On the "A Day In The Penalty Box" post's comment section, someone posted,

If your account has been suspended, do you lose the opportunity of becoming a moderator? My brother has an Arqade account, and so do I, and I was suspended for having a sockpuppet, when in reality, it was my brother’s account. Now, his account has been removed, and he is very upset.

In the post, the user meant that both his brother and him had Arqade Stack Exchange accounts and that he was wrongly accused and suspended for having sockpuppets. However, can his brother's account (or anyone's in a similar situation) be recovered with all the previous reputation and badges? And also what should someone do when someone is wrongly accused of having sockpuppets (e.g. someone serial upvoting you and/or posting questions and answers like in the way how you do just so you can get suspended)?

Specifically, how can someone credibly prove to a site's moderators that two accounts belong to two people from the same location, rather than just one user with sockpuppets?

  • 3
    Related: a case where someone from the same school intentionally voted on a fellow student's posts in order to get them suspended as a prank. The answers there address most of your original question, but I made this question more specific so that this could remain open. (It's something I've been wondering about as well.) Dec 11, 2020 at 10:36
  • 2
    Note that the blog post linked above is from 2009 and that a lot of water (and procedures) have gone under the bridge since then. Old blog posts can't be relied upon as reflecting the current state of play for Stack Exchange.
    – user960635
    Dec 11, 2020 at 13:57
  • Oh, the pain is back. I've encountered a similar situation. 10K rep link: meta.stackexchange.com/q/351398/773001
    – Red
    Dec 11, 2020 at 20:55
  • Here's a discussion.
    – Red
    Dec 11, 2020 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


This situation happened on the Workplace site a few years ago, where two co-workers at the same location were working together (one would think of a question and the other would answer it) - they mainly stuck to each other's questions and answers, so they were both suspended for sock-puppetry.

After a meta discussion, an understanding was reached and accounts restored.

Moderators can leave notes on user records, and these notes are taken into account come election time. There are plenty of moderators who have had disciplinary actions in their records and are/have been excellent moderators afterwards. People do learn and improve, after all.

As for credibly proving they're not sock puppets? That's difficult without sharing personal information (and even then, that can't really be relied upon). Instead, it's better for each user to simply agree not to affect each other's postings (not cross-voting or colluding on questions/answers).

As long as the two user accounts act as separate entities, that should be fine, and that's how the situation was resolved on The Workplace.

Meta discussion:

I was banned without any notification

Disclaimer: I was user44108, the moderator in question (aka Snow)

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