I have seen several OP’s from “guests” that will post one question or comment on a single thread and never be heard from again. There have also been many good contributing posters that have been banned. I know that in not all cases, it is because the poster created a sock, but there may have been many that have. IMO, you may lose some of the needed voices on this thread by banning all socks.
I try to understand motivation behind behavior. It is one of my hobbies. So, why would a person pay to post here and then throw that away by violating one of the hard and fast rules? Could it be that the poster is just having a day in which s/he is not himself? Could it be that the poster has an opinion on something that runs counter to the image of the poster? S/he may not want to battle that image change with every subsequent post on other threads. Or it could be that the poster doesn’t want the flood the boards with every thought that comes to his head. I know there are ways around this problem. Some people may go to a public computer and create a guest account, but this also violates the rules.
There are days in which I don’t feel like being SSG Schwartz. I may want to be HerbietheHammock or SchoolGorrila101 .
Many noted writers have used another name: Gore Vidal, Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, and Nora Roberts to name a few.
I understand that we could not have people creating a sock whenever the mood struck and having as many as they want. There would be no control over that and Chaos may Ensue. So here is my suggestion:
Allow, for a nominal fee ($5), a limited sock membership. The registered user could have one sock at a time and the length of the sock would be much shorter than the regular membership (say 90 days). After the sock membership expired, the user could renew, create a new sock, or do without until such time he decided to pay again and create a new sock.
One other suggestion would be to link the sock to the User’s Profile. By doing this, if anyone cared, the true identity of the sock could be seen by all. This would keep people from posting truly outlandish things.