Today, a friend of mine had trouble using Eclipse with JDK 7 on her mac and I recommended that she search StackOverflow for a solution. She successfully located a post that described her exact problem, but the solutions posited by the answers did not help. As she was having exactly the same problem as described in the post, it did not seem appropriate to ask a new question. However, my friend lacked enough reputation to post a comment (and knew better than to post an answer). So, knowing that her comment was constructive and appropriate, I logged in and allowed her to post a comment using my account.

While I can understand why this kind of behavior might be frowned upon in general (as it violates the idea of reputation unlocking principles), I reviewed the comment beforehand and deemed it acceptable. The point of reputation-based privileges is to prevent users who don't know (or don't care) how to properly use the site from cluttering it with irrelevant, fraudulent, or otherwise unwanted content, but I asserted that this was not the case.

From the tag wiki:

"The reputation is a measurement of a user's contributions to the site, and the extent to which the community "trusts" that user with extra privileges."

The community may not trust my friend yet, but they trust me enough to make comments. Therefore, I figured if I thought the comment was good, it was acceptable.

So the question is: was I violating any sort of community rule when I allowed my friend to post a comment using my account?

For the record, the comment in question is here.

  • 5
    Off-hand, I'd say "no" (or at least it's a benign thing in this case), but be aware that when you share your account like this you will be responsible for anything and everything another person does while using it.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 10, 2014 at 1:00
  • 3
    You acted as a gatekeeper to ensure a new user commented appropriately; I'd say what you did was entirely appropriate (assuming you kept an eye on your friend) Jan 10, 2014 at 1:03
  • 10
    It's like with renting a car, and letting someone else drive even though your contract prohibits you from doing so. It's no problem as long as nothing goes wrong
    – Pekka
    Jan 10, 2014 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


Nothing in my view that you should be hanged about, but please consider:

The comment would only be transmitted to the OP and that one particular respondent. It's a problem that is 18 months old.

Better to ask a new question, refer to the responses from the prior question and say what the further problem encountered is.

That way, you get rep for asking a question and possibly for accepting a reply. AND more importantly, it enters the list of questions awaiting a response.

  • This. 100% this. If a question-answer pair is broken, then just ask a new question referencing the same question-and-answer pair, and what breaks when you try it. If you want to be super-sweet, you can then close the old question as a dupe of the new one, or you can answer the old one with the right answer from the new one.
    – jmac
    Jan 10, 2014 at 4:18

No, you did not do anything wrong (Even if you did technically do something wrong, nobody cares because it was a constructive comments). You verified that the comment was constructive, and there's nothing that requires you to prove that you are the normal user on your account.

However, you could be heading down a slippery slope there. You are directly responsible for whatever is done on your account. If you leave your account logged on by accident and she decides to start trolling you for fun, it's on you. You're responsible for whatever is the result of your friend posting on your account

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