I don't entirely get the point of the current fuss about Stephen Leather and his "sockpuppets".
This story has been much discussed by writers since the crime writer Leather admitted, on stage, to creating online fake identities to promote, talk about, and praise his own books. He even admitted to arranging discussions between these different personas to make the whole thing look a little more genuine.
Leaving aside the other accusations made against Leather (who, by the way, I've never met) I don't really see what's so dreadful about lying on line. It's an extension of what nearly everyone does: we use pseudonyms, invent false birthdays, give invented addresses, tick a box confirming that we have read the small print though we haven't even glanced at it.............and who has never contributed mendacious praise about a friend's new book? I love the virtual world but don't trust it, and believe what I read only when a real person has published it using his or her own real name.
Please tell me if I'm wrong - but also tell me why!