I was just asking a question on Gardening SE and suddenly my user name there is a25bedc5-3d09-41b8-82fb-ea6c353d75aand my picture is replaced by a Gravatar. My location is also left blank.

Here's a link to my profile there.

Curiously, my profiles on all other sites are fine.

I don't have a separate login for SE, I log in using my Google account. Nobody other than me has access to my Google account. I use two step authentication and I can see on "recent devices" in Google that no one but me has accessed my Google account. I only access SE from home, and nobody other than me has used my devices.

I tried to edit my Gardening SE profile back to the way I want it to be and I got the following message:

Oops! There was a problem updating your profile: Display name may only be changed once every 30 days; you may change again on Jun 20 at 10:49

I'm assuming this is because I changed the "about me" on all SE sites two days ago.

I never edit my profiles individually. I always apply changes to all sites, using the same profile on all sites.

I have certainly not made such strange (or any) edits to my profile on Gardening SE.

Why did this happen, and how can I get my proper user name and picture back on Gardening SE? Do I really have to wait for a whole month? I want to use the site, and I want them to recognize me as the user they know. I don't want to wait a whole month.

Update: The Gardening SE moderator Niall C. helped me out, and he offered the following potentially relevant information:

I changed your display name on Gardening & Landscaping back to "Fiksdal". Your profile history shows that your profile image (from your headshot on imgur.com to a gravatar), email, about me also changed at the same time as your display name on May 21. It also shows that I changed your profile image to a different gravatar when I changed your display name just now... weird! – Niall C. 1 hour ago

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    Try editing your profile on a different site, then select "Save and copy changes to all..." when you're done.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 12:53
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    The bug affects many users all over the network: google.co.uk/… Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:10
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    ...and it looks like this bug has become worse. Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:11
  • @ShadowWizard Any possible solution?
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:47
  • @Fiksdal real fix can only come from SE developers, I've pinged one in chat and got a reply: chat.meta.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/4932157#4932157 Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:49
  • @ShadowWizard Cool, thanks. How about editing my profile once? Could a mod help me override the once a month thing?
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:51
  • @Fiksdal is you change something in your profile here (e.g. adding something minor to About Me) then save to all profiles, what happens? Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:54
  • Anyway, moderator can indeed manually change your name, you can contact a site moderator in chat and ask for such a name change. (e.g. "@NiallC. can you please change my display name to...") :) Commented May 22, 2016 at 13:55
  • @ShadowWizard I tried changing the "About me" here on meta and applying it on all sites. The "About me" was changed on Gardening, but unfortunately the user name and Gravatar remained. Maybe if I add a space at the end of my user name, and apply it on all sites?
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:46
  • @ArtOfCode See my previous comment.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:47
  • Looks like the system is smart enough to not let you bypass the 30 days rule, so I'm afraid pinging a moderator in chat is your only option. (even when the bug will be fixed, I highly doubt it will be "retroactive" since many users might have changed the name already) Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:47
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    @Adam this just happened to another user, any update? Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 13:44
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    @Adam and yet another, any updates? Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 9:06
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    @ShadowWizard Digging...
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 15:44
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    @AdamLear I've got the same issue, but I did not change anything on my profile after registration on the site where it happened, so that does not seem to be the issue for me. profile page . The strangest thing: my username is excatly the same, except I've got an e behind it: a25bedc5-3d09-41b8-82fb-ea6c353d75ae
    – Randy
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


Turns out we were doing things ever so slightly out of order when creating users from the mobile app.

When we create a user object, we use a25bedc5-3d09-41b8-82fb-ea6c353d75ae string as the initial name and it is later corrected to a display name we infer from the credential provider (e.g. Google), the sign up form, or if all else fails, the user id we're assigning to the user.

This was all fine and dandy until we refactored another method that created... well... I'm sure you can guess:


AccountSiteProfile creation is the thing that would persist the fake display name before it got corrected on the User.

The issue should be fixed now. And not to worry, we put a safeguard in place so that we're notified if this sort of thing ever happens again:

WTF?! exception

  • 3
    You really have a method called CreateAllTheThingsThisPersonNeeds in the actual code? Really? :D Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 18:03
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    @ShadowWizard Yep. To be fair, it's not actually all the things, but CreateSomeOfTheThingsThisPersonNeeds is even sillier.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 18:35
  • Just got a fresh example of this bug created today. An existing user elsewhere, but just created an RPG.se account. (Note I've already reset the name to userxxxx.) Here's a chance to confirm that the new exception is properly catching and logging these. :) Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 17:14
  • I think I've came across this bug too.
    – haggai_e
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 9:11
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    @haggai_e Sorry about that. Should be all fixed now. (A profile edit clears it right up now. :))
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 17:51
  • @AdamLear Thank you for fixing this. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 5:03
  • It appears to have happened again: meta.astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/401/…
    – chirlu
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 17:14
  • @Adam here too. Was the fix reverted? Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 23:13
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    @ShadowWizard Nope, something else is busted. Fantastic.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 21:37
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    @Adam bump... it happened to Jason. Any chance to investigate again? Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 11:40
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    @ShadowWizard Yeah, on my list for when I'm on bug duty later this week. Not sure Jason's issue is the same thing, though.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 15:28
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    @ShadowWizard The new report is a different issue. I don't have a good theory there yet, except that I suspect something's busted in how mobile apps create users.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 20:10
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    @ShadowWizard It's almost like we keep making changes to the code and that has the potential to introduce new issues. ;)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 22:50
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    @ShadowWizard Seriously, though, the "guid as a display name" thing is generally a symptom that signals that something fell over during user creation. What that something is can vary wildly. There are a lot of things that happen in the process there.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 22:51
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    @VictorVosMottor It might be better to link to their CGCC account(s): codegolf.stackexchange.com/users/99104/danis Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 18:15

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