Dogan Kirnaz Hi there! I'm a freelance writer specialized in copywriting and storytelling. I'm studying English Language and Literature at Akdeniz University and Public Relations and Advertising at Anadolu University.

The sock puppet is a hand puppet made from a sock, and the term ‘sock puppetting’ refers to a fake account that someone created for purposes of deception. When you use a sock puppet, you stand out from your own identity and impersonate an imaginary one. That’s why we refer to sock puppets when we use this term. In the online world, you mean that a person is pretending to be another person for some reason if you claim that he or she is doing sock puppeting.

Sock puppetting is quite wide.

The sock puppetting term has a wide range of uses and appears in almost every online platform. Someone can do it for advertising, provocation, manipulation, and many other purposes. For example, a product’s marketer can create fake accounts and provide impressive 5-star reviews for her product, or a competitor of you can use these fake accounts to discredit your products or services. No matter how and why people do sock puppetting, it is an unacceptable and prohibited action by many platforms. There are, of course, many valid reasons for prohibiting this action. 

It can be very dangerous.

In 2008, a 49-year-old man called Lori Drew created a fake MySpace account and pretended himself to be a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Lori had a relationship with Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl, and this relationship resulted in Megan’s suicide. As a result, the Federal Court jury found him guilty. Not everyone may do what Lori did, or every fake account may result in someone committing suicide. However, it doesn’t change the fact that sock puppetting is illegal and unacceptable for many valid reasons.

It is different from having fake accounts.

Just because people do sock puppetting with fake accounts doesn’t mean that every fake account has a sock puppetting attempt. You can have one or more fake accounts, and this isn’t a reason for going to jail. So you can calm down and continue to stalk your old flame. A person named James can create a fake account named John, and this won’t be sock puppetting. But when James claims that he is John and starts to use this fake identity maliciously, it’s sock puppetting. So, sock puppetting isn’t about the type and amount of weapon you have, but for what purposes you use it. You know, a kitchen knife is a safe household appliance as long as it cuts tomatoes and potatoes.

How to prevent sock puppetting?

There are a lot of useful ways to save the credibility and reputation of your business from sock puppetting attempts. People can create fake accounts to keep their personal information safe on online platforms, and you can’t blame them for this. However, you can remove their reviews if they use these fake accounts to undermine your business success. Many third-party review platforms, like Yelp and Glassdoor, have their review policies to save the online reputation of your business from malicious attempts, and they will be very helpful if you want to remove fake and unfair reviews.

However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this process will take you a lot of time and energy, depending on the size of your business and the variety of these platforms. In such a situation, a third-party application can be your savior. That’s why we created the Objection AI, an application that monitors your business and removes fake reviews automatically. You can request a free demo now and see our success stories to learn more about our source of pride.

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