Having a second active account, known as a sock puppet, is generally discouraged outside of specific circumstances. MetaFilter allows users the use of sock puppets as a courtesy and only under specific circumstances. We expect you to have one main identity on the entire site; maintaining additional accounts with unique not-clearly-sock-puppet identities is not okay. Using a sock puppet account to harass other members or otherwise be an asshole on the site is not okay. Having more than one secondary active account (except for one-off joke accounts) is not okay. Here is a recent MetaTalk thread that discusses some specifics.
Some reasons people have sock puppet accounts:
- They want to "start over" with a Brand New Day - this is only okay if the new account is not causing the same problems as the old account. Please contact the mods if you are unclear on this.
- They want to ask an occasional question or give an answer in Ask MetaFilter that is not linked to their primary account
- They have a second account for making jokey comments (see usernames like baby jesus or Official Mefi Head Complainer)
It is against the rules to use a sock puppet to get around the time limitations for AskMe, MeFi and MeTa posts. People who do this will risk losing the sock puppet account, getting a time out on their main account and/or having their extra question or post removed. While moderators generally know which accounts are sock puppets, they will not reveal that information to users. That said, it is the responsibility of the user to maintain the privacy of that account if they want it to remain private. If your behavior with a second account is problematic, the mods will close that account if you do not curtail the problem behavior promptly yourself. Ask a moderator if you have questions about when it's okay to have a second account. (tags: userssockpuppetaccountsprivacyanonymous ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions