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Can my less than 3 character username be grandfathered in when I edit my profile?

I just logged into my account on stackoverflow and tried to update the website link. I changed this one entry (and nothing else) and when I clicked "Save Profile" I was told:

Oops! There was a problem updating your profile:
    Display Name must be at least three characters

I would understand this being a problem if it had been the case when I originally signed up, but I don't understand why I need to change my display name from 'Al' (which it has been since I signed up) just because I want to update the website address.

Is there anything I can do about this?


1 Answer 1


No. At least three characters are now necessary for user names. When this was introduced (quite a while ago), existing names were allowed to stay until the profile is updated. If you want to change anything in your profile (e.g. your website), you also have to choose a display name that is legal under the new rules.

As of 14 September 2011, previously existing shorter display names have been padded with dots.

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