I just found a use for Stack Exchange Data Explorer, so I created an account yesterday in order to favorite a query. Then I logged in (from a different computer) today, and now I have two accounts.

Both times I used the “Log in using Google” option, since that's what I primarily use for SE as well. I don't see why this resulted in multiple accounts (unless changing my SEDE profile email address did it).

Meta seems to indicate that this situation requires a manual fix, so I am asking for said fix. Or, I could just use the new account, but I have no evidence that I'll not end up with the old account on my other machine. So, also, how do I avoid having this happen in the future, if the merge won't solve the problem by itself?

  • for reference (do not close this as a dupe as these seem to be case-by-case issues)
    – rene
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 13:26
  • I don't think it's possible. See this. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 14:05
  • That's in reference to doing it automatically. Manually happens. But really, I'm hoping that I'll also learn how to not get even more duplicate accounts (since I know I didn't e.g. use two unrelated OpenID providers).
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 14:13
  • Incidentally, it was changing your email address that broke it…which is totally a bug. I'm working on a fix today.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


unless changing my email address did it

Yeah, seems this was the culprit, because of how the Google OAuth authentication was looking up the matching user after the deprecation of the OpenID endpoint.

Basing the authentication lookup on something that's easily changed by the user is a bit…unreliable, to say the least, so I've fixed that locally. For pre-existing accounts that use Google for authentication, I also made sure that we go a step further and look up your user based on your original OpenID claim, which should resolve some of the similar reported cases as well.

The nice side effect of this is that it also coaxed me into working in better support for multiple linked login methods like the rest of the network has, so now you can pick your poison more freely:

different auth claims linking to the same user

There's still a bit of UI work to do around this which I hope to finish up in the next day or so, after which I'll push it out for eventual deployment. I've submitted a pull request for all of this, but it's fairly involved so I don't know how soon Nick will have the spare time to look at it. There might also be a little bit of user merging that has to be done manually to fully clean this up, but hopefully going forward there shouldn't be any more issues.

  • You exposed your personal Gmail id in the Github pull request image. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:31
  • 2
    It's exposed in the git commits anyway, not that concerned about it.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:31
  • 2
    What's blocking this PR? It's been there for 2.5 years now, is there any hope for it?
    – wim
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:59

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