Possible Duplicate:
Why separate Stack Exchange accounts?

When I visit a new StackExchange site, I have to go through the hassle of clicking log in, selecting "Stack Exchange" as my ID, and giving my credentials. Then the StackExchange site I'm on gives me my 100 points or whatever so it clearly knows who I am. In fact, in another tab I'm logged in to StackOverflow. So why am I not automatically logged on to new SE sites?

It's especially annoying when I am browsing SO and I click one of the suggested articles that happens to be from another SE site. All of the sudden, I'm on a site where I'm no longer logged in but need to supply the exact same credentials as before.

Update The associated possible duplicate has only one answer, which is explaining why separate accounts are needed for each site. My question, however, is asking why I don't get automatically logged in to that account, since it is still associated with the same credentials. So when I go from StackOverflow to cooking.stackexchange.com, I'm using the same credentials so why not automatically log in to my cooking account? To me, that's an obvious way to promote cross-pollination

  • Man, SE is vicious. I tried to search for this before I posted... Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 18:08
  • The take-away here isn't that "SE is vicious"; it's that having a question closed isn't a bad thing. Closure is just an organizational tool.
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 14:55
  • 1
    In and of itself, no. But my question was closed with a "duplicate" link that does not match my question (as per my update, above). That means people saw my question and raced to downvote and close it without reading it or understanding it. Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 17:55
  • If I had come across this question yesterday, I probably would have voted to close as well. It did sound like the same issue at the time. Your update makes it clear that you actually have a slightly different question on the same topic. You also have two reopen votes. I'd say the system is in the process of working.
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Since you state that you are given your 100 bonus points, I assume you are talking about sites to which you are not yet a member.

In this case Stack Exchange can't and shouldn't presume to know which sites you want to subscribe to, and therefore cannot automatically log you in.

In the case you are already a member of the other site, I do not know for sure but I imagine it is an important security measure. Say you stay logged on at one site, and your computer is compromised. In this case a simple click through to another site will leave your login compromised over there as well.

I don't know the inner workings of this but for the sake of a small gain in ease of use (it's not that hard to login again), I imagine there is a lot more to be lost.

  • 2
    Why shouldn't Stack Exchange presume you want to subscribe to a site if you're visiting it and currently logged on to another SE site? Small gains in ease of use are everything for today's software companies -- that's why people buy Apple. Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 17:56

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