Sockpuppets and Doppelgängers
Total Black: $1,545.96
Total Red: $270,000.16
If Above the Law‘s David Lat thought the brouhaha in Breakfast With Narcissus was a bit of a catfight, I wonder what he’d say about the commentary to that same post. Nothing is what it seems on the Punch & Judy internet show. Apparently, Nando of Third Tier Reality has a doppelgänger. A Faker, named Doug, who masquerades as him on various blogs. Interesting aside, that at the time of this posting, the Faker profile is down. It worked earlier today when Nando posted it on Breakfast With Narcissus. But then comes Doug, of To Be A JD, who claimed the opposite, that Nando really is a split personality, who is now backpedaling from his prior persona since his true identity has been revealed. In this schizophrenic world, “Nando The Blogger” posts as himself, a concerned JD watching out for those unsuspecting law students coming behind him, whereas as DougNando, the Jekyll to his Hyde, the “real” Nando gets to post all the nastiness he wants, frothy-mouthed comments rivaling any coprolaliac out there. It’s got all the making of a cyber geek movie. So how can we know the difference? Who’s who in this Phantos world?
Internet sockpuppets are a real phenomenon, “an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet.” I’ve been the victim of a few hands shoved up my electronic skirt. Both Blade and Minnesota Man come to mind as two puppeteers on this site who posted under other names.
From the blogger’s perspective, and at least as far as WordPress goes, the IP address of the commenter comes through on their emails. So I know that Doug has posted here a while back, though back then he was posting for another blog: Wealth Deposition Stock & Option Strategy. See, WordPress emails the blog host when a comment is posted and that email includes whatever information the commenter includes—email address (whether accurate or not), name, website, and comment contents. But WordPress also provides the commenter’s IP address.
I can confirm that every one of Doug’s comment came from the same IP address, even as far back as his first comment on Fifth Day of Accounting. The problem? I just uncovered by reviewing the IP addresses in those emails that Doug is also T-Bag. Both have the exact same IP addresses. Moreover, whoever commented from that IP address has, in fact, also commented here as someone calling himself Nando.
Craziness. Absolute craziness.
The real Nando has also commented here before, his first comment being back in Paycheck to Paycheck. How do I know? The real Nando always includes his email address with his comments. That email address did not come through with the comment from (fake)Nando I mentioned above. To further drag us down this rabbit hole though, the most recent comment by Doug was not from T-Bag/Doug/(fake)Nando’s IP address. Looks like Doug/T-Bag/(fake)Nando has his own doppelgänger. Or maybe that post came from a mobile device?
I must admit that I’m really disappointed in this T-Bag/Doug/(fake)Nando split persona. I really came to respect T-Bag and value his contributions. I suppose it’s somehow possible that they are separate persons: roommates in the same apartment. Or a neighbor stealing a wireless signal. Perhaps. Maybe T-Bag’s wife—if he’s really married, and if he’s really a “he”—-is really Doug. I admit I’m not too clear on how IP addresses work. But I do think they are specific to computers, not networks. Each computer on a network, I believe, gets its individual IP address.
What is the point of all this? What’s the point of this posting puppetry? Why this silliness? Honestly, it seems so petty. I’ve commented previously on my confusion about people getting up in arms about my posts. But I don’t understand why people take on fake internet personas. I was tempted to switch the settings on this blog and force all future commenters to create a profile and log in. But that would only delay the T-Bags/Doug/(fake)Nandos and Blade/Unconcerned/Zines to just create multiple log-ins.
Time to call it a night. Fakers have taken enough of my time.
Total black is up because I got paid. Nine hundred is promised to the new landlord. Five hundred to the auto loan. Total red won’t be coming down just yet. I don’t think I should get into the habit of lowering the auto loan each month by my monthly payments. I don’t think it’s that simple.