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User Henry has asked about the possible role of Tot Lins(d)ell in establishing the Wagga Bush Fire Brigade.

User Adam has asked (separately) about Henry Flood and education in Darlington Point.

Some background reading reveals that in 1868-69, ownership of the Darlington Pub transferred from Linsell to Flood.

  • Does this indicate the GFH:SE has had a breakthrough in uniting two independent researchers with a common connection? That would be wonderful.
  • Or could it be that a pair of researchers acquainted IRL have decided to join GFH:SE together to extend the range of sources and expertise available to them? That would be terrific.
  • Or might this indicate that the Adam and Henry are not in fact two users but the same person? That might be cause for concern.
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    Note, even if these two were sock puppets, having a sock puppet in itself is not a crime. Voting abuse is the crime. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/65604/192187 for reference. – American Luke Jan 13 '13 at 2:44
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    Sock puppet and IRL - Google search found them thanks. A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. IRL means in real life. Now the question makes some sense. – George Jan 13 '13 at 4:35
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    My first thought on seeing this post was as the site was new and there was a fair degree of invites sent during commitment that the 2 may be referrals from such invites. Whether they know each other or are common persons to a third is possible. – Site Designs Jan 13 '13 at 23:33
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Or could it be that a pair of researchers acquainted IRL have decided to join GFH:SE together to extend the range of sources and expertise available to them? That would be terrific.

At this point, with the site being this young, that is probably a fair conclusion.

The moderators do keep their eyes open for socks and other forms of abuse, and if you strongly suspect a problem you should contact them (via a flag)... But otherwise, assume that folks finding this site and finding it useful will bring their friends and colleagues along.

And that's a good thing!

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I think we need to assume innocent until proven guilty. The way se extends is people making connections with q/a they care about. We need more people with common interests and should not worry they might be sock puppets. I'm sure the geekier se sites have had a lot of abuse and se is going to be better at catching sock puppets than we are. This answer on security.se has the kind of things that can be done - and I believe se does some of them.

Note the only real abuse I think a sock puppet could do are:

  • make our stats look better (more users, more activity)
  • voting abuse (which you'd need more than 2 to really make a difference)

The first would be a shame (more likely to get site killed than help) and the second has happened enough that se appears to have controls in place. Even when they aren't sock puppets, se as ways to keep voting cliques from forming (since cliques abuse a true community).

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Although it's possible (if less than ideal) for people to have multiple accounts here, if those accounts start interacting with each other (by voting for each other, by answering each other's questions, or commenting on each other's questions or answers), that isn't allowed.

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  • "multiple accounts here" - different accounts on different se sites is how se works. But it does encourage linking them - and hopefully the bonus rep for linking them would outweigh the benefits of voting for yourself. If by "here" you mean on genealogy, then I would think we would prefer only one account per person. Is there any advantage to the community for one person having two genealogy persona's? Is there any advantage to the individual (other than for abuse)? – Duncan Jan 20 '13 at 15:03
  • Can you include the reference to 'it is perfectly acceptable for one individual to have 2 accounts on Genealogy.SE'? It's generally not a good security policy where voting is involved for one individual to have multiple voting persona's. – Duncan Jan 21 '13 at 2:18
  • Based on meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/1590/…, I believe 'there's no problem with people having multiple accounts' is incorrect. – Duncan Jan 22 '13 at 11:55
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    @Duncan, My answer is consistent with meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/1590/…, other than Robert's expressed preference that people don't have multiple accounts. I've modified the wording slightly, although it was originally copied from meta.stackexchange.com/a/35607/195988 on the assumption that meta.stackoverflow.com/users/1/jeff-atwood would know what he was talking about... – user104 Jan 22 '13 at 14:10

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