On Wikipedia, sockpuppetry, or socking, refers to the misuse of multiple Wikipedia accounts. To maintain accountability and increase community trust, editors are generally expected to use only one account. While there are some valid reasons for maintaining multiple accounts, it is improper to use multiple accounts to deceive or mislead other editors, disrupt discussions, distort consensus, avoid sanctions, evade blocks, or otherwise violate community standards and policies.
Sockpuppetry takes various forms:
- Logging out to make problematic edits as an IP address
- Creating new accounts to avoid detection or sanctions
- Using another person's account (piggybacking)
- Reviving old unused accounts (sometimes referred to as sleepers) and presenting them as different users
- Persuading friends or colleagues to create accounts for the purpose of supporting one side of a dispute (usually called meatpuppetry)