On Retrocomputing, I believe we have a user who has erroneously created multiple accounts.

Multiple Accounts

Attempts to ask the user about this issue have been met with silence: 1 2 3.

I've mod flagged, but it looks like the accounts have not been merged yet. Possibly due to the fact that the mods have not received confirmation that they are in fact duplicate. Based on the names and content posted by each user (and a mod comment about two users having the same IP), I believe they are.

This user isn't doing anything [visibly] malicious. Is there anything else we can do to help users who have created multiple accounts accidentally of their mistake?

  • 1
    It gets complicated when account 2 edits a question from account 1. It gets inserted into the Suggested Edits queue and the reviewers have no way to know for certain whether the 2nd account is owned by the same person as the 1st account. This is a problem on many sites for various reasons. – Mast Jan 6 '17 at 0:16
  • @Mast I don't see how that is relevant to the question asked. I know it's difficult, that's why I want to start a conversation around it. In this case, I think through the mod tools and evidence proposed that these are all the same users. How can we help these users understand that they only need one account? They seem to completely ignore mod comments. – JAL Jan 6 '17 at 5:03
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    I would say raise a custom flag on one of their posts and ask the moderator to merge the accounts, providing links to the profile pages. This should not cause penalty to the user if the moderator agrees that there's no malicious intent, as there's no automatic action for custom flags. – Eric Aya Jan 6 '17 at 11:29

Unfortunately, there's not much more you can do beyond urging the user to request an account merge. There's a short topic in the Help Center that you can point the user toward. If the accounts are unregistered (very likely), you might also point out this page about registering.

If the user has lost the cookie for an unregistered account, and thus can't sign into it again, then that account is probably gone. SE usually requires proof of ownership, like logging in or responding to email. If the account has more than a few points of rep he can ask SE if there's anything they can do, but if not, he should probably treat it as a learning experience and just register the new one so this doesn't happen again.

Moderators cannot merge accounts, so all flagging does is add a step to the process (as mods will just turn around and submit a request to SE).

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