Why is a user allowed to have different names on different sites? It causes confusion and all.

  • 4
    What kind of confusion? What would having a consistent name across all Stack Exchange sites bring to the table?
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 13:29
  • 1
    @Oded Identifying that the user on Meta is the same as the one on SO, etc.
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 13:30
  • 2
    You do know that you can go to a profile page and click on the Meta link to the Meta profile? It will be the correct account, regardless of the name.
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 13:31
  • 3
    Do you know how many users are named Mike or John. How do we know if they are the same on different sites? :-)
    – Bo Persson
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


It is allowed because each site has a different user profile, each of them are connected to the same network account. It is up to the users, to decide if they want to use the same username in all the sites, use a different name in a specific site, or use a different name for each site.

I personally use a single name because it's easier to synchronize the account information in all the sites. If I used a different name, I should edit the profile singularly, or remember I want to use a specific username in a site.
That said, there is nothing that forces users to use the same username in all the accounts.

As said by Oded, there should not be any confusion about knowing the username I use in another site, as my profile shows the list of the accounts I have in other sites.

"Accounts" tab in profile, showing a list of links to profiles on different sites. Arrows labeled "Links to my accounts" shown

  • 1
    Still then, I'd love to see user names, avatars, the user card, or at least descriptive URLs in that list of accounts!
    – Arjan
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 13:53
  • 1
    @Arjan You can click on them, you know.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 14:01
  • @Arjan Instead of the site name, there could be the username; the site is already identified from the icon. It's all to see if it's more important to see the username, or the site name. I guess that in most of the cases, the username is the same, but that is all to be seen.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 14:32

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