If I use one and the same account for all sites in the SE Network, can people from outside link my activity on different sites, even when I choose different names?

I am aware that of course the server can identify me as the same person (even the same account), but I don't know yet if there are any informations besides the account name (that can be changed) on the public site.

I am asking because I need to know if I should have different accounts on different Stack Exchange sites to segregate my activities.

  • 5
    Your profile lists all of the sites that account is on, so yes, if you use one account, then all of the site's it's on is public information.
    – Servy
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:54
  • 6
    Possible duplicate of Hiding sites from the main StackExchange.com profile page?
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:55
  • 4
    @gnat the hidden community feature doesn't provide any privacy, it's trivially defeated and not really a solution for this case. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:06
  • @MadScientist I don't read this question the way you do. Though if it is indeed what OP mean then this is probably a duplicate of Anonymous questions
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:15
  • @MadScientist: It's not entirely true that hidden communities provide no privacy; as best I remember, they are defeated mostly by things like top network posts. So if you don't have any particularly upvoted posts, you may be able to do just fine. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    The question isn't even clear that they wish the account to be hidden... It's simply asking if they are visible or not. It's completely possible the OP wants their accounts to be linked and visible and simply isn't aware of their network profile.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:26
  • @NathanTuggy there are more ways than that, it's completely trivial to figure out the hidden communities for any user. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:38
  • @MadScientist: Oh, really? Quick, what's my account URL on Tor? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:46
  • 16213
    – rene
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:55
  • @NathanTuggy rene already gave that answer. One trick is that the "Accounts" header on the activity tab still links to the network account. Alternatively, the network account id is in the Users table in SEDE, so you can always get the information from there as well. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:38
  • @rene that's worthy of an answer. :) Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Yes, they can.

First of all there is your network profile (or have a look at mine) which is linked from the right top corner on every site userprofile.

There is a feature to hide communities Hiding sites from the main StackExchange.com profile page? but that is only a decoy and not really keeping your different site profiles private.

Beyond the easy access there are also more technical means. The Stack Exchange API for example exposes an endpoint /users/{ids}/associated that will output for a given network profile id all the sites with an account. These are the first 50 sites for [Nathan Tuggy][1].

Last but not least you can use a cross site SEDE query to find for a given network account the sites the user has accounts on. (SEDE is updated weekly, so your account is not yet in there). There is also a datadump version of SEDE, updated quarterly, that allows for the same trick (but you would have to download all the User.xml files)

If you want to separate professional use of the SE network sites from private use, create two separate accounts. Keep in mind though that you need to keep the browser sessions separate as well in that case as SE doesn't support two logged-in users from the same session. That will cause an immediate merge.

[1]: https://api.stackexchange.com/docs/associated-users#pagesize=50&ids=5113743&filter=!LB1ti_(e_o4DvL&run=true

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