Sunday, May 14, 2006



No sockpuppets pleaseI was reminded today of this post written by Slugger O'Toole's Mick Fealty over a year ago in relation to the issue of 'sockpuppets'. In Mick's own words:

"One of the sad things about Internet discussion is the reluctance of people to use their real names. In the context of Northern Ireland it is eminently understandable why people choose to remain annonymous. However, Sockpuppets take annonymity a step further. They are false, false identities if you like, often used by someone who is already posting under a 'proper' identity.

"They can be fun and entertaining. Occasionally they can be vicious, often being used as an attack vehicle: ie, not merely for anonymity. In the context of Slugger, sockpuppets are not against the rules. However should a sockpuppet character be seen to serially play the man not the ball, you may find that your alter ego is suddenly (and without warning) curtailed from play."

I regret to inform my readers that Jo of Joblog chose to go down this sockpuppet route by adopting the name of a poster called 'Sean' on this thread.

Having never heard of this 'Sean' character before I questioned why 'Sean' gave such an impassioned defense of Jo and why 'Sean' was so critical towards myself. It was the following post from 'Sean' which encouraged me to check the IP addresses of both Jo and 'Sean':

"LOl, you attacked her personally over some imagined thing about her gf and you think Vance is a sensible guy?

"I read her rape posts and she talked sense, even Chris Gaskin agreed with her ffs. Fucking Hell UI boy, you've lost it big time? Stick to something you know about...cheeriooo"

A person I'd never heard of before sticking up for Jo and bashing David Vance came across as a bit fishy to me and so lo and behold I discovered Jo and "Sean"'s IP address were a perfect match.

When I presented this evidence to Jo on the thread in question you will note that an angry Jo - who had stated she wasn't going to return to this site - appears attempting to rubbish the claims - as opposed to this 'Sean' character! A telling slip!

I have highlighted before on United Irelander about Jo's willingess to invent characters. She invented a character called 'Jacqui' on her own site who she continues to use as a way of treating her own site's readers as mugs. Some of them continue to buy into it sadly.

As far as I'm concerned however this incident proves 'Jacqui' is as false as 'Sean'.

The girl clearly has issues. Issues or not though, sockpuppets aren't going to be tolerated on this site in the same way they aren't tolerated on Slugger. Impersonating others is one of the cardinal sins of blogging in my opinion. It is an attempt to destroy proper debate and an effort to manipulate a discussion.

In future I will ban anyone who creates a sockpuppet character here on United Irelander in an effort to manipulate a discussion. I have no problem with people using pseudonyms (I use one myself after all) but people need to have the decency and courtesy to respect others and to not try and pull the wool over other people's eyes.

As the guy responsible for moderating this place I won't allow the majority of my readers, who are sensible folks, to be duped by someone who is more concerned with being right than actually doing things right.


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