- Computers & Software
Internet Sockpuppets & Trolls
Lions and Tigers and Bears….Oh my!Internet Trolls and Sockpuppets…..OMG!Sockpuppets and Trolls are another evil element in the computer cache of characters, as if we don’t have enough garbage to deal with. With spam, viruses and wormholes or what ever they’re called! We can give them cutesy’n clever names, but the truth is they are a pain in the ___! Throughout writing this I kept spelling Sockpuppets “Sock Puppies.”It must be a Freudian thing with me because where my puppy always used to steel my dirty socks. Must have been my fragrant feet that attracted him! The Spell-Check doesn’t detect that puppies are not puppets and even after rechecking my typing many times I still find some puppy mistakes. So if you see any sock puppies here, I’ll have to take the dog out for a walk.
An Internet Troll or Forum Troll is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Forum Trolls get excited in causing mayhem on the forums. A Troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into this infernal discussion. The on-fire discussions usually end with name-calling and an explosive war. Believe me, on a dating site where petty jealousies percolate in the chat room between potential suitors, and a Troll who has this knowledge in his quiver, a medieval battle can ensue.A classic Troll tries to make us believe that he or she is a genuine skeptic with no hidden agenda. He is divisive and argumentative with need-to-be-right attitude, "searching for the truth", flame-thrower discussion, and sometimes insulting people or provoking people to insult him. Trolls are usually an expert in reusing the same words of its opponents and in turning it against them. Using the “Quote” edit button in a post window is used quite often with these troublemakers. While sometimes, they may sound like a stupid, uninformed, ignorant poster, but don’t be fooled! Most Trolls are highly intelligent people trying to hide behind a mask of stupidity and/or ignorance! They usually have a diabolic and ruthless agenda. Very few Trolls come to an Internet Community out of pure skepticism, they do their homework, maybe even as a “guest” member where they can observe. An Internet Troll is generally a person who is extremely skeptical of the main forum subject. He or she is generally interested to make other forum members look stupid. A Troll will sometimes use insults to provoke other people to insult him. Then, he will complain to moderators of being insulted and will request that his opponents get banned from further discussion or even the entire site.Trolls too can be or have an alter ego where the Troll persona is an Internet Sockpuppet. These people have their angelic username protected, like a “Holy_Joe” or a “GoldieLocks82.” This perfect version “self”, plus their other evil username nemesis sometimes co-exist quite schizophrenically. Sockpuppets are an alternative account used as another online identity for the purpose of deceiving the members and or the Administration of an Internet Community. As a false identity, some offenders have more than one fake name as well. Complete with profile, and among other activities, when voting or polling they have an extra voice, these puppets, although aggressive behind a false screen name persona are most likely weasel wimp nerds in reality. Sockpuppets may even have more than one username as well, this sometimes devours their life and becomes, sadly their only social life. On dating sites, this is a major problem; Some Sockpuppets could be sex offenders, online predators hiding behind a “mask.” But less offensive, tamer Sockpuppets on dating sites may pretend to be someone else to fulfill a fantasy, be another sex to experience an alternative sexual experience while “Cybering” with an unsuspecting partner in the Private Chat room. Or perhaps they just fool you for the heck of it. Still others may try to con you with fake romance or friendship to gain monetary or other favors. On dating or non-dating sites some evil Sockpuppets maybe looking to scam people for credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, Driver Licenses and Username Passwords to important sites that you possess. Both Trolls and Sockpuppets are extremely manipulative.
Sockpuppets used by some Website Administrations and ModeratorsSockpuppets used by an Administration may use Sockpuppets to portray an average individual member to give the impression of more support for a peculiar view than actually is. Or to be just an “inside man” or spy for the company site. A group of individuals as separate free-lance Sockpuppets or one person with multiple personalities may sway the public in that community unethically. Double or multiple voting in polls and deceptive writing in community discussions where the alter ego Sockpuppet may also either instigate a situation or agree with the status quo. Arguments or debates, real or staged by multiple different Sockpuppets or a single puppet with multiple personalities arguing between “him selves” (another puppet he also portrays in that site) attracts attention, distraction, creates an illusion and sometime chaos. Or different Sockpuppets working as a team can also accomplish this unethical scam. Both of these Internet characters usually frequent a “Chat Room” or an (IM) Instant Messenger (Yahoo, Google, AOL, etc., or even a live messenger service in a community site) more often then not. These features are more intimate, the chat room and an (IM) are “Live” and less likely for the Sockpuppet or Troll’s victims to have the time to think out their response to his conversation. People in chat rooms seem more timid than in a Forum discussion. On a Forum Post where both of you, the potential victim and the above mentioned evil duo, have all the time in the world to ponder, plan and to write and strategize. Since Senator Barack Obama (D) Illinois announced his candidacy for President of the United States there have been numerous Sockpuppets with his namesakes. Some actually even claim to be him and some are obviously a joke. Can a campaign staffer answering questions in Obama’s place be considered a Sockpuppet? I guess so?So, I know that Sockpuppets and their evil Troll cousins were once transformed into wonderful playthings in our youth, but now they have the potential to be dangerous as they crossed the Cyber divide.