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2009-02-26 20:26:11 Welcome to the Wiki. The two best things to do to avoid being taken for a sockpuppet are to use your real name and to contribute on a variety of topics and pages rather than obsessing over a limited number of topics or pages. —JasonAller
2009-02-26 20:52:29 Sure, but then that precludes anyone who wants to create an account and join a discussion. I was just pointing out that it is impossible to avoid being accused of being a sockpuppet if someone creates a new account and post a comment in an ongoing discussion, real name or not. Thus, the only way to alleviate the majority of suspicion is to create a long history of edits on various pages, using your real name has little to do with it because you can create any name you want. —KellyM
- Thanks for pointing this out. Obviously, I have views on the "real name" issue. I could have easily have made up a real-sounding fake name, but I thought that my choice was more honest. As you say, what ought to give someone credibility (or not) is their history of edits on various pages, not the choice of name, though some on this wiki seem to refuse to accept that. —CovertProfessor
2009-02-26 20:56:39 Joining a discussion alone isn't enough to raise suspicion of puppetry; perhaps joining a discussion where there is ongoing sockpuppetry is. It is however easy to overcome that suspicion. The real name issue comes into play because this is a geographically focused wiki and the likelihood of someone else being able to recognize and 'validate' the name is pretty high. —JasonAller
2009-02-26 21:00:42 I'm not usually a fan of discounting people's comments, and I generally disprove of the RealName promotion, but there's quite a range between "making a big history as an editor" and "jumping in at the same time with the same IP address." Sometimes of course people do that, but if one jumps in without mentioning a connection, it looks like they're trying to play as an outsider, which ends up looking like a shill/sockpuppet/whatever. I guess it's a silly thing to say that "adding 'I'm his roommate'" makes a comment any more valid than one without it, but I think it does in practice. Once people feel like they're being tricked (even if it's unintentional), I think almost nothing said would change their mind from that first reaction. Which is when people start tossing out the sockpuppet accusation. —EdWins
I agree, but that wasn't what was proposed. What was proposed was, "Use your real name and you will avoid this," not, "Tell us that you are theviper's roommate in your first post so we don't think you are theviper himself since you are posting from the same IP." Most people do not even know what an IP is, so I don't think this is reasonable behavior to expect from new accounts coming from the same household as someone who has previously posted a comment. In addition, having to qualify themselves as housemates implies that their opinion is somehow expected to be biased, while their personal opinion is just as valid as any other individual's. —KellyM
- Yeah, damned if you do and damned if you don't. But I think, even if it's considered biased, certain people will react to it better than if they're on a sockpuppet hunt (where they usually just write it off completely). And there's no way new people would know or think about that, you're right. It's actually a lot harder to break into this wiki than most people think. There's really a divide between the regular users and new users, especially interaction wise. While it seems annoying though, there have been plenty of times people have acted like shills - employees or managers posting about their own businesses, for example, certainly contribute to the problem. There's no real easy way, I always felt it's a little lose-lose. Anyway, cheers. -ES
2009-02-26 21:07:49 I only moved here because my girlfriend is going to school here. I personally don't know anyone here, the only person other than my girlfriend that could "validate" my name would be my landlord and I don't think she's a part of the wiki (nor is my girlfriend).
How would you easily overcome suspicion in the case of theviper and his housemate, where they share the same IP? Using their real names wouldn't help much because the people most ready to vouch for them would be their other housemates, also using the same IP. Again, the only way would be for another account with a long history and whose identity is also vouched for by others could vouch for them. There was no strong evidence of ongoing sockpuppetry going on in that discussion, theviper's supposed roommate was the first one to be suspicious due to having the same IP as theviper. —KellyM
2009-02-26 21:21:40 It is possible to 'vouch' for yourself; AlphaDog certainly succeeded in doing that. It isn't like an initial suspicion of puppetry can't be overcome. If PMTG goes on to make good edits that suspicion won't linger at all. The problem is that if people aren't occasionally called on it, or notices aren't put on pages where it is suspected it will be more common on the wiki and reduce the value for everyone. —JasonAller
How did AlphaDog do it? —KellyM
- Alphadog has made 3217 edits to 1309 pages on 1 wikis. What people neglect to remember though is that AlphaDog was with the wiki when it was fairly new, with very few users (comparatively), far before the sockpuppets and "real name" issues popped up so frequently with new, anonymous users. He had some snarky edits too. But overall he was a huge contributor of neat info to the wiki, particularly about plants. —ES
Their early edits and the edits since then. —JasonAller
So you're saying I should make thousands of edits to vouch for myself? Why isn't this told to potential sockpuppets instead of telling them to use their real name? My comment towards WilliamLewis was simply that using your real name does not "avoid [being accused of being a sockpuppet]", which is true. Real name or not, in order for other people to vouch for that account, they would have to have a long history of edits on the wiki. That means this wiki is basically like the mafia, where you either earn your way in, or you have someone in there who vouches for you. Again, using your real name has nothing to do with it because you are either being vouched for (account name doesn't matter), or you are making a history for yourself (account name doesn't matter). —KellyM
- It is entirely possible that I've missed something here. Did someone accuse you of being a sockpuppet? If so they didn't bother to look at your edit history, which clearly does not fit the pattern of a sockpuppet. If you were speaking more generally I don't know how to avoid the occasional false cry of "sockpuppet". Maybe I push the realname thing too much, I'm going to have to consider backing off on that. Edwins left a great comment on my page about this issue. —JasonAller
- You commented on my page after I left a comment saying that using your real name does not prevent accusations of being a sockpuppet. Your comment said that using your real name helps people vouch for a new account. I then went on to try and explain how using your real name does not actually prevent accusations or suspicion of being a sockpuppet and that, using myself as an example, I had nobody to vouch for me. See my comment after WilliamLewis' at Wheelworks
- Your edit history vouches for you. My initial comment to you on this page was an attempt to provide an answer to your question on Wheelworks, nothing more. I still believe that in general an editor willing to stand behind their words with their real name (and I include those who pick an internet name, but reveal their real name on their user page) is worth taking a little more seriously than one who won't. That is a bias of mine, but is hardly a wiki-wide belief. True, people can pick "real sounding" names, but if they make enough edits they will reveal enough of their nature so that others who put the effort in can get a feel of how seriously to take their words. Sometimes you can spot behavior in a first edit that calls for a Welcome to the Wiki message and an explanation that spamming, sockpuppetry, illegal activities, vulgar insults, etc. aren't welcome on the wiki, and that the wiki is different from a lot of other internet forums. I'm curious here, because I don't want to be part of the problem and if I'm not conveying a welcoming tone when I leave a Welcome to the Wiki message then I need to alter the way that I'm handling that. —JasonAller
- Oh, I didn't think you were un-welcoming, but I do think you missed something. I was never confused about what a sockpuppet meant, I was just pointing out that a first time poster who happens to use the same IP as a previous poster will always be accused of being a sockpuppet, real name or not. This was in response to WilliamLewis who left a comment saying that if the first time poster had used his real name, he could have avoided being accused of being a sockpuppet. I completely agree that only a history will generate trust in a name, this is something all internet communities face. For this wiki, there is no way to validate a fake name that appears to be real, so the effect is the same. For those who do use their real name, all the more power and trust to them, but for the accounts that do not and appear to... they get the same trust until proven dishonest (almost impossible if they want to remain anonymous). Usually, sockpuppet weeding does not rely on the vetted few who judge whether or not an account is a sockpuppet or not, nor does it rely on the appearance of real name usage. These methods are not very reliable and they alienate users who are NOT sockpuppets (I personally have never been accused, see EdWins comments on your page). Thus, you discourage valid users who would help overwhelm the sockpuppets, and the sockpuppets are simply caught as they half expected to be anyway. Alienated potential valid user vs sockpuppet who will simply do it again at no cost to their own feelings. Sockpuppets will always be a problem, but the cure for them is to get a lot more valid users. Alienating valid users in an attempt to stomp every sockpuppet is the wrong way to go about it, in my opinion. That said, this wiki is particularly ill-suited for stemming sockpuppets for various reasons, but I still stand by my opinion. P.S. This doesn't include the obvious trolls ("this place sucks, lol" - adsfjklwgoihasdkl1341). Obvious sockpuppets are obvious, no need to attack them right away.
2009-02-26 23:50:50 I'm definitely in the no real name needed camp, but I also agree that your reputation on the wiki is determined largely by the comments you post and the edits you make. Essentially, as a new user, you need to do something to establish a reputation. The reason making lots of edits improves your reputation is that it is much less likely that you have joined the site just to become a shill for a particular business or topic if you have demonstrated involvement in other things as well. I agree that this is difficult for new users. On the other hand, reputation is important on other sites as well. On ebay, people trust sellers who have many positive reviews (although if you look carefully, some people are using fake reviews that are similar to the sockpuppet postings here.) In business, on your first day at a company, you likely won't be trusted with something critical unless you have a strong enough prior reputation from your prior work. You are also more likely to be trusted by people who know you in the real world if you have demonstrated through your actions that you are trustworthy to those people.
One big problem is that the Wiki doesn't have any form of strong authentication. You could post with a real name (say, BarackObama), but are you really Barack Obama? Probably not. But strong authentication defeats the functionality of the wiki, which by design is at least semi-anonymous, and which can be edited by anyone. I don't think that we can do anything about this without radically altering the nature of the wiki.
Another problem is that unlike a site like Wikipedia, we don't have "experts" on specific topics. Rather, we have a lot of people who through their comments and edits are attempting to achieve something resembling a general consensus on the subject of a page. This consensus doesn't mean total agreement - but the collection of comments point to a general view about the subject of the page. Since there are no "experts", no specific person can be relied on to ensure "truth" in edits on a topic. Therefore, it is important to ensure the validity of the comments that are made by identifying potential fake postings that are designed to shift the consensus towards one person's view. This is why policing for sockpuppets is important. The cost is, of course, that sometimes we get it wrong. —IDoNotExist
2009-02-28 22:27:06 Question for you: Is this a sockpuppet? Look at the language, compare it to other entries on the same page. Does the writing feel like a customer, or an employee? Is someone studying the reactions of the wiki, or is this combined with the earlier ones today just a statistical fluke? What do you think? —JasonAller
- Personally, I think the review is obviously biased, but I'm cynical and believe that customer experiences that illicit orgasmic reviews are extremely rare. But are they a sockpuppet? That's not really for anyone but the viewer to judge. Who am I to judge someone because of their poor judgement or writing skills? Moderate reviews are always taken more seriously than a cheerleader or a heckler. Only truthful first hand reviews will organically reveal sockpuppets. —KellyM
2009-02-28 23:13:24 My guess is that this was written by an employee or friend of the owner. The IP address matches up with a freshman dorm. They may or may not work for the store (I would guess that at present they do not). I do think that this is a real account, not a sockpuppet, and that the person is using their real name, or that someone else is posting through the account of someone using their real name. The phrasing does NOT sound like a customer, because people don't talk about other people like that - it reads like an advertisement. That's not to say that someone couldn't write a glowing review, but the fact that she seems to have strong insights into the actual thoughts of the owner suggests that she either knows the owner, has worked there at some point, or is related to someone who works there. I would not trust this review, however I would also not flag the poster as a sockpuppet - more likely as someone likely associated with the business. —IDoNotExist
2009-02-28 23:16:59 Of course, it could also be someone you asked to post here as a test to see what the reaction would be, and whether we could figure out someone in a controlled test. :-) —IDoNotExist
2009-02-28 23:21:32 I should also note that it is a strange jewelry stop where "the costumer comes first". :-) —IDoNotExist
2009-05-06 22:18:31 I suggest you try some dim sum places before you listen to your friend especially if you work there too! Most places in Chinatown is decent, but there are some places which are better. If you need some names, then I can look them up for you. Chinese people know how to make dim sum, right? Haha, Happy hunting! —missmochi
2009-11-21 14:28:02 Yes, see William Lewis's comment and my reply, just above the comment that you left. —CovertProfessor
2010-03-19 08:56:51 I've deleted the http://daviswiki.org/Quickly_menu page because there's already a Quickly/Menu page with scans of the menu. I was also an orphan page with no incoming or outgoing links. —TomGarberson
2010-03-19 09:27:47 I'll switch the link over to the text version in a minute —TomGarberson
2010-03-19 23:02:56 From Hankim's comment, I guess it's basically Chinese. Where this started was a Japanese lady commented to me that the place was Japanese judging by the music videos. —BruceHansen
2011-12-24 13:00:24 saw your response to William was vaguely curious (it's a challenge! just like all the anonymous people) if I could ascertain if you are indeed in Davis, just by glancing at your statistics without even trying to geolocate the IP's (which is frequently inaccurate) OR looking at the content that you posted I'm pretty sure you reside in town —StevenDaubert