I observed that when you change your profile name the mentions of your old names are not updated. Why is it so? Shouldn't it be updated as well so that the the comments or answers with mentions would still make sense.

For example A comments on a question :

I agree with OP's point of view, But this is a duplicate question. - A

Then an other user, B says,

Strongly agree with @A - B

Now, @A changes her profile name and makes it @diva

OP comes and read the comments only to be confused over what @B thinks !

Because now the first comment looks like this

I agree with OP's point of view, But this is a duplicate question. - diva

But the second comment is still

Strongly agree with @A - B

  • Because it's way too expensive to go through every single comment and change the mentions. Plus, comments are disposable and are not at all meant to be permanent. There's just not enough reason to update the names
    – Andrew Li
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 4:44
  • Names aren't required to be unique on SO and you don't have to use the whole name to tag somebody, so a lot of extra disambiguation would be needed (on some questions, it may not even be possible to determine automatically which user was meant to be referenced).
    – jonrsharpe
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 6:33
  • It is status-by-design @Codeformer Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


The mention in comment is a user entered input. Not an auto generated content.

Adding it is plain text stored along with comment. Not a dynamically generated content by taking name from Users table.

The main problem

  • Person x has been mentioned in 2000 comments.

  • Person x changed his name to y.

  • Now, 2000 comments should be updated.

  • Then after some time, person y changed his name to z.

  • Then, again these much comments should be updated.

This is heavy work because there are millions of users are there in whole SE network.


Stored mentions in the format of user id and get the name dynamically from database.

That is if a comment Hi @name , thanks it worked..

should be saved as Hi [userid] , thanks it worked..

Here [userid] is the placeholder and it should be updated dynamically with the name from the database.

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