For the purposes of OzBargain, it's posting a deal, commenting or voting while not declaring that you are affiliated with the company.
- A person posts a deal pretending to be a customer when they are actually the business owner.
- A friend, family member, or employee posts a deal without declaring affiliation.
- The OP creates multiple ghost accounts which then vote or comment on the deal.
Reporting your suspicions is a good idea but as the mods have a multitude of tools available that detects sockpuppeting, it's best to leave the investigation to us. Please submit issues either via the REPORT button or in the Talk with Mod forum
If you are caught sockpuppeting, then you will be banned. The length of your ban (e.g. permanently or 1 month) depends on:
- the severity of the incident
- initiating a dialogue with us through the Talk with Mod forum
- an explanation of the sockpuppeting
- what policies you set to prevent this in the future
- whether the sockpuppeting was intentional
Whilst many users & stores have been permanently banned for sockpuppeting, some have come back. These companies have imposed a strict social media policy and become valuable members of OzBargain.
- working for the company? (all tiers - including management!)
- on the companies payroll?
- designing the companies website?
- working as a marketer for this company?
- designing/making/producing the product being sold?
- related to someone mentioned above?
- a contractor for this company?
- been asked by someone to post on this site?
- been offered money/prizes/incentives to post this deal?
If yes, its okay! All you need to do is declare your affiliation when posting a deal or making a comment.
If its a direct affiliation - tick the “i am a rep” box when posting a deal, and the “I work for <store>” box when commenting on a deal for your store that you didn't post.
If you're unsure, just write it in the body of the deal or the comment.
Example: “Disclosure: I worked here over the holidays”
Whilst we punish users for sockpuppeting, we understand that some reps may forget to check the rep box when posting. This may be due to a language barrier or simply forgetting to check the box. In cases where it's obvious that it is a rep posting, the moderators will check the rep box and put a note in the description.