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Why do some users have username “user########”?

In the last few days there have been a lot of really easy questions concerning C#, ASP.NET Webforms and so on. All by users whose names begin with "user" and end in some (random?) number.

Is this intended or is this one user asking on several accounts?

I'm just asking because it's really hard to differentiate between these users, and I've got the feeling they are all related (the same)...

I think this kind of naming is just contraproductive in this environment - may I hear your thoughts on that?

PS: don't know really how to tag this question - this might be a poor sign concerning a "bad" question or simple my ignorance. Please retag if you find some good ones or just tell me to remove this if it's "bad"


2 Answers 2


userXXXXXX is the default display name given to users who don't provide one; the XXXXXX is their user ID. It doesn't mean they're unregistered, although SO does support unregistered users if a user answers a question without logging in; they have these options when posting an answer:

Screenshot of the fields under an answer box

  • thank you - must have been blind - never considered this :)
    – Random Dev
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:46

If you think a user(s) has duplicate account(s), just flag one of his/her question(s), answer(s) with comment and links to duplicate accounts. Moderators review them, check their IP address, and probably merge them.

But user13213, user 13214, zser13215 are registered or unregistered users, just with unchanged username yet.

  • I think the last sentence is not true in all (many) cases: unregistered users may very well have a name just like that? (Note that anonymous is not the same as unregistered.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:28
  • yes, but unregistered are deleted and most of deleted users didn't have normal username
    – genesis
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:31
  • 1
    What do you mean with "unregistered are deleted"? (As an aside: example of unregistered user.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:33
  • @Arjan so how did he do it? Is his account in cookie?
    – genesis
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:36
  • 1
    Sure! (And if the cookie is lost, get a new one.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:38
  • and anonymous are?
    – genesis
    Aug 27, 2011 at 17:04
  • Anonymous visitors can view, but not interact, except for anonymously suggesting edits and anonymously using the new "Was this helpful" feedback links.
    – Arjan
    Aug 27, 2011 at 17:33

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