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I ask because of late I have seen various rubbish questions by user200xxxx where xxxx are random numerical digits The questions are similar enough in form that it seems that they are likely all done by the same person, and the similar user account names are something of a give away

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Yes, flag one of the posts for moderator attention, and let them sort it out. – Martijn Pieters Feb 14 '13 at 11:08
However: the default account name is userxxxxx, with your numeric user id. Anyone who doesn't pick a different name will have such a username. – Martijn Pieters Feb 14 '13 at 11:09

In theory there is nothing wrong with having multiple accounts as long as the different accounts don't interact with each other.

In practice however, it's often a sign of bad behaviour:

  1. People are creating extra accounts to engage in vote fraud, and answering questions from one account with the other. This can be picked up but automatic tools, but if you spot something that looks odd flag it.
  2. People are creating new accounts to get round suspensions or post bans. This is definitely not allowed and if you spot something like this flag it.
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Point 2 makes me wonder. Hypothetically, if someone already has two accounts, and uses them properly (no cross-voting etc.), and gets one account suspended (say for using indecent language). Would it be legitimate for that user to continue using the other account during the suspension period? – Daniel Fischer Feb 14 '13 at 13:07
@DanielFischer No, it would not be. First the suspension is for the user, not the account. Second, a person doesn't behave differently only because he is using a different account (except when he is pretending to be somebody else). – kiamlaluno Feb 14 '13 at 13:43
@kiamlaluno First point settles it, thanks. Regarding the second point, I was tempted to argue that (hypothetically) it was exceptional behaviour, but that would only hold water if suspensions were done for first-time offenders, which - excepting egregious misbehaviour - they aren't, as far as I know. – Daniel Fischer Feb 14 '13 at 13:52

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