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Template:Dbtop I reckon it's time we talk about a more clear definition of what exactly "abusing multiple accounts" is. There is little in Wikia's ToU about this, and our own policies are vague. There is nothing specifically in ToU or our policies saying you may not have a multiple accounts. In some cases, we allow them. When do we define this as "abusive"?

The most obvious reason for blocking/banning someone abusing multiple accounts is sockpuppeting to avoid a ban/block. This one is pretty clear cut, but not specifically detailed. There may well be other reasons. Wikia's ToU states that you may not create an account to "impersonate another user or person". How exactly does one define "another person" in that? What about instances like users creating another account to troll? To pretend to be a female, when they are a male? We've had that. I would like to see some discussion on what we should define "abusing multiple accounts" as, so we are on a more clear footing when dealing with blocks for suspect account behavior. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg

Comments

Well, unless you have a compelling reason (for a bot, humour account, etc), I don't think there's much need for a second account... Which is hard to reconcile with assuming good faith - Unless you're making it extremely obvious as to what your identity is, You must be trying to cover something up right? Maybe its nothing big, no bans but a reputation you earned but would like to forget - but to some people I can understand how such a deception can be considered abuse - It's potentially an abuse of trust. This is something I think needs a lot more discussion. Agent c (talk) 23:44, April 14, 2013 (UTC)

Coming from experience, i would say that abusing multiple accounts what be what i did. Hiding your real identity on the internet is commonplace and putting in fake details happens worldwide so people can have fun in places like this without worrying. Making an account to avoid a ban or perm block is abusing multiple accounts. I would say making another account to troll with one other account already in use is not abusing, but making a mess and keeping your identity. If the troll gets discovered and goes back to their old account to avoid block/ban that would be abusing multiple accounts regardless of which one was made first (if that makes sense). --Unknown-7 "Broadcasting: Retro Radiation King" 00:01, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, this is a very clear an obvious case of abuse. Trolling is against the rules, end of. If you have a second account to troll, you're effectively circumventing a ban - or will be as soon as you get banned for trolling. You've got the second account in complete bad faith. Agent c (talk) 00:14, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

This is actually almost exactly what I was meaning earlier, Gunny. Defining more accurately what is or is not flexibility. There are cases that properly defining this would make it clear to all sysops that this is a rule, so there is no confusion about certain cases. Myself, I don't find any harm in modifying the rule to be a bit more specific, it's sort of a "might as well" sort of thing. My main reason for feeling so strongly I have to admit, is personal experience from seeing people being betrayed by people who claim to be one person and later being discovered to being a totally different person. I personally think the best way to deal with this situation would be to ask all people with a second account to make it clear that it is their second account, either by telling an admin or by putting it on their userpage. If they are trying to start over, I can understand why this would be a difficult choice for them to make, but they could easily tell a neutral admin about their situation so nothing comes of it.
With what Retro said above, keeping information anonymous I don't think would be an issue with this, you never have to give information to people even on a first account. - Chris 4 Star Dragon Ball Edit 00:06, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

I would also like to suggest there to be a amnesty period of sorts, so that users who do have more than one account can make themselves known to an admin or to post it on their userpage. It seems most fair to give them the ability to come forth with no punishment. - Chris 4 Star Dragon Ball Edit 00:10, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not clear on your position. Are you defining all alternate accounts as "abusing"? If not, then under what circumstances would you consider them to be "abusing"? The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 00:14, April 15, 2013 (UTC)
I myself would define abusing as making an alternate account in which they did not make it clear that they had an original account, whether they did that by publicly putting it on their userpage, or telling an admin in private. - Chris 4 Star Dragon Ball Edit 00:24, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

I have a fake name on my profile, does that mean i am impersonating another person if they coincidentally had that name? Bring Down the Sky (talk) 00:16, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

No. If however you registered an account of say, Limeygirl and started theatening to ban people, then you'd have something to worry about. Agent c (talk) 00:33, April 15, 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to throw my metaphorical hat in with Chad on this one. Multiple accounts can be of use to some users (bots, separate wiki accounts, et cetera.) but beyond those reasons I can see a very clear issue, that whenever a normal account is banned we would be completely unaware of any secondary accounts, not without IP checking every new user versus every current user. If the user shows that they have a second account, and the second account makes a response to acknowledge that, then a system could easily recognise both accounts and ban both if an event occurred where either account were to break rules. By not telling us of a second account, then using that second account as though it were a different user, is a complete betrayal of trust and adds to the problems previously mentioned.

The idea that I would propose, for most, would be that any secondary account must be made public and a link to that account added to the first account's talk page / user page. This way whenever a ban is implemented the staff member can see all secondary accounts owned by the banned user and ban those as well. If you are found to have a secondary account and have not added such a link or alert to this within a preset time period (to give the user time to setup their secondary account and to fit it in with proposed guidelines), then the secondary account is perma-banned from the wiki. This may seem extreme, but the main account is still active and only reflects as a warning to that person. Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 01:30, April 16, 2013 (UTC)

I agree with you 100% Neko. - Chris 4 Star Dragon Ball Edit 01:33, April 16, 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Neko also. Enclavesymbol 04:24, April 16, 2013 (UTC)

To me, abusing multiple accounts comes into play in a number of circumstance. First and foremost, if the other account's soul purpose is that of malice - such as trolling and/or evading bans - then this is 100 percent a case of abusing multiple accounts. After this though I think the border grays a little. We know fall to the abusing aspect. I feel abuse comes into play after any user feels they have been, cheated, harmed, or taken advantage of. Say for example a user creates another account, then uses that account to ask people feelings or any other factors relating to the first account, and they truthfully tell. Then though it is discover that the second account is an alternate of the first. I would then classify this as abuse as the other user(s) was/were taken advantage of people they were not aware of these accounts being one and the same. I know that defining abuse really would/will be hard. So in the end, I feel that the specific cases should be looked at on a case by case way and should be discussed by users (Mods, Admins, anyone else actually involved) to great length. One note I must add though is I feel that abusing multiple accounts should be treated as any other rule as (except by-passing bans of course) the first case would result in both accounts with a 3 day ban. Then second week as is accustom. Only if the alternate account is to evade a ban should I feel perma-bans should be given for abusing multiple accounts. --The Old World Relics (talk/blog/contributions) 01:50, April 16, 2013 (UTC)

IMO a second account is fine as long as it is clear that it is a second account and who it is of; this would mean having the second account's name on the first accounts user page and vise versa. Having a second account without anyone knowing it's a second account can make it problematic to moderate chat; for example if there's a user who is know to push the mods but not to the point of it being ban worth then we'll need to keep an eye on him, but if he can just make second accounts and enter chat under a new name then that'll make things hard. Plus, if they have a second account made in May and the 1st account is banned in June it makes it much harder to spot a sock, think of this as protection from such events. JASPER//"Do you like hurting other people?"UserRichard 19:49, April 17, 2013 (UTC)

Summary so far

We're defining "abuse" of a second account here. Not whether they are allowed or not. I'm trying to clarify a rule already in place, not create a new one. So far I've gathered from the forum these two basic definitions:

  • Any second account that is not publicly declared and displayed on your user page is "abuse".
  • Any second account used to evade bans/blocks, , troll, flame, vandalize, impersonate others or defraud by deceit is "abuse".

Which one is it? Would defining abuse as the second one obviate the requirement of the first to declare other accounts? Or does the second one not go far enough, even though Wikia's and our own policies state that we're supposed to assume good faith. By those policies we can't assume they will act in bad faith with multiple accounts, unless we determine that simply having multiple accounts is acting in bad faith. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 01:57, April 18, 2013 (UTC)

This has gotten no response. We're at a bit of a stuck point, with the split in views. I don't want this to drop, so I'd appreciate so input on the two points above:

Straw poll

I agree that multiple accounts that are not publicly declared should be declared "abuse"

Icon check in general, unless there is an exceptional reason to the contrary. Agent c (talk) 01:21, May 7, 2013 (UTC)

I agree that only multiple accounts used for nefarious means should be declared "abuse"

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