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Maybe I'm just missing something obvious, but what's up with this syntax? Is it because people sign up with e-mail addresses and use those for logging in, but don't bother giving themselves custom names (or completing their profile in any way)?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

This syntax is used for users who do not give themselves a name, as you said.

Previously, it was in the format unknown(openIdProvider), and due to this question, it was determined that that format made it difficult to address those users in comments and answers (you could have several distinct users with unknown(google) as their name).

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I figured that's what it was, but wanted to make sure. Just weird seeing people with 1000+ rep who haven't bothered to ID themselves in the community. – jcolebrand Oct 19 '10 at 15:06
Also, the new global authentication caused users that used their openID username to be renamed the same way. See here and there – Tobias Kienzler Oct 20 '10 at 8:24
@Tobias Kienzler ~ Thanks – jcolebrand Oct 20 '10 at 18:42

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