There a chat user who has no valid parent user. It is indicated that his chat account is associated to a Maths.SE account, which does not appear to exist. The user was still able to chat.

Is it normal? If it's a bug, could someone look into it?

Edit: if you browse the Google cache for users named Skullpatrol, it turns out a single series of associated accounts. The user is now named Rob. I don't know what went wrong, maybe an account merge or something like that, but it needs someone from staff looking into it with some superpowers.

I also tried to update the parent user of the chat account to this "Rob" profile, but the interface goes all buggy on me (works for other users, fails only for this one):

enter image description here

  • 3
    Well, it's normal in the sense that it's the typical behaviour for chat when a (all?) parent users are deleted, but I don't know if it's necessarily the expected behaviour. Also, if the user was still able to talk after having their parent user deleted (and after chat synced), that's probably not a good thing in either case.
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 25, 2012 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


This happened because this user's original Math.se user was deleted, and they created a new one (22862, the one you found), which was then associated with the other accounts the user already had previously. I have fixed up the particular account.

This kind of issue used to be a pretty unsolvable problem (at least as far as automatic handling goes) back when chat was created, but with our not-so-recent-anymore user account backend improvements, this should actually be doable now. So I guess this is a wakeup-call to start improving :)

Thanks for the detective work, that really helped.

  • Seems there's another (obnoxious) case.
    – Tim Stone
    Apr 14, 2012 at 19:46
  • Does this still happen when deleting parent accounts? It seems a bit awkward for moderation purposes.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:02
  • @Cascabel yes Apr 7, 2018 at 22:29
  • 3
    Can you please remove the wrong status-completed tag? This still happens, I can give examples of recent zombie chat profiles if you want. May 30, 2018 at 7:24
  • Most recent to date. Time to add to the very long list of things to fix?
    – W.O.
    Sep 28, 2021 at 12:44
  • What is a user supposed to do if they also have the same problem? Jan 12, 2023 at 1:55
  • @Sonic what they did since the dawn of chat and SE, either give up or find a way to ask moderator to reset their profile. for some odd reason balpha said things that are not true in this answer, it's outright wrong. No idea why it's accepted or having upvotes. Jan 12, 2023 at 9:58
  • 1
    @ShadowWizardChasingStars What's wrong in this answer?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 12, 2023 at 10:28
  • @balpha the answer says that the issue was fixed, and like I already said almost 5 years ago, it was not. As users keep reporting, after merge or account deletion, their chat profile still point to the deleted site profile hence broken. Jan 12, 2023 at 10:53
  • 1
    @ShadowWizardChasingStars This is status-completed because it was a report about a specific instance of the problem, which was fixed. The answer literally says "I have fixed up the particular account." I understand the frustration (I even share it!) but please don't accuse me of things that aren't true.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 12, 2023 at 11:07

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