There should not be two users who have same name. Stack Exchange should use usernames instead of real names and the usernames should be unique. Everyone should be identified by their username instead of a real name as it causes more of a confusion.

  • Everyone have a unique id with which they are identified. I don't think SE uses Real names for unique identification – Bhuvan Rikka 웃 Oct 18 '12 at 10:36
  • Why? What's the confusion? This isn't a social network, focus should be on content and not people, why are you looking at people's names anyway? – yannis Oct 18 '12 at 10:37
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    if that is the case then why is there a Users tab? – anon Oct 18 '12 at 10:41
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    Because a users tab is important even though the focus is on content and not people? :) – Pekka Oct 18 '12 at 11:20
  • Related: Stack Overflow should use MAC addresses instead of usernames. ;P – yannis Oct 18 '12 at 13:38

No. It's totally fine the way it is. Consider the worst case scenario: same name with tons of users sharing it. For example Tim:

What's so confusing about it? Each has his own avatar; each has different location and most participate in different tags.

The only edge case where real confusion can occur is when two users with exactly the same name write comments on the same post. Then you can address only the last one to write using the @ notification, but you can still refer to two same Tim's like "Tim from USA" or "Tim from Berlin" etc.

All in all, forcing unique display names will just cause more confusion as people will revert to random name or not change the display name at all, keeping the cryptic user[xxx] id.


Stack Exchange doesn't use real names, it just doesn't require user names to be unique. If someone uses their real name, it is their own decision, you can use whatever you like as your user name.

I like this a lot as it means I don't have to try to add random digits to possible user names just to get something unique. And the potential for confusion is rather low, similar to real life where names are not unique as well.

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    Hell Yeah! I too hate adding random numbers to usernames. – Bhuvan Rikka 웃 Oct 18 '12 at 10:37

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