Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
Aren't all internet
identities "fake" - LOL
Yes - the most. Ommon use of sock puppets is to agree with oneself, especially when making up absurd "facts"
The term is not new. It dates from the earlier days of the internet in the (gasp!) era before there WAS a world wide web.
In the elder days, there was UseNet. UseNet was (and is, though it is perhaps less frequented now that many ISPs don't carry it) a collection of what you might call 'forums' not unlike this one, some were even moderated, but most were open slather. UseNet is made up of Newsgroups on various subjects, with a naming heirarchy something like this: alt.sailing.monohull or even alt.war.nuclear
You didn't use a web browser (though some pay me sites do now) but a Newsreader, usually an email
program (such as Outlook Express or Thunderbird) that allowed you to add newsgroups from a News Server, or a dedicated Newsgroup reader. Newsgroups are purely text based and if you can think of a subject, there was/is probably a newsgroup for it.
The term 'sock puppet' or 'sock' for short was first coined when various 'kooks' of one persuasion or another would post outrageous subject matter and have their 'sock puppets' agree with it or post supporting statements for it, thus giving it some (fake) legitimacy.
: /yoos�net/, /yooz�net/, n. [from ‘Users' Network’; the original spelling was USENET, but the mixed-case form is now widely preferred] A distributed bboard
(bulletin board) system supported mainly by Unix machines. Originally implemented in 1979--1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University and the University of North Carolina
, it has swiftly grown to become international in scope
and is now probably the largest decentralized information utility in existence. As of late 2002, it hosts over 100,000 newsgroup
s and an unguessably huge volume of new technical articles, news, discussion, chatter, and flamage
every day (and that leaves out the graphics...).
By the year the Internet hit the mainstream (1994) the original UUCP transport for Usenet was fading out of use — almost all Usenet connections were over Internet links. A lot of newbies and journalists began to refer to “Internet newsgroups” as though Usenet was and always had been just another Internet service
. This ignorance greatly annoys experienced Usenetters.
AussieGeoff - who at one time used a Vax Minicomputer he administered and maintained to access UseNet! (Really showing my age now)