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On Workplace.SE, we have come across an interesting user, who seemed to have had a roller coaster ride in his first week at work. Quoting JackArbiter's comment on this user from the chat:

This guy asks a question 7 days ago where he "just got" the job. 4 days ago where he works with over 100 devs. Then 2 days ago he works with just over 50 devs, and he's been working there for a while and he wants to defend a junior dev. He gets called out for BS and he states that this account (which is 8 days old) is used by multiple people.

This is the comment he is referring to:

This account is used by more than one person hence the different scenarios

In other words, this case seems to be the inverse of a sock puppet (puppet sock?). Let us, for a moment, assume that he is stating the truth. Is there any SE policy against use of the same account by multiple people?

Personally I feel that this should not be allowed as:

  1. Creating a user account is free and easy, no reason why people cannot use their own accounts.
  2. It is not at all necessary to share your real name, so there is very little fear of your online post biting you in real life (unless you make it really obvious). You can even ask questions without registration.
  3. Most importantly, reputation is tied to privileges. People "pooling" reputation undermines this principle. Since the reputation has been gained by multiple people, we cannot really be sure if the person currently using the account knows the site well enough to use those privileges.

However, I could not find any policy explicitly barring such practice, so we cannot "punish" the user in any way if they have not really violated anything.

marked as duplicate by Jason C, Laurel, Community Mar 30 '17 at 17:58

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  • The terms of service do specify that an account should be held by an individual, but honestly I don't think it's a huge problem as long as contributions from the account are good. – Aurora0001 Mar 30 '17 at 17:47
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    @Aurora0001 I would think it's an issue as the users are given privileges based on their experience level... if you're sharing that reputation between several users, you could have a completely unknowledgeable user who now has permission to access the review queues, make unreviewed edits... etc. There's a reason that privileges are set at the reputation levels they are sharing an account pools that reputation and makes it easier to achieve... yes, there's still a rep limit but the average user wouldn't hit the rep limit daily anyway, so I don't really get that argument. – Catija Mar 30 '17 at 19:38
  • I think this is not a duplicate of the linked question given the account in question is posting what are fairly troll-like questions. Voted to reopen. – enderland Mar 30 '17 at 19:41
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    @Catija That's true, but there are equally individuals with accounts who don't use their privileges well (e.g. users who consistently fail audits, poor edits). I just feel that it's not worth the work to try and enforce it—if someone is using their account to do something inappropriate, take issue with that, regardless of who actually authored the post. Anyway, I think it's very difficult to enforce in most cases, even if the consensus is that we should try to enforce it somehow. – Aurora0001 Mar 30 '17 at 19:49

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