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I'm currently banned on Stack Overflow because multiple people in my office use Stack Overflow, and we share an IP address, so I was suspected of being a sockpuppet. Won't this also happen if someone uses a system in a public cafe?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Multiple people using the same IP generally aren't merged on that basis alone. If those accounts start voting on each other's posts or doing miscellaneous other things that makes it look like they're controlled by the same person, then mods will usually merge them/ban the person for sockpuppetry

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my account is sock puppetted, but i never vote anyone in my office or didn't do anything wrong from my account. I done one thing that i used a shared computer, that was used by a former employee. – user170273 Oct 11 '11 at 13:19
i would like to say that please examine my activities in this foroum, if i done anything wrong or upvoted my colleagues then you can ban me from this site for ever. Before that please check this link too:… also i sent mails regarding account merging and sockpuppetting to Please check my activity then if i'm wrong ban me – user170273 Oct 11 '11 at 13:31
@Midhun Don't turn this into a separate question for you to argue against your ban, you already have a question about that – Michael Mrozek Oct 11 '11 at 13:34
OK, thanks Michael for your kind information – user170273 Oct 11 '11 at 13:47
When I have a problem at work, sometimes I post a question, and then email the team asking for answers. That way all answers are collected on one place, however it does mean other people from the same IP address are more likely to vote on the question. (They are also more likely to become SO users, so building the user base) – Ian Ringrose Oct 12 '11 at 9:11

This boils down to using a computer responsibly.

From my point of view, however unfortunate: a publicly accessible, web connected computer cannot necessarily be used responsibly.

You are responsible for your account, and what goes on under the guise of your account, and if using a computer with shared access then you are at risk of abuse by others, which inflicts upon said account.

So, to that end, the answer to your question is "no", this won't happen because you're using a public / shared computer (indeed, the system knows nothing of the machine itself, potential access, etc.) and is a consequence of it being misused.

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