But trying ain't necessarily succeeding.
I had to scratch my head when I read this little blurb this morning:
In BriefUh, no. That's not what it means at all.
Technology is constantly changing the lexicon. From the blogosphere comes a new meaning for an old term: "sock puppet" -- someone who posts online commentary about politicians without disclosing their working relationship with a campaign. (link)
A "sock puppet," (or sockpuppet) in my world, is a person who posts commentary - oftentimes about oneself - without divulging a rather pertinent fact - the identity of the author. For example, a contributing commenter to a particular blog, after heaping praise on the blogger, will be found to be the blogger himself, operating (or trying) anonymously.
Others are doing their best to change the term to fit their reality, of course: From Wikipedia:
A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks while pretending not to, like a puppeteer manipulating a hand puppet.That's accurate, except the part about "allies" and "company." In fact, it is still limited to "the illusion of support for one's self."
In current usage, the perception of the term has been extended beyond second identities of people who already post in a forum to include other uses of misleading online identities. For example, a NY Times article claims that "sock-puppeting" is defined as "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company."
The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym (sometimes termed an "alt") is the active exploitation of the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer. Using multiple identities for privacy purposes (for example, one identity divulges information which is easily identifiable and the other identity acts as a whistleblower) is not considered sockpuppetry unless one identity expresses assent to another identity's posting. (link)
In the example provided by the TD, that "commentary about politicans" would be considered sockpuppetry if the author(s) proved to be the politicans themselves.
Now you know.