What is a sock?

It's a thing that one wears on their feet. They smell. Ewww, go do laundry already.

Alternately, it's a term used often on forums and other websites to refer to a secondary account, and is generally short for "sock puppet". For the most part, sock accounts are used maliciously in order to attempt getting around being banned. This is obviously not a smart idea, and if someone does this, they will be banned again when discovered.

Occasionally someone creates a sock account if they get locked out of their original account, but this is rare.

It is not unusual to see accusations of people being socks thrown around, especially if two people often have the same opinions and tend to agree on things. The majority of the time they are not actually socks, though, and such accusations tend to do nothing but annoy everyone.

How to spot a sock

The most obvious ones create accounts with usernames very similar to the name of their previously banned account. These are the most obvious and easiest to find, and the quickest ones caught.

Another method is to watch for accounts that are created at the same time that someone was banned, and immediately continue on in any conversations that the original member had been taking part in.

Some socks are so arrogant as to come straight out and admit that they are indeed creating sock accounts. Generally they post threads stating that they are much better, more intelligent, and have more of a life than those posting normally on the site. Their actions, however, tend to prove that to not be the case.

What to do if you suspect a sock?

First of all, do not bother interacting with them. Most of the time they are either trying to continue the behavior that got them banned, or are socking simply to troll the forums.

Report them to a moderator. The mods will check it out and take action if the suspicions are confirmed.

Mentally laugh at them. Seriously, now. Is the internet so important that making a sock account on a site one is no longer welcome at necessary?

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