Submissions/Sockpuppet Detection

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This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Sockpuppet Detection
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
-- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) and Risker (talk)
E-mail address
-- DQ (ʞlɐʇ)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
We will be reviewing how to detect and determine sockpuppets. Many users these days are not so sure what the behaviour behind a sockpuppet is. This can create a particular problem for smaller wikis. Sockpuppets can be a major source of disruption to a project. In this talk we plan to provide users and administrators with some guidance and some tools on how to track them down. Some of the frequent habits of sockpuppets that we will look at are Date & Time analysis, same change edits, same topic edits, topic areas, outing self, disruption style, grammatical analysis. These tactics are used in live practice today on the English Wikipedia Sockpuppet investigations page. We might also drop in a look on the checkuser tool. Checkuser is used for quite a significant amount of investigations; we will look into the supporting evidence to run a check, the feel of the tool, the WMF privacy policy, the Global Checkuser policy, and some local checkuser policies. The use of the checkuser tool and it’s relation to sockpuppet investigations is sometimes critical. Sockpuppets are not always easy to catch, for example if sleepers are around, or if someone starts editing in a different subject area than normally with a different style. With all the different evidence that can go into dealing with sockpuppets, it’s important for the community to know how to detect them, and not just to rely on a checkuser. We will also be looking into the disruption that sockpuppet investigations can cause, especially when a user is innocent and the implications that a block can have, or that even the suspicion can have on a suspected user. It shows a need for a critical balance. We may also take a quick look into proxies and how they can affect checkuser results.
WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
35 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Not available yet.
Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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  1. This is a very interesting topic (I gave a related presentation at Wikimania 2008: abstract,slides and notes), and I would love to learn about your insights. Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 08:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Given that I do a lot of work with sockpuppets, I should enjoy this. CT Cooper · talk 19:34, 22 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Deryck Chan (talk) 14:14, 20 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Add your username here.