Thoughts on using alternate accounts to boost like counts?

I’ve recently noticed some of our members were using alts to boost the likes count for the badges(Even in DM’s) As a moderator, should I be concerned of this? I’m a little concerned with the notion of having to “cheat” your way to badges rather than rightfully earning it. What’s a good approach to this?


What do you mean by alts?


Alts = Alternatives (additional accounts i.e. fake accounts created by someone)


Oh. Sock puppets.

In that case, badge gaming isn’t the worst of your problems! You should definitely be nipping that behaviour in the bud!


If anyone has robust custom badges above and beyond the out of the box ones, I’d love to see them in action!

I’m inclined to agree with @hawk, you don’t have a problem with badge farming, you have an issue with sockpuppeting, of which badge farming is one symptom.

Abusing badges isn’t ideal, but there are far more wide-reaching and potentially damaging things a disenfranchised user can do with access to multiple identities.

Have you tied specific rewards or incentives to badges? The first thing you need to figure out is why acquiring these badges matters to those users. Have the threshholds to acquire these badges changed from the defaults?

Are you using the fingerprinting plugin? If not it might be worthwhile installing, although it’s far from foolproof to identify sockpuppet accounts.


I get your view, but I understood OP the other way around: That he felt badge farming was the cause of sockpupetting, because getting the badges (and also maybe “likes”) were the primary goal behind the creation of what he called “alts”.



The problem is that they’re acquiring badges by cheating through the use of a sockpuppet. They aren’t content with waiting to receive those badges organically so have chosen to “cheat”. Unless they’ve been tied to a specific reward though it’s not likely to be harmful.


We definitely don’t allow duplicate accounts on our forum before prior permission from the moderation team because they could:

  • Like farming (to get higher TL etc)
  • Get more votes
  • Increase TL
  • Get badges by cheating

My thoughts on this his that it isn’t the end of the day. Although it isn’t the best thing to do, you can ask the admin to enable this setting if they haven’t already. flag sockpuppets

If you know who is doing it maybe drop them a message. I agree with Stephen here also

You can also manually revoke the badges?


The main issue I see is users using those badges to “Brag” about their “Superiority” towards others, which they didn’t even rightfully earn.

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Revoking automatically “unrevokes” the badges for some reason.

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If the badge issuance is automated then revoking it will be undone the next time the jobs run.

You need to eliminate the accounts responsible.