Every member of this forum has, when setting up his or her account, agreed to accept and behave by our forum rules. Included in those is the simple "one account" rule.
Why only one account?
Logic dictates that anyone who is here to discuss Bond (and other topics) requires exactly one account to make that happen. It is the equivalent of bringing one voice and mind to a face-to-face conversation. Furthermore, the social parameters of an Internet forum are such that quality interactions can only be sustained if its members are believed to be sincere and 'real', which in and by itself is already something of a challenge considering the nature of the Internet. The very moment two accounts are exposed as belonging to one and the same person, said person will inevitably be branded "persona non grata" and practically demanded to leave. In order to avoid such unpleasant situations, the forum rules have to forbid duplicate accounts.
Why would anyone want a duplicate account?
Multiple reasons exist. There's the simple fact of boosting one's post count for starters. By having a conversation with oneself, hundreds of posts can easily be added to the total post count on a nearly daily basis. This practice, however, can be exhausting; the quality of posts declines rapidly and others will spot a pattern almost immediately. Also, post counts mean nothing on this forum. "Street credit"--or rather "Bond credit"--is earned by the quality of one's contributions and not so much by their quantity. Climbing up the social ladder of this system is most certainly not a matter of reaching 10 000 posts fast. In fact, if climbing up the social ladder is what you want, Facebook and Twitter provide you with many delusions of the kind. The MI6COMMUNITY is something else entirely.
Another reason is seeking glamorous approval of the contents of one's posts. We sometimes write witty or personal or lengthy "essays"; we post self-made art of any kind; and nothing breaks the heart more than to find your post ignored and eventually forgotten--unless one understands, once again, that's how an Internet forum works. If you cannot handle this characteristic, duplicate accounts which will tell you how awesome you are, won't make a difference and are likely not to make you feel any better either.
Evidently, a third reason involves forum trolling, but those idiots can be ignored right away and matter little to us. We ban them when we spot them.
A fourth (and by no means last) reason, is perhaps the subtlest and most difficult one. It is expounded in the next paragraph.
The dangers of a duplicate account for the member him- or herself
There exists a form of social schizophrenia, often emerging from the desire to be accepted and beloved by all.
Even when you are just simply you, slip-ups are almost unavoidable, especially when one seeks the spotlights often and with loud drama. Not everyone will like you, some will hold something you said or did against you. So you apologise, or ignore the critics and move on. Or you leave for a while, refuel yourself and return with modesty. In our experience, however, some seek refuge to a duplicate account. The intention is to get a clean start, to learn from one's mistakes and avoid them when in a new digital skin. It's the proverbial fresh start real life never grants us, unless when we engineer a new identity in real life too, which is usually considered a criminal act.
The problem with a second account is that one has to try not be exposed and so one does whatever one can to be a different person. We're all smart enough to realise that couldn't possibly be beneficial to one's mental health or emotional stability, which are probably rather weak anyway given that the necessity for a duplicate account was ever contemplated in the first place. If you want to be beloved by not being you, some screws are clearly loose.
In any event, no matter how hard one tries to either technically or socially disguise one's true identity, others will swiftly start to notice things and suspect foul play. You see, people always use certain words and certain expressions; they have the same sense of humour and the same interests in life. Even in their duplicate account, they will not suddenly visit threads they weren't drawn to before; if you don't like discussing American Football, your "other" self won't either.
Lastly, the very things that get your blood boiling, the very things that drive you to code red, will not suddenly leave you cold just because you have changed your nickname.
And that's when the ugly side of things starts to show itself. Gossipy and conspiratory PM's fill the aether behind one's back, mods are involved, and little hints are carefully but accusingly dropped in the public zone. Because members do know. They feel it. Whatever you do, they get the gist of it. And your credit is completely wasted. This, in turn, may inspire new public conflicts, which, ironically, the duplicate account was supposed to avoid.
It is difficult, nearly impossible even, to invent another persona altogether. And yet that's what you've set yourself up for. It will, inevitably, backfire. Sooner or later, it will.
So what do we do?
Members who suspect duplicate accounts, can always PM a mod. Perhaps it's best not to publicly target someone (or "sometwo"), although a bit of social probing is unavoidable and may indeed be helpful. ;-)
We will do what we can to unmask the culprit if there really is one, confront him or her with the facts and allegations, and discuss in private how to best proceed.
There's a very good chance the mod team will, after banning both accounts, leave a public statement, as we feel it is important and in fact a sign of respect towards our members that they be clued in eventually, if only to clarify things that may have kept many among them occupied for some time. Furthermore, several members most likely have stood by the duplicate account's "sincerity" until the end, which is admirable. They, more than any others, may now feel embarrassed and used. In order not to make them lose their confidence in the good that still reigns supreme in others, we will make it our business to point out that it was nobody's fault but the perpetrator's.
Exposing a duplicate account is often a "joint venture", something the mod team does with the assistance of many helpful and vigilant members. Our gratitude and appreciation goes out to all those who keep a watchful eye and focus on the little things and who allow the mod team some time to verify the truth. Thank you!
So why do we post this now?
This forum has dealt with duplicate accounts before, and every case was different. From trolls to "please, love me!" types to "I want to post and post and post ... and get the highest post count of them all" wannabes, we've seen it all. But we've never spoken too much about it yet, so right here and now, we felt necessitated by circumstances to do so for perhaps the very first time. The circumstances to which we're referring include a few recent cases, brought up not by one or two but by a good dozen of our veteran members, some of which have not yet been solved. The point of this thread is to explain a few hows and whys, and also to encourage people to help keep the forum clean from sad intrusions by duplicate accounts.
As always, if you wish to weigh in or add to this post, please do so. This thread is public and open for all. Everyone's input is greatly appreciated.
The mod team