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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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).