This user seems to be abusing Stack Overflow.

If you read this chat transcript, near the beginning he claimed he has 5 SO accounts. Is there a way to determine if that is true? I would also be surprised if he hasn't used his multiple accounts to earn reputation. I noticed at 12:34 PM (UTC) today he received 6 upvotes in a minute. The spam filter didn't seem to catch them.

I have no proof that he is cheating, but he did say himself that he has 5 accounts. He is also pretty unruly in the chat rooms, and has spammed the chat rooms with flags and stars, and posted inappropriate pictures and messages. He's been banned several times from the chat rooms, but it hasn't helped much.

Is there a way to merge/disable his other profiles? IMO, he should be put on 'probation', though that might be impossible, or overly harsh.

Suspected accounts so far:

  • 5
    Flag one of the posts on that user and use the other option to explain your suspicions to the mods. They have the tools to determine if there are sock-puppet accounts. – Martijn Pieters Aug 10 '12 at 19:13
  • 2
    Also note that the automated serial-vote script runs once a day, around midnight UTC, so those 6 upvotes are not going to be reversed until then. – Martijn Pieters Aug 10 '12 at 19:14
  • @MartijnPieters: Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't sure, but I thought it would run more often. – Kendall Frey Aug 10 '12 at 19:15
  • Was the message where he claimed to have five accounts deleted? I don't see it in the linked transcript. – Jeremy Banks Aug 10 '12 at 19:16
  • 13
    Disclaimer: I'm not familiar with that user, and I'm not arguing for or against him specifically. It's not technically abuse to merely maintain multiple accounts. It's only a problem if you're using the accounts to upvote each other, "tactically" downvote competing answers, &c. Some respected users have said (here one MSO and elsewhere) that they have alternate accounts for testing and asking questions they consider embarassing. See also I am a sockpuppet, may I exist if I have a real purpose? – Pops Aug 10 '12 at 19:17
  • @jeremybanks: It's farther up in the transcript, the previous day. I'll update the link. – Kendall Frey Aug 10 '12 at 19:17
  • 3
    "Horney Perverts/Hookers for sale" sounds like an incredibly productive and relevant chat room on a programming site /sarcasm (chat room link) – Josh Darnell Aug 10 '12 at 19:21
  • @jadarnel27 It oroginally was 'Room for Nadal and Steve', then got changed a few times. – Kendall Frey Aug 10 '12 at 19:22
  • @NSPostWhenIdle Note that Steve only said he thought of creating a second account. He never said he had one. – Kendall Frey Aug 10 '12 at 19:23
  • 6
    This question is weird. Our friend presents an awful, "somebody fat fingered something" sort of debugging problem, but somehow gets a bunch of upvotes; and later he answers it himself, and gets a bunch, plus a 250 point bounty. Who would have put a large bounty on this ridiculously "too localized" question? – Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 10 '12 at 19:25
  • @ErnestFriedman-Hill I wondered about that one too. Seems suspicious. – Kendall Frey Aug 10 '12 at 19:27
  • 2
    @ErnestFriedman-Hill Interestingly, that's not the only bounty that Raynos has awarded to "hamburger" – Josh Darnell Aug 10 '12 at 19:31
  • @jadarnel27 Well, there you go! – Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 10 '12 at 19:43
  • @ErnestFriedman-Hill You know that you can check who bountied a question by looking at the /posts/<question number>/revisions (like so) to sort out things like who a bounty was from when it was awarded by community. – blahdiblah Aug 10 '12 at 21:12
  • @blahdiblah Thanks! No, I never tried to look for that before, didn't realize it'd be there. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 10 '12 at 21:15

We've had our eyes on this user for a little while, given their behavior in chat. I believe there is now enough evidence that two of those accounts were the same person, so I've merged those and suspended the main user.

No other accounts jumped out at me, so they either have been deleted or they were overstating the number of socks they had running.

I would recommend simply flagging this as "other" in the future and providing the anomalous behavior you've seen. I don't know that we want to publicly call people out on Meta when this happens.

Thanks for pointing this out.

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