NETWORK SOCIETY: Sock Puppet contra Faceopera. A phenomenon of alternative accounts in social media.
Krzysztof Gajewski 1 1 - Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk MAeS 2015; 16 (2): ICID: 1172752 Article type: Original article IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The topic of the paper is the phenomenon of alternative accounts and the repercussions
in the social and cultural life of the Internet. First of all, the notion of user accounts is
examined. Two main ways of understanding the function of a user account are described.
According to the first one, it is the private virtual home of a particular user. The second approach
perceives it as nothing more than a way of accessing a service. Next, the notion of a secondary, alternative account is introduced, a sock puppet, offering an alternative identity
for a service user. In the following part the structure and functions of a personal home
page are analysed. Analogically there are two contradictory home page strategies. The first
one interprets them as a pieces of “real life”, whereas the second stresses self-creational
and persuasive strategies applied in them. The transition between personal home pages
to user account profiles is described as a part of the Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 evolution and its
consequences for the so-called identity tourism.
In the subsequent practical part of the paper some cases of usage of alternative accounts
are examined. The first concerns Wikipedia, where this phenomenon is indicated
with the term sock puppet. The second is Faceopera, a play of fictional characters going on
a Facebook platform and also engaging real users.