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.


(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.

  • 17
    This guy is on his 5th account by my count. Boxing extremely low-rep users is proving to be somewhat ineffective. :( – Bill the Lizard Oct 6 '09 at 15:08
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    we'll switch to IP block bans for users who do this – Jeff Atwood Oct 6 '09 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 ;)


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.)

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    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 '09 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 '09 at 14:45
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    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. – Marc Gravell Oct 6 '09 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 '09 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 '09 at 23:16
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    mafioso is good. – DMin Aug 26 '10 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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