Il termine sockpuppet su wikipedia sta ad indicare un wikipediano che compie delle modifiche sotto più di un nome. L'uso di sockpuppet su wikipedia è, in linea generale, scoraggiato. Al riguardo Jimbo Wales ha detto: "

A sock puppet is an additional username used by a Wikipedian who edits under more than one name. The Wikipedian who uses a sock puppet may be called a sock puppeteer. Use of sock puppets is discouraged in most cases. Jimbo Wales has said: "There's no specific policy against it, but it's generally considered uncool unless you have a good reason," and " ... multiple usernames are really only a problem if they are used as a method of troublemaking of some sort. For example, to generate an appearance of consensus, or to vote more than once, or to hide from public scrutiny." [1]

The reason for discouraging sock puppets is to prevent abuses such as a person voting more than once in a poll, or using multiple accounts to circumvent Wikipedia policies or cause disruption. Some people feel that second accounts should not be used at all; others feel it is harmless if the accounts are behaving acceptably.

Multiple accounts may have legitimate uses, but you must refrain from using them in any way prohibited to sock puppets, and from using one account to support the position of another, the standard definition of sock puppetry. If someone uses multiple accounts, it is recommended that he or she provide links between the accounts, so it is easy to determine that they are shared by one individual. (Also see this page for information on how this affects other online communities.)

Dealing with violationsModifica

Accounts operating in violation of this policy should be blocked indefinitely; the main account may be blocked at the discretion of any administrator. Non-administrators may list the accounts at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism or Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents, as befits the case.

Difficult cases where the nature and extent of sockpuppetry is unclear and where there is an ongoing problem may be listed at Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser for investigation. Please see that page for detailed policy.

Forbidden uses of sock puppetsModifica

Voting and other shows of supportModifica

Wikipedia uses a "one person, one vote" principle for all votes and similar discussions where individual preferences are counted in any fashion. Accordingly, sock puppets may not be used to give the impression of more support for a viewpoint. This includes voting multiple times in any election, or using more than one account in a discussion at polls and surveys, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, Wikipedia:Requests for adminship, or on talk pages.

In addition to double-voting, sock puppets should not be used for the purpose of deception, or to create the illusion of broader support for a position than actually exists.

Avoiding scrutiny from other editorsModifica

Multiple accounts should not be used as a way of avoiding the scrutiny of your fellow editors by ensuring you leave no audit trail. Using sock puppet accounts to split your contributions history means that other editors can't detect patterns in your contributions. While it may be legitimate to do this from time to time (for example, by creating a special account to make edits that might serve to identify you in real life), it is a violation of this policy to create multiple accounts in order to confuse or deceive editors who may have a legitimate interest in tracking your contributions.

"Good hand, bad hand" accountsModifica

The use of alternate accounts for deliberate policy violations is specifically proscribed:

  • All users, but especially admins and potential admin candidates, are proscribed from operating a "bad hand" account for the purpose of policy violations or disruption.
  • Admins are also proscribed from operating a "bad hand" account for the purpose of engaging in editing disputes while at the same time appearing to be a neutral admin dealing with page protection or Three Revert Rule (3RR) issues on the same articles. Cases that come to light have resulted in loss of adminship in the past.

Circumventing policyModifica

Policies apply per person, not per account. Policies such as 3RR are for each person's edits. Using a second account for policy violations will cause any penalties to be applied to your main account. Users who are banned or blocked from editing may not use sock puppets to circumvent this. Evading a block or ban causes the timer on the block to restart, and may further lengthen it.

Administrative sock puppetsModifica

The community has strongly rejected users having more than one username with admin powers. If you leave, come back under a new name and are nominated for adminship, it is expected that you will give up admin powers on your old account. (You may do this quietly with your old account and not have to show a link between accounts.) You should have only one account with powers greater than those of a regular editor. At this time, the only second account with legitimate administrative powers is Dannyisme, which Danny uses for Foundation work.

Legitimate uses of multiple accountsModifica

Multiple accounts have legitimate uses. For example, prominent users might create a new account in order to experience how the community functions for new users. In particular, some have suggested that Jimbo should get, and edit from, a sock puppet account. Perhaps he does.

Segregation and securityModifica

Other users employ multiple accounts to segregate their contributions for various reasons:

  • A user making substantial contributions to an area of interest in Wikipedia might register another account to be used solely in connection with developing that area.
  • Since public computers can have password-stealing trojans or keyloggers installed, some users may use an alternate account when editing under these conditions in order to prevent the hijacking of their main accounts.
  • Someone who is known to the public or within a particular circle may be identifiable based on his/her interests and contributions; dividing these up between different accounts might help preserve the person's anonymity. Users with a recognized expertise in one field, for example, might not wish to associate their contributions to that field with contributions to articles about less weighty subjects.
  • A person editing an article which is highly controversial within his/her family, social or professional circle may wish to use a sock puppet so that readers unfamiliar with NPOV policy will not assume his/her information edits are statements of personal belief.

Keeping heated issues in one small areaModifica

Some editors use different accounts in talk pages to avoid conflicts about a particular area of interest turning into conflicts based upon user identity and personal attacks elsewhere, or to avoid harassment outside of Wikipedia. A person participating in a discussion of an article about abortion, for example, might not want to allow other participants an opportunity to extend that discussion or engage them in unrelated or philosophically motivated debate outside the context of that article.

'Role' accountsModifica

Role accounts, accounts which are used by multiple people, are only officially sanctioned on en: Wikipedia in exceptional cases at this time. The one currently permitted role account on en: is Schwartz PR, the account for a public relations firm working closely with the Foundation. If you run an account with multiple users, it is likely to be blocked.


Editors who operate bots (programs that edit automatically or semi-automatically) are encouraged to create separate accounts (and request they be marked as bot accounts via m:requests for bot status), so the automated edits can be filtered out of recent changes. (See Wikipedia:Bots for bot procedures and policies)

Doppelganger accountsModifica

 Lo stesso argomento in dettaglio: Wikipedia:Doppelganger account.

It is acceptable to pre-emptively create another account with a username similar to one's own, with the purpose of pre-emptively preventing impersonation by vandals. Such accounts are called doppelganger accounts, should be marked with the {{doppelganger}} tag (or simply redirected to one's own userpage), and should not be used for editing.


A related issue occurs when multiple individuals create brand new accounts specifically to participate in, or influence, a particular vote or area of discussion. This is common in deletion discussions or controversial articles. These newly created accounts, or anonymous edits, may be friends of another editor, may be related in some way to the subject of an article under discussion, or may have been solicited by someone to support a specific angle in a debate. Wikipedians also call such user accounts single-purpose accounts, because whereas committed Wikipedians are usually active on a range of articles, and their aim is to see a balanced growth in articles and in the encyclopedia as a whole, single-purpose accounts come to Wikipedia with one agenda.

These accounts are often described as "meatpuppets", a name perhaps inspired by the band of the same name. They are often difficult to distinguish from real sock puppets and are treated similarly. Neither a sock puppet nor a single-purpose account holder is regarded as a member of the Wikipedia community. The Arbitration Committee has ruled that, for the purpose of dispute resolution, when there is uncertainty whether a party is one user with sock puppets, or several users acting as meatpuppets, they may be treated as one individual.

Advertising and soliciting meatpuppetsModifica

It is considered highly inappropriate or unacceptable to advertise Wikipedia articles that are being debated in order to attract users with known views and bias, in order to strengthen one side of a debate. It is also considered highly inappropriate to ask friends or family members to create accounts for the purpose of giving additional support. Advertising or soliciting meatpuppet activity is not an acceptable practice on Wikipedia. On-Wikipedia canvassing should be reverted if possible.

The arrival of multiple newcomers, with limited Wikipedia background and predetermined viewpoints arriving in order to present those viewpoints, rarely helps achieve neutrality and most times actively damages it, no matter what one might think. Wikipedia is not a place for mixing fact and opinion, personal advocacy, or argument from emotion. Controversial articles often need more familiarity with policy to be well edited, not less.

If you feel that a debate is ignoring your voice, then the appropriate action is not to solicit others outside Wikipedia. Instead, avoid personal attacks, seek comments and involvement from other Wikipedians, or pursue dispute resolution. These are quite well tested processes, and are designed to avoid the problem of exchanging bias in one direction for bias in another.

Identification and handling of suspected sock puppetsModifica

Characteristics of sock puppetsModifica

Not surprisingly, sock puppet accounts usually show much greater familiarity with Wikipedia and its editing process than most newcomers. They are more likely to use edit summaries, immediately join in edit wars, or participate vocally in procedures like Articles for deletion or Requests for adminship as part of their first few edits. They are also more likely to be brand new or a single purpose account when looking at their contributions summary.

Straw man sock puppetModifica

One type of sock puppet is sometimes referred to as a "straw man sock puppet." They are created by users with one point of view, but act as though they have an opposing point of view, in order to make that point of view look bad, or to act as an online agent provocateur. They will often make poor arguments which their "opponents" can then easily refute. This can allow them to essentially make straw man arguments. Such sock puppets thus become a personification of the straw man argument which their creators argue against. They often act unintelligently or appear uninformed, and may behave in an overtly bigoted manner. The effect is often to obfuscate the debate and prevent a serious discussion of the arguments from each side. Suspicion of such sock puppets is often harder to verify though, as there are often people who naturally behave in such a manner with the same effects.

When questions ariseModifica

In some cases it may not be completely clear whether an account is a sock puppet, as the purpose is usually to avoid detection. Similarities in interests and editing style can be noted, but not everyone may be familiar enough with the user to understand the evidence.

If it appears that sock puppets are being used as part of an edit war or to distort the outcome of a vote or survey, one possible rule of thumb is the so-called 100-edit rule. This suggests that any account which already has more than 100 edits across a range of other articles, or has been active more generally on Wikipedia, can often be presumed not to be a sock puppet. If there are unusually many accounts with few edits participating, you may want to check if they are sock puppets, by looking at IP addresses or times that edits were made. However, simply having made few edits is not evidence of sock puppetry on its own, and if you call a new user a sock puppet without justification, he or she will probably be insulted and get a negative impression of Wikipedia.

Keep in mind there can be multiple users who are driven to start participating in Wikipedia for the same reason, particularly in controversial areas such as articles about the conflict in the Middle East, cult figures, or Articles for deletion. Some have suggested applying the 100-edit guideline more strongly in such cases, assuming that all accounts with fewer than 100 edits are sock puppets. Generally, such beliefs have been shown to be not well-founded.

Where it is unclear whether or not sock puppetry is in progress, server log information can be consulted. To comply with Wikimedia Foundation privacy policy, this is limited to a handful of users and only done in serious cases, with reasonable cause, to check if user A is the same as user B based upon some evidence. "Fishing" – or general trawling of users in a debate for possible sockpuppets – is not supported and requests for such checks are unlikely to be agreed to. Requests may be made at Request for CheckUser.

If you have been accused incorrectly of being a sock puppet, don't take it too personally. New users are unknown quantities. Stay around a while and make good edits, and your record will speak for itself.

Difficult-to-detect sockpuppetsModifica

If you think that someone is using sockpuppets abusively and wish to get further people's comments on the matter, you should create a report at Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets and follow the instructions there.


Several templates are available for marking user pages and talk pages of sock puppet accounts. The templates serve as a convenient shorthand only and are not part of this policy.

Tagging identified sock puppetsModifica

If an account has been shown to be a sock puppet used for policy violations, then it may be identified as such, by adding {{SockpuppetProven}} to the user page and {{sockblock}} to the talk page of the sock puppet account. There are three tags available, one for violations confirmed by Checkuser, another for other forms of confirmed sockpuppet use, and a third for suspected violations:

  • {{SockpuppetCheckuser|Username|Optional name of CheckUser case (what is after Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/)}}
  • {{SockpuppetProven|1=Username|evidence=[[EvidenceLink]]}}. "EvidenceLink" can be replaced with something such as "[[Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Username]]":
  • {{Sockpuppet|1=Username|evidence=[[EvidenceLink]]}}

The original or best-known account of a user that operates sock puppets may be tagged with {{Sockpuppeteer}}. If the sockpuppeteer has at least one proven sockpuppet, tag the user page with {{Sockpuppeteerproven}} instead. Note that these tags are intended for abusive sock puppets and should not be used on the pages of people whose legitimate multiple accounts have not been blocked.

Alternate accountsModifica

  • Editors who wish to publicly display a link on an alternate account to their primary account may do so by tagging the "secondary" ones with {{User Alternate Acct|MAIN ACCOUNT}}
  • Primary accounts may be marked with {{User Alt Acct Master}}

See alsoModifica