I provided an answer to a question that was later put on hold. While the question was on hold, a member commented on my answer along the lines of 'That's not what I [my emph.] asked'.

The commenter was not the same member who had posted the question, the usernames and profiles were very different, so it seemed odd for the commenter to comment in the first person.

Minutes later I wanted to ask (by comment) whether the commenter and OP were by any chance the same person but the comment had disappeared.

Although my evidence isn't very strong, I suspect sock puppetry at play here.


There is a mother meta question on this.

The short version is that multiple accounts per se is OK, but any kind of interaction between the personalities is suspect. In particular accounts voting for each other, or writing comments in support of each other or even voting for comments of the other account are definitely out of bounds. Anything that attempts to change the crowd evaluation or the sense of consensus is a problem.

You'll notice that what is disallowed is all the usual things that people might want to do with multiple accounts. The kind of legitimate uses that are envisioned are are mostly related to getting the new user or low rep user view of the site: seeing the site with the ads that are removed for active users, or testing allegations that posts are treated differently according to the reputations (either site mechanics or social) of the poster. All those uses should be completely invisible on the site: you shouldn't be able to figure them out unless the puppet master tells you.

If you have any evidence of multiple accounts beyond "I think they sound the same" please bring it to the attention of the moderation team.

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    $\begingroup$ It's probably worthwhile to mention that SE, both on a script and on a team level, is very trigger happy in terms of merging accounts which look like sock puppets. If you do want to use multiple accounts for legitimate reasons, and you don't want them to be merged, take appropriate precautions such as always using different browsers for the two accounts. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 4 '15 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ Might be worth mentioning somewhere that a flag, specifically, is the standard way to bring this (or anything) to the mods' attention. $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 4 '15 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ: I didn't think there was a specific flag for this kind of concern. Is there? $\endgroup$ – Gert Oct 5 '15 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Gert Just flag the post where you saw the evidence with a custom reason and say what you saw. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Oct 5 '15 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee: I see. Ta. $\endgroup$ – Gert Oct 5 '15 at 2:34

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