How do you decide whether a poster is a sock puppet or a troll?

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  1. lorlie6 profile image73
    lorlie6posted 10 years ago

    How do you decide whether a poster is a sock puppet or a troll?

    I am interested in folks who identify such things.  Is it something obvious, or do you use deductive reasoning by reading their posts?

  2. Theophanes profile image88
    Theophanesposted 10 years ago

    I don't know what a sock puppet is but trolls are usually easy to spot. Right out of the gate they start off with saying something negative about your article or even about you and continue on that thread like they're really onto something. Some will have the audacity to speak for you and tell you who you really are, relating what your opinions are and how no decent human being would share this viewpoint that they've completely made up with you. Some of them like to pose questions to make it seem like they're just innocently trying to pick your brains when really they're trying to say the opinion you wrote in your piece is wrong, they're right, and you should cower to their obviously superior mental skills. The more polite you are to them the more hostile they become - they want you to burst through the screen and throttle them at some point. At that point they've won what they wanted - your public outburst. Just delete these comments - if it's one of those things that innocently goes from conversation to negativity delete the entire thread and make future posts moderated (so they won't automatically appear when the poster pushes the send button - this is usually a good deterrent because at that point they already know you're poised over the delete button and without their comments visible they can't gain the audience they so crave. There's no fun in that.) It's a hard one. I've had some that really irritated me but you just have to have a thick skin and realize deleting the crazies is not caving to lower sensibilities, it's keeping sane. You wouldn't put up with someone walking behind you and yelling, "BOOO! I hate you! You're a terrible person!" so why should you online?

  3. JT Walters profile image72
    JT Waltersposted 10 years ago

    They are exceptionally negative and they spin the argument plus they don't have well written hubs or alot of time on HP.  Moderating your hubs gets rid of them quickly.

  4. robie2 profile image76
    robie2posted 10 years ago

    Actually, a person can be both ( and, I might add, often is)   Sock puppets are aliases of a person who does not want to be identified with what he or she is saying.  For example, let's say I, Robie2 on Hubpages, want to respond to a political hub that pisses me off but don't want to get my main account in trouble... so I set up a new Hubpages account and write a bio for somebody called  Loudmouth43 and boom!  I have a sock puppet. If I make  really nasty, outrageous, bullying or ignorant comments( especially of a threatening nature), then I am also being a troll.

    That said, if I set up a separate Hubpages account in order to write in a new niche like ooooh, let us say, " travel" and write a bunch of trave hubs as "Travelbunny", then Travelbunny is my sock puppet and I might well use that account to comment on other travel hubs or blogs to build my audience, but it is a benign sock puppet and can also be quite a profitable one :-)

    Trolls are never benign in my experience. They are often, but not always anonymous and always looking for trouble.  You can recognize them by their anger and you should never ever feed them. 

    and that, IMHO, is the basic difference between a sock puppet and a troll


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