Forum:Multiple account policy

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Forums: Yew Grove > Multiple account policy
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This thread was archived on 10 June 2010 by Aburnett.

Earlier today, Degenret told me that we don't actually have a multiple account policy here. Since any sockpuppet votes violate the gaming the system policy as it is, I guess nobody got around to proposing one, because it wasn't needed. I am now proposing one. From all of my 10 months of experience as an administrator, I can tell you pretty confidently that it is best to stomp down on sockpuppets as soon as they are spotted. Sockpuppets violate the basic policy of the wiki, consensus, by allowing a user to have more than one voice. Yes, I know, this isn't a democracy, but when more than one user votes one way it still does have an impact. However, there are some legitimate uses for an alternate account, and that has been taken into account in the draft below. Please, feel free to modify the below draft.

Location: RuneScape:Multiple accounts - Mwahahahaha a wanted page

Users, on occation, use more than one account to edit the RuneScape wiki. Such accounts can pose a problem, as it can allow a user to "game the system", and sway a community discussion in a direction which it might not go in usually. In some cases, users are allowed to maintain more than one account. These reasons are outlined below. Some people use other accounts to cause a community discussion to move in a direction which doesn't relate to what the community wants, or use other accounts to vandalize pages. This use of multiple accounts is not acceptable, and such accounts will be blocked.

Legitimate reasons for alternate accounts

  • An account for using a robot program on, such as Python, to make lots of small changes to many articles quickly. Note that bots must be approved by the community before operation. See RS:BOT for more information.
  • An account for use on public servers.
  • Insert reason here!

How to make an alternate account "legitimate"

All alternate accounts must have use {{Otheraccount|Main account username}} at the top of their userpage. These accounts may not participate in community discussions. So long as the template is used, and the alternate does not game the system, then it is legitimate. A user's main account does not need to have a template on it's userpage.

How to switch which account is your "main account"

To switch which account you use as your main account, and hence which one is allowed to participate in community discussions, a user can simply put {{Otheraccount|New main account username}} on their old main account's page, and remove the template from the new main account's userpage. You may not switch your main account to gain more than one voice in community discussions.

How illegitimate accounts are dealt with

Accounts created in bad faith to either bypass RS:CONSENSUS or to vandalize will be blocked immediately on identification. If there is any suspision that two accounts are owned by the same person, then a user will request a check user to be done on both accounts, to determine if they use the same IP or proxy. If they do, then both accounts will be blocked from editing the RuneScape wiki.

Special cases

There are some special cases which are also addressed by this policy; these being shared IP addresses. In some cases, schools, libraries and private computers will have more than one person using them. These cases are permitted, and users who do use a shared or public domain will not be penilized for doing so. In these cases, users are requested to go to RuneScape:Multiple accounts/Users using shared IPs and add {{UUSIP|Username|IP address}} to the bottom of the list. To find which IP you are using, use [[w:c:community:Special:WhatIsMyIP|Special:WhatIsMyIP]] on Community Wikia.

Did I miss anything? I will be expanding this as soon as I get some more free time :S. Please discuss. Ajraddatz Talk 19:41, May 5, 2010 (UTC)


Support - The creation of a multiple account policy; as nominator. Ajraddatz Talk 19:41, May 5, 2010 (UTC)

Question - Is there a way of spotting multiple accs? And even if there is, what if people's siblings use teh same pc with them? bad_fetustalk 20:11, May 5, 2010 (UTC)

You already mentioned that spotting part O_o. anyways, we still cant know that they are the same person just from the IP. bad_fetustalk 20:12, May 5, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I have also dealt with issues like this on multiple occasions. People using the same IP shouldn't be penalized, so perhaps all that they should need to do is add their name to a list (perhaps at RuneScape:Multiple accounts/List of shared IPs). These users become excempt from the policy, unless they vandalize or become meatpuppets. Ajraddatz Talk 20:16, May 5, 2010 (UTC)
I've added that to the policy, althought I doubt it will be enforced too well. It would be nice if a few administrators could go around managing this, but that isn't required. Basically, if it becomes a problem with a user, then it will be dealt with as required. (I.E. as sockpuppetry, meatpuppetry or vandalism) Ajraddatz Talk 20:32, May 5, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - This is admirable, however, we must remember the implications of RS:NOT and RS:CONSENSUS. According to these rules, it is not the number of supports that should count for a discussion. If a number of accounts come in and give genuine, well thought out, complimentary arguments, that will have the same effect on most peoples decision as if all of those were in one post. Consensus not being democracy doesn't mean we need a rough supermajority, It means that the consensus among those discussing has quasi-unanimously moved to one point of view (the only reason I added quasi is because you can discount those who haven't participated recently). Consensus isn't even about arguments as I seemed to imply, arguments are simply the ONLY effective tool to drive people towards your side of the debate. Consensus, as written means that a decision can only be made if the active participants agree on the answer. Unless the multiple account person is fabricating discussion between their accounts to somehow make it appear to have reached consensus then this issue is nothing but a meaningless inconvenience that may harm some who cannot have a different computer and IP for every member of their household who participates. 01:23, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Close, but no. First of all, RS:CONSENSUS is copied off of Wikipedia. Wikipedia also has a policy similar to this one in practice. This also will not be an inconvenience; have you actually read all of the above? The policy will really only come into effect when required, and I specifically said about the shared IPs that that will only need to be updated when required; E.G. when a shared IP is blocked. Ajraddatz Talk 01:50, May 6, 2010 (UTC)
Regardless, rough consensus really isn't supposed to be dependent solely on the number of people saying "Oh yes, I support per ______." If someone is clearly using a sockpuppet to make them seem more legit, then block per RS:CONSENSUS's canvassing section. If they are vandalizing and it's clear that they are the same user, then UCS and block for vandalism. I see no need for a "multiple users" policy. 11:14, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - The very purpose of RS:CONSENSUS is to diffuse the situation caused by sock puppetry by essentially removing the rationale for its existence in the first place. One good strong counter argument can turn a discussion from "consensus achieved" to "no-consensus" or even "declined" or "not approved". Essentially, the whole issue of sock puppets becomes a non-issue. For those who are silly enough to have multiple accounts on this wiki, you will find that you can't really keep them all going anyway except for bot work. I for one don't even see the need to worry about this issue with perhaps the sole exception of concerns on pages where perhaps votes may count like perhaps the RfA pages or "voting" for featured content. For those exceptions separate policies can be enacted to deal with the situation, including "standards" for voting that shows the account isn't a throw-away account in some fashion. In terms of somebody wasting their time on multiple accounts for the main parts of this wiki... be my guest. Create a hundred accounts if you care.... not that it does you much good. This is a policy that doesn't exist because it really isn't needed in the first place. --Robert Horning 11:26, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I think take a rule from rs, you can have multiple accounts but they can not interact with eachother in any way even through a third party. Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 11:39, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Unlike Runescape, what sort of benefits can you get as a result of interaction with each account? I suppose you can interact on some level, but seriously.... what is the reason for even this sort of mild "non-interaction" policy and what good would it do to the rest of the community? Why even have a policy for just this reason?
I'll openly admit here that I created another account, User:Adam Smith Clan, for the purpose of setting up a wiki page to deal with organizing clan content and trying to set up some page about a clan. Contrary to policy at the time, this account was blocked with a permanent block and asserted as a sock puppet.... with the content removed and links broken from the main user page. I'm still upset about how this project of mine was treated, and that the admins involved with messing things up didn't really deal with the issues I was trying to raise when I created the page. And yes, in this case I suppose I interacted with the other account too.
Again, what harm is being done here and why is it such a bad idea to have multiple accounts? --Robert Horning 12:00, May 6, 2010 (UTC)
This policy does not outlaw multiple accounts, just requires them to show who they belong to. That is the entire point of this; it can help us identify socks that vandalize faster, and we can see when people are indeed double voting. Ajraddatz Talk 19:19, May 6, 2010 (UTC)
What harm is there with double voting? Until you can show that there is harm, I don't see how this helps out, and anybody with intelligence should realize that most internet polls are stuffed as well. The circumstances when it matters are astonishingly few, and deserve special consideration and rules. As a broad general prohibition from merely editing or even engaging in general discussions on the wiki.... I don't even see why the rule has been proposed in the first place as no harm can be shown. --Robert Horning 18:26, May 7, 2010 (UTC)
Forgive my ignorance, but how the hell does it help? I mean, would a vandal honestly conform to this rule? Would it really be that much easier than other admin tools (it's checkuser right?) 22:54, May 6, 2010 (UTC)
Seriously, this would be one of the most hardest rules to enforce. Why in the world would a criminal admit to his crimes when when he could continue breaking the law w/o getting caught? Same with vandals. I seriously doubt whether a vandal would reveal his true identity so that a rule could be enforce. Amethyst II Talk 23:14, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Sorry, I had intended for this policy to be more of a informative page rather than some bureaucratic policy; please allow me to redo the proposal. Ajraddatz Talk 23:05, May 16, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Support I understand that RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY however still people could still try to RS:GAME and build consensus by using two or more accounts. By using the other accounts to prop up the argument of the primary account. Other wise unless there being used to abuse another users RS:UTP then I see no problem with multiple accounts. Dragon helm.png Team6and7 Talk Dragon boots.png 20:43, May 23, 2010 (UTC)

What I really wanted (and still do) this to be is just an extension of RS:GAME, as well as some added info. Once I get the time, I'll re-do what the proposed policy will look like. Ajraddatz Talk 22:06, May 23, 2010 (UTC)

Support - There are plenty of people saying that this policy is not needed, as admins will use common sense. As the situation mentioned by Robert clearly shows, there is a definite chance that they will not. We need some sort of official policy stating that just owning multiple accounts is okay. What happens if a new user creates an account here, but already has one on another wiki and doesn't realise that the account is global? Do we block one of the accounts and force this user to edit on the other one? Of course not. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 20:15, May 27, 2010 (UTC) 

Just so ya know, that wasn't what I was intending to propose ;) Ajraddatz Talk 21:59, May 27, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I'd say the idea is too hard to enforce, and the policy just isn't worth the time. Also, the rest of my Oppose is per Robert.  Ranged-icon.png Zap0i TalkRune scimitar.png  02:55, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Isn't there a 50 mainspace edit requirement to comment? Also, not that many people are that desperate to sway a decision 222 talk 06:08, May 29, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure - No consensus, sadly :( ajr 21:15, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Closed - Proposal will not be implemented at this time. --Aburnett(Talk) 01:05, June 10, 2010 (UTC)