I had a sock puppet once. It was made out of an old tube sock. I attached yarn hair and some googly eyes and I think I even used marker for the face and lipstick for the mouth. It was a very ugly doll but I enjoyed it even in it’s ugliness.
This post isn’t talking about that kind of thing. This post is about an online phenomenon where people create other identities that then “participate” online in forums and on social media sites for the express purpose of making one person or organizations idea appear to be the idea of many people or organizations.
Okay, so some of you are probably saying ” So what! Big deal!” And I bet you folks are thinking that you can tell the difference between someone who is fake and someone who is real right?
Well, Sock puppets have become a lot more sophisticated- certainly more sophisticated than my tube sock with lipstick. These days you can purchase programs that you can tweak so that you have multiple identities. Then apparently all you have to do is say which sites you’d like to send your thought to and voila’ you’ve just become several people.
Search engine optimizers have been doing the packaged identities for a while now to improve hits online or to use platforms like Craig’s List. This isn’t new- it just isn’t popularly known.
You can’t even trust something was written by a human because it has bad spelling or it makes assumptions that a person would. These puppets aren’t fake- they are just multiples of one person or one idea.
Are there any ways that you can imagine an apparently popular online idea making a difference in the real world? Can you see it changing how political games are played? Can you see it changing how people think about things?
I’m just asking!