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I need a second SE account for testing a browser plugin. The plugin revolves around interactions with other users and certain interaction events are handled by the plugin. This is pretty much impossible to test in the real world without asking other users to force these events to occur - this risks irritating other users and also slows down the test process somewhat.

I am very wary of creating a new account to enable me to test this in an environment that I have complete control over, because I do not wish get banned/suspended etc for irregularities.

Is there any way that the creation of a second account for test purposes can be officially sanctioned? Is there an alternative method anyone can suggest? My proper account and the second account would not have any interaction that would give either an "unfair advantage" - in essence, there would be no interaction that affects the reputation of either account. I am also quite happy to put the work in to get enough reputation on the second account to allow it to interact with me in the way I require.

Any advice?

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Related (not a dupe): meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/35593/… –  Mechanical snail Oct 1 '12 at 7:15
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1 Answer

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I'd just add a note in the "About me" section describing the purpose of the account. (Feel free to link to this answer as well.)

So long as there's no voting or other dubious-looking stuff (like one account asking a question and another immediately answering it) going on between the accounts, it's really not a big deal.

Moderators only investigate accounts when there's reason to do so. Nobody goes looking for duplicate accounts just for the hell of it.

You will want to make sure your login credentials and contact emails are completely distinct, though, so that your accounts don't get merged automatically.

Another option is to solicit some help from the Tavern regulars and use the Sandbox to post answers/comments/etc.

For that matter, even with multiple accounts of your own, I recommend using the Sandbox question here on meta instead of potentially polluting real questions on Stack Overflow with testing stuff. Though this depends somewhat on the interactions you're going after.

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Thanks for the confirmation, the plugin actually relates to chat (probably should have mentioned that) and all interaction will be in the chat sandbox. –  David X. Random Sep 30 '12 at 22:48
    
@DaveRandom That might be slightly tricky, since your other account will need 20 rep. I think you could get around that by creating a chatroom of your own and giving your other account explicit read/write access, though. –  Anna Lear Sep 30 '12 at 22:49
    
I'm quite happy to answer a few questions and legitimately get 20 rep for the second account, but I hadn't thought of creating a room specifically for the two accounts, that may quite possible negate that requirement. Many thanks! –  David X. Random Sep 30 '12 at 22:50
    
Just an FYI: users cannot talk in chat unless they have 20 rep, end of story. I have created a private room as suggested but I am unable to grant the second account write access to it until it has 20 rep. –  David X. Random Sep 30 '12 at 23:52
    
@DaveRandom Ah, might be a moderator ability. Link me to your chatroom and the other profile? –  Anna Lear Sep 30 '12 at 23:59
    
S'all good, 20 rep is only 2 upvotes, I managed it already :-) –  David X. Random Oct 1 '12 at 0:17
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