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At first I thought it was amusing because it is April 1st and thought it was another one of stackoverflow's attempts to troll me. Ha ha. But then I realized that users were changing their profiles to imitate Jon Skeet.

http://stackoverflow.com/users/155407/jon-skeet

http://stackoverflow.com/users/703016/jon-skeet

http://stackoverflow.com/users/298661/jon-skeet

Is this violating a rule, should it be flagged?

How does C# work?

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@ElefantPhace it is in UTC. –  Daniel A. White Mar 31 '13 at 23:13
    
It's clearly wrong to me. –  Daniel A. White Mar 31 '13 at 23:14
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I already flagged them... it's an obvious impersonation and I don't care what date it is. –  Felix Mar 31 '13 at 23:18
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Does that count as cosplaying? –  Frédéric Hamidi Mar 31 '13 at 23:25
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I cite precedence. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:30
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Let's not forget variants like stackoverflow.com/users/831108/skeetjon which were active long before April 1st. –  Aaron Bertrand Apr 1 '13 at 0:01
    
They're not part of the invasion. –  DeadMG Apr 1 '13 at 0:17
    
Apparently April 1st is now Stick-in-the-Mud Day. –  Josh Caswell Apr 1 '13 at 0:56
    
@user152637 I wasn't suggesting they were, just that it could be perceived as a different, but somewhat related, problem. While we can't really determine if another user's real name is indeed Jon Skeet (he may be "the chosen one" but he might not be the only one), it seems at least somewhat devious to borrow from his name in any scenario other than coincidence. –  Aaron Bertrand Apr 1 '13 at 1:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 34 down vote accepted

If they were just changing their name and Gravatar, then as long Jon Skeet himself doesn't complain about it and they change their names and Gravatars back at the conclusion of the day, I really don't see anything wrong with it. It's the fun of the day.

However, copying his age, location, website, and complete bio to their own profiles? That's pushing the line. These profile changes should definitely be reversed...

As an aside: if you're going to imitate someone as a prank for April 1, your bio should contain a disclaimer that clearly identifies that you're not the real person.

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i agree, i don't think they should be earning rep on that. –  Daniel A. White Mar 31 '13 at 23:23
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Unfortunately, names can't be changed for another 30 days. –  Al E. Mar 31 '13 at 23:31
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@AlEverett: It is technically possible, assuming they didn't apply it globally over all their accounts (which it appears they are doing). I assumed this was a Stack Overflow only thing. I'm sure the moderators will enjoy the after-prank of changing them all back. –  animuson Mar 31 '13 at 23:34
    
I just flagged posts of all three users mentioned above. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 31 '13 at 23:45
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@ShaWizDowArd To be fair, I don't think it's necessary since the mods are clearly aware of it. You're just giving them more flags to handle... –  Mysticial Mar 31 '13 at 23:48
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Oh, come on; the user ID and the fact that no one has anywhere near as much rep as the real Jon Skeet make this transparent even when just viewing a post by an impersonator. –  Josh Caswell Apr 1 '13 at 0:00
    
@Mysticial more flags means more attention, if there will be only single flag there are less chances the moderator will treat it seriously. For what it's worth, all flags were marked helpful and all three profiles reversed. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 1 '13 at 10:05
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@Josh here on Meta it's totally fine, but not on the main site. New users have good chance to know Jon Skeet but are totally unaware of user ID or how much reputation he got exactly. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 1 '13 at 10:06
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@AlEverett That limitation has a workaround: Sign for a new SE site, then change name in that one (and reflect the change to all others). –  ypercube Apr 1 '13 at 14:14

The actual Jon Skeet doesn't mind, he said.

https://twitter.com/jonskeet/status/315120626727804928

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Ha, interesting... still, they should have known that it will be more confusing than funny. –  Felix Mar 31 '13 at 23:24
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Since I gave my permission, then it's fine –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:26
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@JonSkeet: all you deserve now is having all your profiles merged into the original Jon's. (Not really funny, and totally confusing. I really don't like your copying the bio intact, including links.) –  Mat Mar 31 '13 at 23:31
    
As was commented by myself or one of my clones on the question, there is quite precedence for this kind of prank. As for the bio, then all the stuff Jon Skeet has done and is, is fairly attributed to.. Jon Skeet. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:32
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@JonSkeet: right. And all the stuff you wrote currently appears to be from the real Jon. –  Mat Mar 31 '13 at 23:36
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@Mat: Else, it wouldn't be a prank. But secondly, it's pretty flamin' obvious that there are not about 20 Jon Skeets. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:38
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@JonSkeet: it's pretty obvious to you right now. It's totally non-obvious to people coming to SO from search every other second; or people posting questions. –  Mat Mar 31 '13 at 23:39
    
@Mat: That's what you expect on April 1st. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:40
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@JonSkeet: I expect fun pranks. I don't expect people impersonating others. Especially not high-rep users. –  Mat Mar 31 '13 at 23:41
    
@Mat: A is B. Also, I am a high-rep user, even if not as high-rep as the real Jon Skeet. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:43
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@JonSkeet: I was saying that I don't appreciate high rep users impersonating others. That makes it even more confusing. People don't necessarily know Jon Skeet is in the half-billion rep-range, 75k is pretty high already, adding to the confusion. –  Mat Mar 31 '13 at 23:44
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Seems like I'm a bit late to the party... –  Mysticial Mar 31 '13 at 23:47
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@Mat: All I'm saying is, if you were to take advice offered by this particular "Jon Skeet", you'd hardly be worse off than if you took advice from the actual Jon Skeet. It'll all be back to normal as soon as I stop being sick and decide it's not funny. It's not a big deal and the real Jon Skeet did indeed give his permission for the clone invasion. –  DeadMG Mar 31 '13 at 23:49
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What difference does «It's totally non-obvious to people coming to SO from search» make, @Mat? Is the answer useful or not? Since when are we judging content based on the poster? –  Josh Caswell Apr 1 '13 at 0:03
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@Josh: The question got closed, reopened, deleted, undeleted and deleted again. This whole situation is just inappropriate IMO. –  Felix Apr 1 '13 at 0:17

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