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When I followed the link in the top bar to meta from, I was asked to log in or register with an OpenID, when I was already logged into Stack Overflow. I had to enter my Google ID again and had to click the Confirm and create new account button to be logged in to Meta. Then, I saw this message: Welcome to Meta Stack Overflow! Your account has automatically been associated with 1 other Stack Exchange sites

In that case, shouldn't I have been logged in automatically anyway without having to re-enter my Google ID? Or am I missing something obvious?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Stack Exchange sites are all independent of one another, yet there is a method of linking accounts together.

In summary, you now have 2 accounts: One on Meta-SO and one on SO that are linked together.

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Thanks for the clarification:) Though it seems more intuitive for the two accounts to be automatically linked – Bubbles Apr 2 '11 at 21:29
@Bubbles - Agreed! I can see how it can be confusing. However, now that your accounts are linked, you can move between the two seamlessly, and the system will recognize who your are. – jmort253 Apr 2 '11 at 21:57

Being all independent sites, I don't see it more intuitive (nor better) to have automatic sign in on every site. I may not want to be on each and every one of them and thus the independent sign in respects my privacy and my right to choose which sites I want to belong.

SO and meta may be very related, but what about programmers or super user? or cooking or home improvement or role playing? You can see where I'm going now. Why would I want to belong to all those sites?

Kudos to whom it's due for the design of the system as it is!

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This is a very valid reason for not automatically creating the accounts, especially for those people who choose to user their real names and photos. – jmort253 Apr 3 '11 at 5:27

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