Sockpuppet (Internet)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A sockpuppet, also commonly known as an alt, is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks while pretending not to, like a puppeteer manipulating a hand puppet.

In current usage, the perception of the term has been extended beyond second identities of people who already post in a forum to include other uses of misleading online identities. For example, a NY Times article claims that "sock-puppeting" is defined as "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company."

The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym is the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sockpuppet (Internet)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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