IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/Editor Matching Feature

Current statusEdit

  • 16 April 2021: This project is in its early planning and design stages. There is a sockpuppet detection script that is being worked on by the Wikimedia Foundation Research team.


On Wikipedia, sock puppetry, or socking, refers to the misuse of multiple Wikipedia accounts. To maintain accountability and increase community trust, editors are generally expected to use only one account. While it’s not always bad, often sockpuppets are used to mislead, deceive, disrupt, or undermine consensus on the projects.

Major forms of sock-puppetry:

  • Logging out to make problematic edits as an IP address
  • Creating new accounts to avoid detection
  • Using another person's account (piggybacking)
  • Reviving old unused accounts (sleepers) and presenting them as different users
  • Persuading people to create accounts for the purpose of supporting one side of a dispute (meat puppetry)

The goal for this project is to build a tool to help detect sockpuppet accounts. This could be useful in:

  • Detecting long-term abusers who switch accounts or edit anonymously because e.g., their other accounts have been blocked for damaging behavior. Being able to more quickly link together accounts helps checkusers to understand the severity and extent of a block that might be needed.
  • Identifying groups of accounts that are working together to introduce bias, misinformation, or leave the impression of discussion or consensus where there is none. Often none of the edits made by accounts like these warrant blocking so it can be very difficult to detect these rings of accounts and helping checkusers gather evidence to detect this behavior could potentially be very helpful.

Proposed solutionEdit

To be written


To be written

Measurement and resultsEdit

To be written