How many socks do we have?

Is the MPSIMS pity-party sock different from the MPSIMS relationship sock? Is the Fox-news parrot the same as the racist of the week? Are there at least four distinct, SDMB-obsessed people out there who are so lonely that they spend time every week creating a new sock? Or are there groups—maybe a few from the snarkpit egging each on to create the best ratio of replies to over-the-top stories. Or maybe some of the MPSIMS bleeding heart compulsive posters (the ones who appear to take that week’s sob story seriously) take uncoordinated turns keeping the hopper full of soap operas, all unaware that they’re talking to themselves.

And I’ve only really noticed the above four—any other repetitive, wearisome socks I overlooked?

I think you’re confusing troll with sock. Not that they can’t be both, but a mere sock is just someone trying to sneak back in and not be caught. Trolls think they are actually baiting and hooking members. That’s why the join date is so telling when you see a weird thread.

I have no idea how many socks you have. Myself, I probably have around 14-odd pairs, plus a few odd socks. (No, there’s nothing really mysterious about those; I do throw out old socks with holes, but will leave the ones in good condition just in case I need to throw out half of a similar pair…)

I’m thinking ‘trock’ then. ‘Soll’?

I think it’s possible/plausible that the Fox News sock is actually employed by Fox or a right-wing media machine. I mean the weekly (or more) new poster who chimes in with something conservative and stupid—not to be confused with something purely conservative or purely stupid or something stupid said by one of our conservative posters, etc. I mean the drive-byish, one- or two-line posts of astounding banality that mimic talking points and are spit out by new accounts.

I’m not necessarily saying it *is *Fox or any media organization in particular, but there is a market incentive to create a string of socks that parrot a right-wing viewpoint. I don’t know where the left-wing lobbying money goes, but, like Fox, there does not seem to be a left-wing equivalent.

There’s no monetary motivation that I can think of for the weekly boyfriend/girlfriend dysfunctional family post, so I can’t imagine them being hired shills, unless it’s a broader farming method/mechanism that’s algorithmically beyond me.

Back when I was a moderator, the pattern was that a small number of individuals were responsible for a large number of sock accounts, and then there were a smattering of other trolls with only one or two accounts each. At the time, there were two individuals who, between them, probably accounted for about 95% of the troll accounts. Though in the history since, I don’t think we’ve had any quite as prolific as those two early ones.

The type of troll/socks we get here are the equivalent of peewee soccer. They all play the game, can’t remember what the rules are, and quickly forget which end is their goal. But they find it fun, and it certainly is entertaining for the spectators.

The members here need to be a little slower at buying into a story from a new member seeking advice.