Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

The hand that holds the sock puppet

In Internet parlance, “sock puppetrey” refers to the practice of creating a fake identity to back up your own arguments.

Monday the New York Times ran an article about Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Mackey used a fake identity on some Yahoo message boards so he could defend his company and “talk up” their projects without revealing himself as the CEO.

Sock puppetry is a flagrant abuse of Internet anonymity and people who do it are routinely shunned. It's seen as an act of abject cowardice and intellectual bankruptcy.

Imagine being caught at this. Your position is so weak that you have to invent an imaginary friend to back you up. Mackey went beyond the realm of defending his company's polices and used a sock puppet to flatter himself, saying at one point, “I like Mackey's haircut. I think he looks cute!”

I don't need to write a punch line for that one, folks. Mackey's insecurity speaks quite eloquently for itself.

Written by Michael B. Duff

July 18, 2007 at 08:36

Posted in Culture

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