Recent incidents of sock-puppetry, outing and accusations of paid campaign shilling have prompted us to remind long-time users and inform new ones that certain behavior is forbidden at Daily Kos. Those who engage in such acts face a permanent ban.
• A sock puppet is an additional account of an existing member pretending to be a separate user. This may be used to mimic community support in an argument or for acting egregiously without consequence to one's “main” account. It is considered dishonest, trollish behavior. Anyone we catch employing sock puppets will have all their accounts banned.
• Revealing the real identity or other personal information of a registered user who has not him- or herself made that identity known at Daily Kos or otherwise given permission for such information to be publicly revealed is a violation of one of the oldest rules at the site.
Among other things, such revelations include, but are not limited to, phone numbers, addresses—including email addresses not publicly available at Daily Kos—places of employment or clients, gender, sexual orientation, aliases used on other forums, and the identities of family members. Asking hostile outing questions such as: Do you work at such and such a place?—especially when research has shown this to be true or likely to be true—is a form of outing and will be dealt with as such.
• Registered Daily Kos users working in paid campaign positions (or unpaid positions of authority) for candidates or ballot issues must disclose their affiliation when it is relevant to the conversation. Such identification should appear in each diary posted by the paid individual and on the individual’s profile page. Persons in such positions who are caught posting on the site without identifying their role will be banned and, in an exception to the no-outing rule, we will expose their real names publicly.
Accusing someone of being a paid operative of a campaign is a serious matter. False accusations can damage a person’s reputation, not just at the site but in real life. Consequently, such accusations should not be made in diaries nor comments. Instead, the accuser should present evidence privately to the moderation section of the Help Desk for investigation and adjudication. An opinion is not evidence. False accusations determined to be malicious will result in banning.