

  4. Avatar Erik Kain says:

    Make that four again. I lost my temper.Report

  5. Avatar wardsmith says:

    I for one was completely taken in by Mavid, er I mean Menneth, er I mean Mennifer. Actually I wasn’t but it was fun to watch Mavid pretend to live in jolly ole England (North sounds more like an Englishman than Mavid ever did). I was sorry to see him go, although I could point back to his post that said he was just responding “this morning” while forgetting the 5 hour (EST) time zone difference. He won’t give up of course, he’ll just try again under a different guise. While we’re at it, for a minute there I suspected Fnord of being Patrick Cahalan.Report

  6. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    I sometimes think we’d be better off if we all went by the name “An Anonymous Gentleman.”Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Call me naive, but I really was starting to worry that people were on the left had developed a serious animus against the developmentally disabled that, for the life of me, I could not figure out. What could be the connection between being a liberal and having such an axe to grind about “retards”? Hopefully, it really is just one dude.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Every now and again, I consider getting an “Evil Jaybird” login.

    Or, I suppose, a “Good Jaybird” one.Report

  9. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Does anyone else remember the last time someone was banned and they kept coming back and leaving comments substituting usernames with accusations against the board administrators? Even if we can expect someone to get upset at being banned, it’s quite curious that they would register their protest in such a remarkably similar manner.

    What was the name of that last guy?

    I think it was… Mike.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

      You’re forgetting one of the other banned dudes, Hei.degger, who comes back in phases. Actually, did anyone compare his data with Mike’s? James K Polk is a Hei.degger-esque name.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Chris says:

        Whatever else one might say about Heidi – and there’s plenty – his obsessions are quite different.  I’ll also say this much: if he was at all part of this, my investigation would have turned up a direct link of some sort.Report

        • I would also say that for all of H’s quirks that led to his banning, most of the time he tried to make connections with people.  In his own way, of course, but I always appreciated it.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          I liked Heid. Why was he banned?

          I began commenting here as “Will,” until I realized that someone else here already had that name.
          Actually, the nickname that has stuck with me the longest, the one that most of the guys at work know me as, is “the professor.”
          It’s because of the character from Gilligan’s Island.
          If you were around me long enough, you would see it.
          And I do like fiddling with the radio from time to time.

          You might find this link helpful.Report

  10. Had this simply been performance art, I would just want to take my hat off to the guy.

    But the dishonesty seems to have been mostly self-interested, and about kicking up dirt and bugging the site’s operators, rather than simple trying on internally consistent identities. So, less fun.

    Nice catch, thanks for setting it all out for your readers to see.Report

  11. Avatar Johanna says:

    Right now I feel banned as the sub blogs are frozen to my ability to comment and all I wanted to do was answer Jaybird’s question. All i am seeing is a reddit icon or a frozen page.Report

  12. Very nice police work, Lou.Report

  13. Avatar greginak says:

    People manage to be endlessly disappointing. I can’t say i’m surprised since some of those persona’s seemed pretty odd as i was reading the threads.

    Don’t feed the trolls is always good advice.Report

  14. I liked Mike.

    He eats anything.Report

  15. Avatar Murali says:

    I do know that people who log on through their university sometimes share the same IP address. Could that have been one of the reasons the IP address was the same?

    (At leas megavideo sometimes tells me that I have used up my free hours when I have done no such thing)Report

    • Avatar Noah in reply to Murali says:

      It looks like he was spoofing his IP address and would occasionally get wires crossed and not have each account using the same IP.


    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Murali says:

      Not possible in this case, unfortunately. I was able to rule that out pretty early on. He was using anonymizing software, but in a community of our relatively small size, the use of such software sticks out like a sore thumb; when combined with the consistent mannerisms and behavioral traits, the case became overwhelming. Also worth mentioning is that in reviewing the threads where these posts were made, it seems that several commenters expressed suspicions about sock puppetry with respect to two of these accounts almost immediately upon the account’s first appearance.Report

      • Yeah, I remember it was fairly obvious that Mike and David were the same person when David suddenly came into existence with the express purpose of standing up for the newly-banned Mike. David managed to calm down and behave like a civilized human being long enough for people to stop worrying about it, at least, but pretty much everyone in that thread noticed that David was almost certainly Mike.Report

  16. Avatar Jeff says:

    I might have to change my moniker —  Jeff tFL or, with cheers to Mr Cheeks, Jeff tCD, might work.Report