How is this more extreme than asking friends to upvote stories? It is simply posting from a different account. I have 15 email accounts for various projects and companies; does that mean I'm a spammer?
Posting from a different account and up voting from multiple accounts are two completely different issues. We have never used fake accounts to artificially upvote anything. Period. Nothing provided suggests otherwise. On the subject of data, if the above is an attempt to justify the original decision it is insufficient.
* How were you able to infer that both accounts were in-fact represented by a single individual?
* When one considers it objectively, two accounts with the same IP Address posting comments to HN on the same thread from different accounts is not necessarily malicious. It simply could be two different computers on the same home or work network. Point in fact, Marak and I were roommates during the early days of Nodejitsu. How would you be able to infer the difference?
Full logs of all relevant messages / comments with dates and IP Addresses included are really the only thing that will be satisfactory, feel free to email me: email@example.com.
I still do not see a pattern of malicious behavior or any malicious behavior at all. As I mentioned before, I am very happy to make this water under the bridge, but please stop making false claims in public without providing more than conjecture.
I used this example because I think in most people's opinion using sockpuppet accounts in a comment thread is even worse than using them to upvote stories. It's not uncommon for people to try creating sockpuppet accounts to upvote their posts, but rare for people to resort to this.
I was able to infer the two accounts were the same person because, as I said, the changelog guys emailed me and told me so. I notice you don't deny it, which seems both revealing and revealingly disingenuous.
(Incidentally, if anyone is reading this far, this sort of thing is why it sucks to run a forum.)
> "two accounts with the same IP Address posting comments to HN on the same thread from different accounts is not necessarily malicious"
Of course not. My wife and I both post to HN, and nobody has ever criticized us for it.
It helps that we give full disclosure. If we're both involved in the same thread, whoever came in second will usually say "so there's no confusion, I'm married to [the other of us]".
That seems to be one factor some of your colleagues are missing.
> "It is simply posting from a different account."
The HN community has no problem with those who post from separate accounts for "personal" and "professional" stuff. Anonymous threads asking for legal, moral, or health advice are commonplace. Using your personal account to comment on political stories and your business account to comment on code stories is cool.
But it definitely bothers me when someone uses multiple accounts in the same discussion. pg suggests this is a pattern, not a one-time occurrence. Whether or not it's intended to be malicious or manipulative, posting to the same thread from multiple accounts definitely comes off that way. Similarly, using multiple accounts to circumvent bans so you can give your posts publicity appears sketchy.
Maybe pg, the moderators, or the algorithm made mistakes. There are better ways to respond than making multiple accounts, and there are better ways to "make this water under the bridge" than the path you've chosen in this thread.