I am facing a problem when I just know an email of a user and not their username in Stack Overflow. because it may be something else.

There should be a feature to search users by email.

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    No, there shouldn't be such feature. Absolutely not. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jun 26 '12 at 6:58
  • ok...I didn't know this..please remove downvote...... – Vishal Suthar Jun 26 '12 at 7:02
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    Downvotes here on Meta are different than on the main site, they mean we disagree with that you propose and nothing more. So right now it just means 7 people disagree to what you suggested. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jun 26 '12 at 7:07
  • facebook like sites are using this feature so isn't they follow privacy rules..? – Vishal Suthar Jun 26 '12 at 7:14
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    ^____ oh my... I didn't know you can do that.... :/ Do NOT like... – Lix Jun 26 '12 at 7:17
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    That's because Facebook want you to invite your friends to join. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jun 26 '12 at 7:19
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    1) Having someone's email doesn't make them your friend. 2) On Facebook one can "block" or "ignore" a friend request and still keep your privacy settings intact. You might find the profile - but depending on the privacy settings you might not see any information. There is no such ignore/block on Stack Overflow (out of chat) – Lix Jun 26 '12 at 7:20
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    Also, more importantly, SO is not a social networking site! It's not here for you to make friends or share feelings, it's about answering questions and making the internet better. – JNK Jun 26 '12 at 12:39

That would be a huge privacy breach: Stack Overflow's promise is that they will never reveal your E-Mail address. Making profiles searchable by E-Mail would seriously undermine this.

The solution to this problem is to E-Mail the person in question, and ask them for the URL to their Stack Overflow profile.

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    You are not responding from discount.handbags@gucci.com... – Lix Jun 26 '12 at 7:09
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    @Lix I'm a trusted reseller of genuine handbags and Gucci are totally okay with what I do. That address will start working any day now, there must be bureaucratic problems of some kind. – Pekka Jun 26 '12 at 7:12
  • AFAIK, SO has never promised not to reveal your email address or prevent people from searching by email address. For instance, apparently the Data explorer dumps include the MD5 of your email address, which technically allows searching by email, and also allows dictionary search to recover many people's email addresses. Perhaps Stack Overflow should have promised they will never reveal email addresses -- but that's not quite what they've actually done. They've done something a little more limited (they don't reveal email addresses in clear, but motivated people can possibly still learn it). – D.W. Aug 5 '13 at 23:31

Why not ask the person by email?

There is no way for normal users to search by email. Emails are private data, and the user expects SE to keep them private. And privacy includes the ability for people to associate them with the email via search. Some people may not even want to be searchable by email.

Note that mods can search by email.

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    And no, don't ask a mod to find the user for you, that's still a breach of privacy. – Manishearth Jun 26 '12 at 7:00

Funny that SE set this to [status-denied], considering they have no problem publishing their users' email hashes. This feature is easy to implement using data-explorer. So I suggest tagging this with [status-completed].


They publish email hashes to implement gravatar, see Is Gravatar a privacy risk?

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