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As defined by wikipedia:

"A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about oneself, pretending to be a different person[1] , like a ventriloquist 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."[2]

The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym (sometimes termed an "alt" which is short for alternate, as in alternate identity) is the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer."

  1. "definition of sockpuppet".
  2. Stone, Brad (2007-07-16). "The Hand That Controls the Sock Puppet Could Get Slapped", The New York Times. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.