Sockpuppets are nothing new.
Most people think sockpuppetry started with the internet but the practice has a long history. A famous sockpuppeteer, Benjamin Franklin, had several male and female sockpuppets. Elected officials, famous people, regular people and especially frackers all use sockpuppets. The Brits have called for sockpuppetry use for security reasons.
The U.S. Military has purchased software designed to create and control false online personas in an attempt to use social media and other websites to counter anti-U.S. messaging.
According to the contract between US Central Command (Centcom) and California company Ntrepid, the software would let each user control 10 personas, each “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent.” The software would also be able to let personas “appear to originate in nearly any part of the world” and interact through “conventional online services and social media platforms,” while using a static IP address for each persona to maintain a consistent online identity.
These false online personas, also known as “sock puppets,” would be equipped to seem like real people while entering online discussion through blogs, message boards, chats, and more. With a false persona, a user could discredit opponents, or create the semblance of consensus.
However, IOIYAF (It’s okay if you’re a fracker) and IOIYAFAG (it’s okay if you’re a fracking astroturf group/EID).
Your sockpuppet indignation barely hides your delight
There has been a great deal of hoopla in Pennsylvania news lately about Rep. Jesse White using sockpuppetry, particularly to respond to frackers and industry apologists. Energy in Depth weighed in with indignation and accusations of bullying that barely hid their delight. And, oh oops! They must have forgotten about this sockpuppetry slip up.
I’m not saying what White did was okay but this calls to mind something I learned in vacation Bible school: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” But that was back in the “caveman days” as my son calls it and the teachings of Jesus have been repackaged into a new, shiny, self absorbed, gun toting, me first jesus.
Maybe White didn’t know that elected officials normally hire someone else to be the puppeteer so they can feign shock when the puppeteer is caught. They distance themselves and fire the puppeteer who probably finds one of those fat envelopes stuffed into their lunch box. Living and learning in the fast lane.
Sockpuppets I know and love.
On this little ole blog, I have caught executives of fracking companies using multiple identities to make comments and support their lies. I have caught fracking engineers, landmen, and employees and staff of the U.S. House of Representatives and many others practicing sockpuppetry.
It’s okay. Your secret is safe with me if I haven’t already called you out in the comments. But you know who you are and so do I.
I’m betting a peek into dumpsters right now will reveal a massive attempt by other elected officials, fracking employees and fracking apologists to discard their sockpuppets. Poor, lonely, abandoned sockpuppets who served their puppeteers faithfully peer into the darkness of the dumpster surrounded by dirty diapers, tampons and rotting food.
R.I.P. Dear Sockpuppets