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Not sure what's the right way of flagging user names.

I suspect the user name "Steve Jobs" - http://stackoverflow.com/users/2167978/steve-jobs - might not be appropriate and the user should be prompted to choose a new name. What's the current policy about this?

UPDATE:

In this particular case, the user's choice of name and profile picture might encourage "spam" comments not related to his questions and decrease credibility of his posts and of SO in general when a viewer thinks this user profile is a fake, so their answers should not be taken seriously.

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closed as not constructive by GEOCHET, animuson, hims056, Toon Krijthe, Diago Mar 28 '13 at 6:34

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What makes you suspect it might not be appropriate? I'm sure there was more than one person in the world named Steve Jobs. Should everyone who had that name have to change their name out of respect or something? –  animuson Mar 28 '13 at 0:45
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Downvoted: it could be a homage, but equally, people have the right to mock. –  halfer Mar 28 '13 at 0:47
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@animuson To be fair, if you look at their profile the chances that they both share a name and a striking resemblance is pretty minimal. This is not just a shared name. –  blahdiblah Mar 28 '13 at 0:47
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@blahdiblah Even so. I can call myself "Queen Elizabeth the Second" if I so choose. There are no rules being broken. –  Asad Mar 28 '13 at 0:49
    
please, how my question does not show any research effort, is unclear and not useful? is there a FAQ about flagging profiles if I suspect something about a profile? –  deathApril Mar 28 '13 at 0:50
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@deathApril Voting on meta is different. People disagree that anything needs to be done about this. –  blahdiblah Mar 28 '13 at 0:50
    
@deathApril: Can you please expand on why the user's name should be changed? –  GManNickG Mar 28 '13 at 0:51
    
I recall users named "Jeff Atwood" being renamed. But that were perhaps exceptions to the rule. –  BalusC Mar 28 '13 at 0:51
    
Out of curiosity, what is the policy for living, active users on SO? I don't want anyone else using the same avatar and name as me. –  Felix Mar 28 '13 at 0:51
    
@blahdiblah oh.. why the same tooltip then? –  deathApril Mar 28 '13 at 0:51
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Good question, mean while I suggest more users should change their names to Bill Gates to restore the world balance upset by this Steve Jobs. –  chmod 711 telkitty Mar 28 '13 at 0:52
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The right place to report such things is flagging one of the user's posts, choose "Other" and explain. However, only offensive user names and/or avatars will be dealt with, this case breaks no rule unless of course the user is actually imposing in his posts. (e.g. writing "I am the real [famous name here] etc etc". –  Shadow Wizard Mar 28 '13 at 0:54
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I suspect the user name "deathApril" might not be appropriate and the user should be prompted to choose a new name. The user's choice of name and profile picture might encourage "spam" comments not related to his questions and decrease credibility of his posts and of SO in general. –  Jerry Coffin Mar 28 '13 at 0:57
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"when a viewer thinks this user profile is a fake, so their answers should not be taken seriously" - I don't think any users really care or would discredit the site in any way. It's a display name, and any sane person on the Internet knows that a user can make it anything they want, and wouldn't honestly expect it to be the real Steve Jobs (in the hypothetical situation that he were even still alive). –  animuson Mar 28 '13 at 1:02
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@BoPersson - Hilariously, someone once had an account named Steve Jobs that was using a Bill Gates sock puppet to vote for themselves. –  Brad Larson Mar 28 '13 at 18:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The current policy is that usernames, like everything else on the site, should be appropriate for a professional environment and abide by the general rule of "Be nice."

You can flag a username as needing moderator attention by flagging one of the user's posts and using the "other" option.

However, in this case I don't think that any action is necessary. There's no general policy prohibiting impersonating others, and especially in this case I don't think that anyone is likely to mistake posts from this user as coming from Mr. Jobs. If their username were obviously offensive, it would be appropriate to flag it as such, but mere impersonation (especially without possibility of confusion) doesn't meet that standard.

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