Am I allowed to set up more than one account on the archive? What are the rules for pseud accounts?
Historically, people have set up multiple accounts on fandom websites for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, people forget that they have registered for an account and set up a second account under a new email address, or set up a second account because they cannot remember the login information for the first. Others set up multiple "sockpuppet" accounts to promote themselves and stir up drama. Other members set up "pseud" accounts to participate in various fandom communities independently of each other.
As outlined in our Site Etiquette and Terms of Service, the SWG is a drama-free group. As such, our policy on multiple accounts must try to simultaneously disallow activity used to create drama while allowing activity that contributes positively to our community and requires a second account.
As such, members are allowed to set up a second pseud account, while sockpuppet activity is prohibited. For our purposes, we define these terms as follows:
Pseuds are additional accounts that function independently from the member's primary account. The two accounts do not interact, and their activity does not overlap.
Sockpuppets are additional accounts that are set up to advance the agenda of the primary author. This may be something relatively benign, such as using sockpuppets to review or favorite the primary author's stories to make them appear more popular, or something intended to cause harm to the site or other members, such as using sockpuppets to gang up on a particular author or story.
Guidelines for Pseud Accounts
- SWG members are permitted to set up one pseud account in addition to their main account. Additional pseud accounts are acceptable with permission from the moderator team. Contact us at email@example.com for inquiries.
- The pseud account must post stories, write comments on stories, or both. Empty pseud accounts are not allowed.
- Primary and pseud accounts should not interact, and their activity should not overlap. For example, the pseud should not comment on or favorite the primary author's work (or vice versa). The primary author and the pseud should not comment on the same story (or chapter, in the case of multi-chapter stories).
- We respect that there are many reasons why people establish pseuds. As such, authors who want to set up pseud accounts are not required to inform the site moderators when they do so. While it is appreciated when authors let the moderators know when they set up a pseud account, we ultimately leave this to authors' discretion if they wish to do so. Site moderators will not reveal the identity of pseud accounts that they are made aware of.
However, authors should be aware that data such as IP addresses that allow accounts to be matched is collected when completing various actions on the archive. Site moderators monitor this data for accidental duplicate registrations and misuse of the site. As a result, it sometimes comes to our attention that two authors on the site share an identity. We do not share this information beyond our moderation team as part of normal site business. Authors who want to maintain complete separation of the two identities should bear this in mind when considering a second account on our site.
Unacceptable Use of Additional Accounts (Sockpuppets)
- Additional accounts should not be used to promote, create the illusion of popularity for, or otherwise draw attention to other accounts belonging to the same person. Examples of activities that are not permitted include, but are not limited to, the following:
- An author sets up additional accounts to add her stories to their favorites list so that she appears on the Top Tens page on the archive.
- An author sets up an additional account to recommend and praise his stories on the site.
- An author sets up a second account and uses it to harshly criticize her own stories in comments in order to garner sympathy and outrage from other participants.
- A member creates multiple accounts in order to write critical comments on stories about topics he does not approve of.
- A member creates multiple accounts in order to favorite stories so that the Top Tens lists on the site reflect only a single genre, rating, or point of view.
If the use of sockpuppet accounts is discovered by our moderation team, all accounts will be locked and contacted by our moderators. If the SWG moderators determine that the sockpuppet accounts caused direct harm to the site or its members, we will lock all accounts permanently and delete any damaging activity. Locked accounts or their content will be deleted by request of the member.
If the site moderators determine that the sockpuppet accounts did not cause any harm to the site or its members, the primary author will be permitted to choose an account to keep. All sockpuppet accounts will be removed from the site, including any activity that violates the rules above. Further attempts to establish sockpuppet accounts will result in all accounts being permanently locked; locked accounts or their contents will be deleted by request of the member. With additional attempts to create sockpuppet accounts, we will work with our webhost to block that person's access to the site.
Accidental Duplicate Registrations
It often happens that members accidentally register twice for an account. For example, the member might have signed up a few years prior, forgotten about the account, and signed up a second time under a new email address. Sometimes, members set up duplicate accounts because they cannot remember the login information or have trouble accessing their account.
When this happens, a moderator will contact the member and request that she or he choose which account to keep. All activity on the accounts (stories, comments, favorites, etc.) will be consolidated onto the chosen account. Additional accounts will be deleted.
Members who have trouble accessing their accounts are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.
Last updated 28 October 2013.