Subscribe RSS
Is this the most cloth-brained sockpuppet ever? Aug 20

I know what you’re thinking: what could be more ludicrous than the Grant Shapps1234” affair?

Well, fans of hilariously bad attempts to use false identities online, it must be this.

First off, someone created an account on Facebook in the name of Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb. They then used this account to create a Norman Lamb group purporting to be from the man himself. This group was, well, rubbish. It plugged another Facebook group critical of Norman and the blog of his Tory opponent – significant signs that it wasn’t real. Having had Norman confirm this, party HQ contacted Facebook, who quickly suspended the Fake Norman’s account.

A number of people contacted the email address given in the group after it was revealed on Liberal Democrat Voice. Replies from this email account showed the internet address from which they were sent. The same address had made a number of edits to Wikipedia that were critical of Norman, indicating that the person wasn’t a fan. Despite this, a number of comments on Liberal Democrat Voice – those not trying to pin the blame on UKIP – claimed that the perpetrator was surely a Norman Lamb supporter who had innocently created the group, planning to hand it over to Norman at a later date.

And here’s where the fun begins.

It’s possible to see from the Liberal Democrat Voice logs the internet address from which these comments – apparently from eight different named people plus some anonymous ones – were posted. It looks like the person behind it didn’t realise this because (guess what?) James Becks, Charlotte Steels, Alex Solomon, Jason Anyassor, Grace Clarke, Sarah Makepeace, Mary Samson and Shane Cruise all share an internet connection. Either that’s one busy student house or someone has executed one of the most inept attempts to use false identities on the internet. To top it off, the last comment was made shortly after the sockpuppetry had been publicly revealed.

You can read summaries of the amusing and sometimes contradictory comments over on Liberal Democrat Voice.

Meanwhile, the true identity of the person who created the fake Norman Lamb Facebook account remains a mystery…

5 Responses

  1. At this point in time, I would like to take credit for recognising and identifying that particular tactical value of multiple sock-puppets; the greatly reduced risk of contradicting oneself (see #5):


  2. Just a thought – could it be a workplace?
    Or a party HQ?

    I think all our web traffic at work goes out over a DSL connection with a fixed IP address belonging to the ISP.

  3. 3

    Looks like a relatively small ISP based in Suffolk, so I don’t think it’s likely to be a party HQ – certainly not one of the major ones. Could be a small business, although the pattern and timing of activity (on Facebook and on Lib Dem Voice) suggests it’s a home IP.

  4. 4
    Helen Cameron 

    Hi there

    I’m a long time reader and totally addicted to your blog!

    I’m a brit living in Toronto and I thought you¹d love this ad campaign that is causing so much fuss over here.

    Here’s the video and the site

    and here’s the hysterical Canadian reaction:

    — Helen

  5. 5

    Oh great, I didn’t see about the Grant Shapps stuff before, but brilliant, my local MP making an ass of himself for the internets to see. *sigh*