Note: This question may spoil a future puzzle, thus it is in spoiler tags. However, I don't want to be banned, so I am asking it anyway.

I had an idea for a puzzle, in which I would post some sort of question and then answer it with a sockpuppet account. This however, would not be the real answer, and this would be sneakily indicated somehow (at the moment the puzzle is only a vague idea, so I can't provide details). The real answer would take into account both the question and the sockpuppet answer. There might be significant interaction between my account and the sockpuppet account in comments, but neither would ever upvote the other. I think this is a cool Idea but I also see problems with it. Would it be acceptable?


1 Answer 1


That would not violate any rules.

Sockpuppets are not allowed to be used for things you could not otherwise do (according to either the rules or the site implementation). Since you can already answer your own question, and you're not using the sockpuppet for more nefarious things like self-voting, there is no rule being broken.

  • $\begingroup$ For reference, see the "When should sockpuppets be considered a problem?" section of this canonical post from a CM on main meta. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2016 at 0:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hm, interesting that "answering your own question" is on that list. I don't consider it a problem, and the other PSE mods don't seem to either, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi Mod
    Dec 14, 2016 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi "answering your own question" is on that list because it's typically done to get extra reputation via self-answering. In reality, it's more about intent than anything. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Dec 14, 2016 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi If you answer your own question using the same account, people are less likely to upvote it, because they might see it as a rep-grab. Repeatedly answering your own questions using two accounts is an abuse of sockpuppets, IMO. Especially on Puzzling, where an answer doesn't just mean "I have the knowledge to answer the OP's question" as it does on most SE sites, but "I've managed to work out what the OP meant" - if you are the OP, then that's not a challenge at all! See also this post. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2016 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ Easy way to avoid rep from upvotes is to com wiki the answer $\endgroup$
    – dcfyj
    Dec 14, 2016 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @dcfyj a community wiki answer to a question posted by OP would certainly be very suspicious. Likewise, a brilliant (= more than two lines) answer by a noname-norep-registeredtoday user would certainly look suspicious. My point is, we likely will figure out, that, hey, this user is the sockpuppet. $\endgroup$
    – Matsmath
    Dec 14, 2016 at 22:31

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