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rebbel's avatar

Would you recognize a Jelly that opened an extra/second account by his/her writing style?

Asked by rebbel (31757points) March 13th, 2012

Sometimes, for privacy reasons, I am thinking about making an extra account on Fluther.
Especially for questions that concern relationships/family(members).
That made me think about the possibility that a person’s writing style could be a giveaway.
Do you think that you could recognize a member by that, when he/she has opened an extra/a new account?
Are writing styles that typical for certain members that you would see through it if that specific member came here asking questions under a new name no naming names, please?
Would you be able, were you to make a second account on Fluther, to change/adjust your writing style so it would be near impossible to reveal your identity?

Side question:
What is the procedure to open an extra account?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

57 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

There are a few I’ve noticed that have other accounts, I’m sure far more that I’ve never noticed anything that would get me to think about it. Maybe there are other folks who are far more perceptive, but I think as a whole it’s a great way to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out who’s who on the internet.

As far as setting up a second account. Just click Log out, then type in some new credentials. You’re all set. Asking questions is exactly the same.

chyna's avatar

I have one. I have actually answered a few questions on one of my good friends threads and they have never mentioned they thought it was me. I did it to see if they would recognize me. I didn’t try to write any different than I normally do.

See the Join For Free button at the top right corner? Just log into that button and come up with a user name. I opened mine up a couple years ago and log on and answer every now and then so I won’t look brand new when asking a question. That is sort of the giveaway. Also, I wouldn’t use the default avatars either.

picante's avatar

It really depends on how much “personality” the poster telegraphs with his/her writing. In general, I’d say there are some definite signature styles on here, but a crafty writer ought to be able to disguise that. I knew someone on fluther for whom I discovered a second account, and it was the style that first alerted me. When I saw the details of the messages, it was obvious to me. But I’m sure there are many that I don’t recognize.

bkcunningham's avatar

Only if your writing style includes divulging a lot of personal information and there are members who remember things you’ve said, @rebbel. When I notice you, I won’t blow your cover.

MilkyWay's avatar

Yes, I reckon I already have recognised some jellies on here.

wundayatta's avatar

I opened separate accounts a couple of times. It took people a day or two to figure out it was me. If I want to open an account that people don’t recognize, I have to make a strong effort not to write the way I write. Now I just read an article about that and found out that to hide your style you try to imitate someone else’s style.

@MilkyWay so have you figured out who my alter ego is? Huh? Have ya?

lebber's avatar

So I guess that <<< this would be too big a giveaway, right? ~

MilkyWay's avatar

@lebber You don’t say?
And no wundy, I’m afraid I didn’t catch you…

fundevogel's avatar

@SpatzieLover caught someone using a second account to vent about Fluther. As far as I know @clod’s identity wasn’t discovered and I suspect it would be really hard to connect two accounts unless, as previously mentioned, personal information was revealed and remembered.

filmfann's avatar

I had one.
Let’s just leave it at No One Did.

dappled_leaves's avatar

<shrug> I don’t think I’d notice.

Bellatrix's avatar

As long as you weren’t using it to cause trouble and unrest, I wouldn’t care really. There have been times when I have thought…“that is so and so” but even if I knew, unless they were causing trouble (then I would let @augustlan know my suspicions), I wouldn’t reveal their identity.

TexasDude's avatar

I have an alternate account with which I made many references that would identify me, but nobody has said anything.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Normally, jellies have to have some pretty out there writing styles or patterns in order for me to pick up on the differences. Most people that have that level of distinction leave because it’s in the form of excessive emoticons, txtspk, etc. Occasionally, I’ll see some patterns, but not enough to make me think they’re the same person, but rather just two different people who have some similar patterns or read the same types of things. FWIW, @rebbel, I totally wouldn’t know it was you unless you flat-out said, ‘it’s me, @rebbel!’.

Berserker's avatar

Well the person would have to have a very unique writing style, and then not even try to hide it in their secret account for me to figure it out, or at least suspect something. The only times I’ve ever suspected anything in this type of thing is when it was so obvious, like a strange user coming in to defend someone outta nowhere, things like that. Then again I just guess, really. I don’t think I’d pick up fast on a secret account on personality and style alone, unless it was painfully recognizable, or if they talked about the same things in the same way that someone I might know does.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think I could pick up a few jellies. I got pinched fast when I asked my STD question.. I didn’t know there wasn’t a cure.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I had a second account once to ask about a personal question, but I have noticed someone talking about a very severe NSFW problem and totally knew who it was.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I haven’t really recognized any jellies. I think that I might be (relatively) easy to recognize. I tend to have a lot of side-comments in parentheses. I don’t use txtspeak. I tend to dilute some of my statements with extra words (“I haven’t really recognized” instead of “I haven’t recognized”). Feel free to tell me if you notice anything else about my style.

As for an extra account, this is my extra account.

Actually this is my normal account, it’s just that I like how the above sentence is foreboding.

deni's avatar

I think I’ve asked like 3 embarrassing questions under a different account. They got a lot of lurve and then I felt guilty about it. But, I thought people might recognize me. I type in a kind of kid ish not very serious sort of bubbly way….um…it’s hard to explain, but, I wouldn’t recognize any other jellies most likely. Maybe a few. But I was super paranoid EVERYONE would recognize me lol. Guess I was just flattering myself.

marinelife's avatar

I have done in the past, but other times I have failed to recognize people.

AshLeigh's avatar

I made an account before I made this one. But I forgot the username, and password like a day later… XD

Sunny2's avatar

I think I’d recognize my own unless I pretended I was someone else.

Jeruba's avatar

In general, I think not. I believe that we all tend to imagine we’re a bit more noticeably distinctive than we really are (see spotlight effect ).

If you gave me a dozen sample posts and asked me to match them with a dozen prolific jellies, I’d probably get most of them right. But just to pick up on the fact that one new contributor out of thousands resembles some one other contributor out of thousands, whom I’d have to have read attentively enough to form a clear characterization of style and content, without any reason to think that the new contributor is even someone we know—there’d have to be a major tell for that to happen.

fundevogel's avatar

I rather doubt I could pick people out by style alone. e. e. cummings and Dr. Seuss I can pick out by style…any thing less obvious I’d probably have trouble with. If I recognize people by their writing it’s probably because I’ve learned some of their pet topics, stances and have assembled some sort of concept of them as a person.

Chances are pretty slim I’d recognize a jelly if they were intentionally concealing their identity.

augustlan's avatar

The mods are very adept at spotting returning trolls, though it’s not always in the first day or two. They really do have a certain style or pattern that stands out, though. I’ve recognized a few jellies in alter-ego disguise, but not many. I’m sure there are far more that I haven’t recognized.

ratboy's avatar

I don’t wish to divulge all of my secrets, but I will confess that I wrote all the replies in this thread under my various aliases.

ucme's avatar

I don’t know that i’d even care, I just answer & occasionally ask questions here that’s all, I know, crazy right?

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes I think there is really only one user here, who employs a lot of different aliases so he (or she) can enjoy many different conversations with himself (or herself).

cookieman's avatar

I’ve never noticed anyone under a different alias. I’ve also never had another Fluther identity other than this one.

That being said, if a new user pops up and goes on about cookies…it’s a safe bet it’s me.

bkcunningham's avatar

@wundayatta, I’ve often thought that same thing.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Possibly, I have a pretty keen eye and can notice if someone has particular punctuation or wording that is consistent with other accounts. I’m also quite paranoid and neurotic…

So, watch out folks! rofl

FutureMemory's avatar

I spot them all the time.

AmWiser's avatar

Of course there are many Jellies that open extra accounts. How else do you figure some (Jellies) get pushed over milestones so quickly?

SpatzieLover's avatar

^has one of my favorite 2nd accounts ;)

Some_Ghost's avatar

@wundayatta Now that’s just freaky.

SpatzieLover's avatar

^there you are! I was just wondering where you were! :)

augustlan's avatar

@AmWiser Lurving yourself is against the guidelines, and we (mods) can tell if it’s happening. It can get a jelly banned!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@augustlan Wow, I didn’t read that response from @AmWiser that way at all. I think what @AmWiser meant was, people use their 2nd accounts to send other users over to their party. Since every regular is all lurved out on one another, new accounts give lurve. Right?

I don’t have a second account, but have thought about setting a ‘fun’ one up. I would use the ‘fun’ account to lurve people all the way to their special K party

Incoherency_'s avatar


“I think what @AmWiser meant was, people use their 2nd accounts to send other users over to their party. Since every regular is all lurved out on one another, new accounts give lurve.”

That’s also my impression of what @AmWiser meant.

Jeruba's avatar

I thought @AmWiser was referring to all ways of taking unfair advantage of virgin lurve privileges by using a second or third account.

FutureMemory's avatar

Hmm, I read it exactly as Auggie first thought, and I don’t see how:

I would use the ‘fun’ account to lurve people all the way to their special K party

isn’t the ‘cheating’ that Auggie first spoke of…?

What am I missing?

augustlan's avatar

@FutureMemory You do have a point. If we find someone is artificially inflating someone else’s score by a lot, that is a problem. I’m sure it happens all the time that people push someone over a lurve milestone by a tiny amount (say someone is stuck at 9998, one GA will do it). That’s not a big deal. But we’ve had issues in the past where someone gave hundreds of points with alter ego accounts and artificially pushed several jellies into milestone territory, and that is definitely not allowed.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes. I have personally experienced this, and it does not make me happy. When I get to a milestone, I want to have earned it, and people opening new accounts to give me a little push, while I appreciate the sentiment, is not the way I want to do it.

Where I am at now, it is really hard to get lurve. GAs are as abundant as ever, but lurve, as most of us know, gets increasingly hard to get. But it is possible, and there’s no need to game the system to hand it out.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ Says the guy who broke the damn system with his 50k milestone. Pshaw! :P

wundayatta's avatar

It wasn’t as bad at 50 as it was at 40. But I work hard for my lurve and I don’t like cheap lurve.

FutureMemory's avatar

Heh, I remember when you were at about 49,800 lurve you specifically asked not to be artificially pushed to 50k, which promptly happened by the next morning.

AmWiser's avatar

Whew! You guys have been busy while I was away. Let me see if I can splain myself. I have my own theory how this system works and it’s just my theory.

I don’t think people open 2nd accounts to lurve themselves, I think Jellies open 2nd accounts to boost the scores of others who are about to reach a milestone but it could take days or months to get there because we are all lurved out on each other. I came to conclusion while watching some Jellies score move up by as much as 60–70 points daily (yes daily). While watching these scores go up I also noticed there was a lot of activity in the community feed ‘so and so has joined the collective’. ‘so and so has joined the collective’ In my mind I was just putting two and two together. I may be wrong or I may be right, who’s to say. What I didn’t do was to follow those new joiners to see if they kept their accounts and participated in the community.

Umm! Good example @FutureMemory It’s all good, dammit, if we had unlimited lurve to give, we would all be in the 50K mansion.:-}

FutureMemory's avatar

I don’t think people open 2nd accounts to lurve themselves, I think Jellies open 2nd accounts to boost the scores of others who are about to reach a milestone but it could take days or months to get there because we are all lurved out on each other.

Opening a 2nd account to accomplish something you couldn’t otherwise accomplish with your ‘real’ account is, by definition, gaming the system. It’s certainly not as bad as using a 2nd account to raise your own lurve though.

cookieman's avatar

I might just open a second account just so I can PM myself and get a little conversation going.

Bellatrix's avatar

I absolutely understand having a second account to ask questions you might not want to ask with your main account. I wouldn’t open an account to give other people lurve and definitely not to give myself lurve.

cockswain's avatar

I like @ucme‘s answer best.

wundayatta's avatar

@FutureMemory I asked because people were talking about it.

Of course, that was not nearly as bad as 40k. I think I got 500 lurve in a day. That was completely ridiculous.

But shoot. If people want to push me to 60K from here, good luck. That would be a serious, serious trick. Completely absurd!

HungryGuy's avatar

When I first joined Fluther as @HungryGuy, I created a second account at about the same time. But I haven’t used that other account in years,

Coloma's avatar

I’ve had a few surprises when a member has pm’d me to say that they are, infact, really an existing member under a new disguise. lol
I really couldn’t tell you if I am actually aware of any alter egos off the top of my head.
Personally I have no interest in creating an alter ego, I don’t ask NSFW type questions and like being “known” for who I actually am. Sooo, no worries here, Coloma won’t be reincarnating any time soon.
If the day comes I am ready to drop fluther I won’t return in disguise. dead is dead. haha

FutureMemory's avatar

I doubt you would be able to ‘hide’ very well anyway, Coloma. You’d have to stop referring to yourself in the third person and ending every post with “lol”.

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