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Sockpuppets are multiple user accounts created by a single person, for a variety of reasons. The primary account of the user is often referred to as the puppet master. There are a number of legitimate uses for sockpuppet accounts, and several Wikibookians maintain sockpuppet accounts for some purpose.
Some legitimate uses of sockpuppetry include:
- Creating a second account to act as a "bot" account.
- Reserving account names that look similar, to prevent dopplegangers.
- Creating a second account to "escape" from hassles and stress.
- Testing automated functions, graphical user interfaces, bots, user preferences and piping.
There are, however, several uses of sockpuppets that are not allowed. This is a partial list:
- Creating a secondary account to circumvent a user block.
- Creating multiple puppet accounts to cast additional votes in discussions.
- Leaving multiple comments in a discussion and thereby giving the appearance more users are involved.
- Using multiple accounts to be uncivil, disruptive, or abusive in any way.
Sockpuppets that are created or used in bad faith can be permanently blocked, and the owner of those accounts can be seen as violating Wikibooks:Be civil, which may come with some penalties.