Ersatz Culture has been doing some deep data-driven detective work on Goodreads sockpuppet accounts. It’s covered in three (so far) Twitter threads and I want to discuss some of the things being revealed but not quite yet. I’m putting links to them here for reference:
[ETA one more thread from EC]
I will note one thing as it is pertinent to both EC’s examples and also the troll examples I discussed earlier this year. To register an account with Goodreads you have to give an email address BUT unlike most websites these days there is no email verification step i.e. you don’t NEED multiple actual email addresses to set up multiple accounts. The system is wide-open for abuse.
It is trivially easy to set up a fake Goodreads account. How easy? https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/111117965-sock-puppet (I will delete Monsieur Sock Puppet later and he won’t be rating anything obviously)