For a bit of background, this is basically a repeat of an incident on Stack Overflow with a related Meta question: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/319065/repeated-questions-from-the-same-op-how-to-react

I am a regular user over on Stack Overflow and also spend some time here occasionally. One of my niche interests is which doesn't get a lot of questions, and when it does, they are spread across all of Super User, Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Unix & Linux, and occasionally Ask Ubuntu

Almost a year ago, there was a strain of Procmail questions from what was apparently a cluster of sock puppet accounts on Stack Overflow. I reported the problem on Meta.SO and the questions abated after that.

Now it seems that the same puppet farm is back, only this time on Super User. Witness this question and the comment referring you to the near-duplicate from yesterday:

The first one doesn't make a lot of sense; the question in the title seems only tangentially related to the topic in the question (and would be easy to answer, like in fact I already did yesterday, in my answer to the second question -- the output of procmail -v on Ubuntu tells you very directly that /var/mail/$USER is the default mailbox; and as outlined in my answer, this is an mbox folder).

I would not have associated these accounts with sock puppetry if I didn't recognize the user name on today's question as one which was involved in the incident on Stack Overflow almost a year ago.

In retrospect, though, this is clearly part of the pattern I originally perceived as problematic -- even when you received an answer, post a question about almost the same topic, still without any of the details suggested in comments or previous answers, or generally any demonstration of basic understanding of the problem domain (and that includes trying to solve what most people would regard as an esoteric non-problem). And of course, don't react to comments asking for clarification in any way, or for heaven's sake upvote or accept any answer (which of course is the OP's full right, but also vaguely antisocial and atypical behavior).

I'm posting this documentation here in order to provide background for mods and privileged users, as I expect the sock puppets to continue to appear over the next few days or weeks. In order to turn this into nominally a question for Meta, I'll repeat with this articulation of the problem:

Is it acceptable to ask near-repeats of the same question using sock puppet accounts to evade direct duplicate nominations?

  • "Is it acceptable to ask near-repeats of the same question using sock puppet accounts to evade direct duplicate nominations?" - In general you should avoid asking the same question, even if you use one account, if a previous question you asked was closed. In other words submitting the same question, over and over again, isn't acceptable
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


I've closed the near-dupe as a dupe.

Looks like the user's in control of both accounts and strictly speaking there's nothing wrong with socks.

With the duplicates VTC as dupe, flag linking back here, and we'll have a audit trail (in terms of flags). We can mod message if there's more of a patten, and closed posts result in question bans anyway.

  • Thanks for the quick resolution!
    – tripleee
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 6:56

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