In response to recent situations with suspected sockpuppeting and ban-evasions, I felt it necessary to create this blog as a means of warning future offenders and alerting anyone who may be unclear as to the rules or definition of the term "sockpuppeting". Please take the time to peruse this blog post.
What is sockpuppeting?
Sockpuppeting is an Internet term for the creation of numerous accounts by the same user, particularly after the original account was blocked by an administrator. This is a form of ban-evasion, the act of attempting to access registered user status after having been blocked. For example, if a user were to be blocked after committing unruly actions and re-signed up with Wikia with a new email and account, that's sockpuppeting. By doing this, the user is creating a sockpuppet account which is usually easily discernible by most other users if the behavior pattern stays the same.
What are the punishments for sockpuppeting?
Sockpuppeting is a bannable offense, if a user is caught attempting to sockpuppet. It may result in an infinite block at most, especially if a user has been convicted of sockpuppeting multiple times. If a user admits to sockpuppeting after creating the second account and apologizes, the punishment will likely not be so severe. Mercy is not provided to any user who sockpuppets and refuses to acknowledge and apologize for it. Foolish deception is unacceptable on all wikis.
How can you be sure that sockpuppeting is happening?
While there is a margin of error with determining whether sockpuppeting is occurring or not, most of the time it is pretty obvious to other wiki users. Behavior patterns will stay the same, quality and quantity will remain constant, and length of time between accounts will usually be short or predictable. Usually, several users will consult with the administrators about the situation and it will be decided by popular views. This is to ensure that the process of determining when sockpuppeting is happening isn't unfair or one-sided. If sockpuppeting is suspected of happening, action will be taken.
Will I get accused of sockpuppeting if my original account somehow becomes unaccessible?
As long as you make sure to explain in a blog post to other users that you forgot your password or a glitch occurred with your first account, then you will not be accused of sockpuppeting. However, if you forgot your password, I highly suggest clicking "forgot your password" which should be on the tab at the top of the wiki instead of creating another account. If that doesn't work, or there's some other issue, contact Wikia staff on the Central Wiki.
Please understand and acknowledge the fact that sockpuppeting is against the rules of this wiki, and administrators will constantly monitor for behavior of this sort. This blog is not meant to steer anyone away or attack anyone in particular, but merely to set the rules in stone and carve out the knowledge of the situation to wiki frequenters.