I’m implementing a new commenting policy at Dear Author. While we have always welcomed (and sometimes tolerated) anonymous commenters, there is an increasing tendency of a few people (mostly newbies) to engage in bad commenting behavior. Thus, in the future, if a commenter engages in sock puppeting as defined below, I will note that in a follow up comment.
Sock puppeting is determined by a) email addresses and/or b) IP address matches.
If the above example occurs, I will comment that I can tell Anon1 and ScientistA are posting from the same IP address. I will not reveal the email address or the specific IP address, observing the commenter’s anonymity.
Another thing that will not be tolerated is commenting several times using different handles. This is a different, but just as irritating form of sock puppeting. If you do this repeatedly, I will warn you privately. If you continue to abuse this after a warning, I will interject in the comments that you are sock puppeting.
From the desk of the slightly irritated Jane