I've seen questions regarding Adding real name to user profile and Why does the “Real Name” field not appear on the user profile page?, but this doesn't tell me why this field exists in the first place.

Do any internal processes use it, or are there any future plans for using it?

  • so they can come and
    – Pekka
    Jan 30, 2013 at 22:44
  • 12
    take your korean character? Jan 30, 2013 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


I don't know why it was there originally (that was a decision made well before my time :)), but one of the things where it comes into play now is account ownership verification.

It's not the only thing that goes into it of course, but if we get an email from somebody and they claim to have lost access to an account, it helps if they can provide us the information that is set but not publicly visible (such as the real name).

We also occasionally use it when contacting folks by email about things like moderator pro tem positions.

  • Thanks! I was hoping for some insider knowledge, and you didn't let me down. Might be worth adding some of these details next to the field on the Profile Edit page---or a link to this page. Jan 30, 2013 at 23:44
  • @dolan That's not a bad idea. I don't make any promises, but I will make a note. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 30, 2013 at 23:58
  • 2
    @Adam what happened to that note? ;) Jul 30, 2016 at 12:04
  • @ShadowWizard Several profile redesigns, none of which included much room for annotations.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jul 30, 2016 at 15:31
  • Poor note. Well, not that important anyway. :) Jul 30, 2016 at 15:33

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