Yeah, figured this'd come up. So here is the rationale.
Smokey needs the association bonus for some projects we're undertaking. For a couple reasons, it's simply better to have it under its own account than run these projects under my account (not unilaterally nuking stuff on SO is one, having things properly labelled and attributed is another).
I'd go the normal route to give it rep, but there's evidence that posts associated with the Smokey account have unfairly inflated vote counts. For example, I don't believe this is natural. I'd rather not post 'real' content with it and have that effect unfairly sort its answers above other folks'.
So that leaves three options:
- Go ask the team to manually give it a bunch of rep, which isn't going to happen.
- Try to get some kind of special privilege level which allows it to have privileges without rep, which also isn't going to happen.
- Find a question that doesn't matter and just give it some of my rep.
I chose 3, which required unprotecting the question then restoring it to its original state. If I had to guess, I'd say it's protected so we don't get a ton of spam answers in there.
Is this sockpuppetry? Yeah, in the strictest sense of the word, I'm running two accounts. Have been for a long time. What I'm not doing is in any way getting benefit back to my main account (or any Charcoal members). I'm giving it some fake Internet points on a question that doesn't matter, and that's pretty much the extent of it.
I'm open to feedback, of course, if anyone knows of a better way to do this.
For the curious folks, we're laying the groundwork for automated flagging. It's a long ways off yet, and we have quite a bit of research to do (including dry runs, etc.) Don't worry, we're not planning a takeover. Yet.