Users from the same network (or sockpuppets)


I recently joined this site to edit an album that I felt had incorrect data on it.

The discussion got pretty heated, I mostly stepped out of it, but people were throwing accusations at each other and it was weirdly ugly.

There was also a distinct tone of annoyance as the idea of “new editors” daring to question “old editors”.

Anyway, the vote went ahead, and passed, 4 - 3.

In the meantime, I’d discussed this in my household group chat, and with probably a half dozen of my friends. Some of them are fans of the album in question.

After hearing some of the discussion that I shared with them, one of my housemates (who is actually a much bigger fan of the album than me, incidentally), created an account and voted in favour of my edit, given that it was causing him grief on his music metadata too.

You can probably see where this is going.

We both got emailed saying we were using sockpuppets. I initially didn’t know he’d gone ahead and made an account, until an admin told me they were from the same IP address. (I didn’t ask him to, although if I’m being totally honest, I don’t think it’s “bad” that he did. He feels strongly about it, more so than me probably.)

Not that surprising to me, we share a lot of social networks, it’s not unusual for any of us in the house to jump onto new websites after one of us does.

Anyway, I actually understand that it looks kinda suspect. I’d be iffy too. It’s also probably not a great first move to go onto a site and vote without interacting with anyone.

The fact is though, we’re not the same person. We live in the same house (with multiple others). We share a music collection. We talk and discuss things we do and see online. If he’d been the one to edit an album I loved, I’d probably put support behind it too.

We’re now both banned from editing or voting on MusicBrainz, which is a bummer, because there’s a lot of more obscure music we were both keen to add. It also appears that the person who reported us has immediately rushed to revert the edit that it seemed had decent support on the forum at least.

I’m not really expecting anyone to change their mind over this, because I can’t really offer anything compelling as proof, but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.

I signed up to contribute, and join in the community, and my experience so far has been really disappointing.

1 Like

IMO it’s bad etiquette to quietly vote on a controversial edit shortly before closing and causing a different outcome by it.


I guess I can’t really disagree with that. I don’t think it was meant with any malice, but you’re right.

I have no idea of the edit or the subject, but my money is also on the fact a new account popped up in the middle of an argument and joined in on the side of someone controversial. It would just look suspect.

MB has a history of controversial edits suddenly causing lots of new accounts created just to vote on the controversial subject.

Any sensible sockpuppet surely just uses a VPN anyway… :grin:


I actually made the same point about a VPN myself on the IRC channel - I use a VPN all the time, it would have taken five seconds.

Funnily enough you were actually fairly active in the the thread regarding this:

You forgot the context: it would not have passed without this vote.

The edit in question had three yes votes and 3 no votes, meaning it would fail. The vote was also added very close to the edit closing. A new account whose first action is to vote on a controversial edit in order to make it pass is very suspicious and a very common sockpuppet behavior. New account voting restrictions are being readded in a new MBz update (MBZ-13100) just to curb this, they were previously removed and it did not work.

As I said in an earlier comment, I acknowledge that isn’t great etiquette.

I didn’t forget the context, I included the vote score. I trust that people can do the maths.
I’d really appreciate if you communicated without the air of hostility.

You would be surprised. We get a ton of sockpuppets which are obvious, because they just don’t care, they only want their edits to pass. That’s a big part of the reason why we are bringing back the voting restriction for beginners where you need to have a bunch of edits to be able to vote :slight_smile:

@zapmonkey: ok, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe this was just a bad coincidence. I’ll unblock the two of you, but please tell your friend to actually edit as well rather than just vote on your edits - even if it’s a separate person, having someone who just rubberstamps your edits would be not very nice :slight_smile:


I closed this topic since the issue seems like it should be solved and the general sockpuppeting issue will hopefully be solved with the next MBS release blocking beginner voters.

Please be excellent to each other :slight_smile: