I've noticed one user on Stack Overflow, anirudha, who has caused some problems. He's on his second or third penalty box, and has created sock puppet accounts before. Unfortunately, I've now seen him creating a new account, anirudha, while suspended.

My question is, is it against the rules to create a new account while suspended? If so, is there any way to specifically bring up the situation? It seems odd to report one of his questions for the problem, as the questions themselves aren't at issue, but I don't know a way to report an actual user separate from their questions, answers, and comments.

Edit: He's baaack. New account: anirudha.


6 Answers 6


(Sigh) Annoying, isn't it. Merged; thanks for reporting it. A very tricky one to deal with, since it is (by design) easy to be a new user.

  • 18
    This guy is on his 5th account by my count. Boxing extremely low-rep users is proving to be somewhat ineffective. :( Oct 6, 2009 at 15:08
  • 20
    we'll switch to IP block bans for users who do this Oct 6, 2009 at 22:10

It's against the rules creating sock puppets. Period! (Ok, Jeff is an exception). Flag one of his posts for moderator attention and explain your concerns.

Or post a question here on Meta ;)

  • 22
    Jeff has sock puppet accounts? I knew Rich B wasn't a real person!
    – user27414
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:04
  • 12
    Rich B has sock puppet accounts? I knew Jon B wasn't a real person!
    – Welbog
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:24
  • 2
    I am actually a sock puppet of mmyers.
    – mmyers
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:32
  • @mmyers: we all are.
    – perbert
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:34
  • @Jon B - stackoverflow.com/users/8/eggs-mclaren
    – John Rasch
    Oct 6, 2009 at 15:02
  • Probably Sneakers O'Toole too: stackoverflow.com/users/10/sneakers-otoole. "Hey take those sneakers off!" Oct 6, 2009 at 15:07
  • Sneakers is jarrod ;-p Oct 6, 2009 at 15:58
  • @Ladybug why did you have to expose me like this. -Jeff Atwood♦ (from my sock puppet account)
    – DMin
    Aug 26, 2010 at 3:13
  • Totally wrong answer. Dec 28, 2019 at 9:45

If you see an obvious puppet account, you can just flag one of their questions or answers for moderator attention. It would be a good idea to give the moderators a link to the original account ( the one with the lowest user-id ).

Screenshot Flag as duplicate account


I think you are, in essence, doing so by reporting it here. Hopefully one of the SO mods will see it and look into the situation.

Just remember that there is always a slim chance that this is a different Anirudha -- that name is common enough in India that these could actually be two different people. The mods, hopefully, can ascertain that by examining key data like the open ID, e-mail address, maybe even IPs of the affected users. (I admit they look very similar at first glance -- down to the exact same style of broken English.)

  • 4
    I agree, but with his practice of having done this before, the fact that both accounts start their self description in profiles similarly (i am asp.net mvc web developer) (i am asp.net web developer), and the fact that just like his first account, he's started to beg for upvotes (stackoverflow.com/questions/1481484), I am more inclined in this case to suspect guilt than innocence.
    – Brisbe42
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:05
  • Oh, I'm inclined to presume guilt as well, for exactly those reasons. But we always have to remain open to the possibility, at least until a mod can check into it and validate one way or the other.
    – John Rudy
    Oct 6, 2009 at 14:45
  • 3
    There are plenty of ways to relate these two accounts... not a huge amount to debate on this one, but your point is valid and well noted. Oct 6, 2009 at 15:07
  • You can compare email addresses by simply looking at the gravatar link. If the image link is the same hash, then it's highly likely that the email addresses are the same.
    – Pollyanna
    Nov 12, 2009 at 19:29

I do not think you will have to worry about this user any longer.

Drastic action was just taken due to repeated and persistent problems, even after multiple email warnings and suspensions.


How to deal with people creating two or more accounts to game reputation?
When is it right to report multiple accounts?

  • 2
    Sounds rather mafioso.
    – random
    Dec 2, 2009 at 23:16
  • 1
    mafioso is good.
    – DMin
    Aug 26, 2010 at 3:15

He does keep doing this. I noticed it like a week or two ago and am surprised he is still doing it. He begged me for up-votes stating that if I upvote him then maybe, just maybe, he'll upvote any future answer I give him. Yeh..Ok...

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