Note: Not a duplicate of Name Change Limiting can be Broken, as the bug reported there is different; it has to do with account association, while this one is a completely different issue resulting in the same outcome.

After reading over the restrictions for username changes (paraphrased here):

  • Can only change username once every 30 days
  • Can change username within a 15-minute grace period of the last name change
  • Accounts younger than two days old can change name freely

After some testing, I discovered a logic flaw in this algorithm. You get a 15-minute grace period every time you change your username. This includes username changes that were within the grace period of another change. This effectively means one can bypass the 30-day restriction by constantly changing one's username, making sure that each change is within 15 minutes of the last.

The ideal way to solve this problem would be to add in a "true" grace period (just like post edits), instead of simply checking to see if the last change was within 15 minutes. But that seems too technical, and I also see some good reasons for allowing for a new grace period for every change. However, users shouldn't be able to abusively bypass the limit. I can imagine a user writing a script to keep changing their username in the background, so as to allow them to manually change it whenever they please.

What's a good way to allow for this, but prevent users from abusing this loophole?

  • 5
    Has this so far been abused? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Sep 22 '18 at 14:28
  • 3
    You like breaking stuff, don't you? ;-P – John Dvorak Sep 22 '18 at 14:29
  • 4
    Why is this being negatively received? Did I do something wrong by reporting this? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Sep 22 '18 at 14:31
  • 1
    @animuson If you wouldn't mind answering the question to explain why it's by design... – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Sep 22 '18 at 15:36
  • 10
    It's probably being downvoted because folks don't think it's worth caring about this edge case. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 22 '18 at 18:00
  • 2
    And presumably cause folks should know better than commenting about downvotes. Twas -¹ when I went to bed last night – Journeyman Geek Sep 23 '18 at 0:11

And the end result here is..

Not much...

I suspect the really funny thing here would be that people would miss many of the nicknames due to caching, and at worst, someone gets annoyed.

It's worth remembering that there are a handful of loopholes, and we live with it.

If you're going to spend resources (I donno, a VPS or just a shell) to write a script to change your name every 15 minutes on the off chance you want to change it before they're allowed.

I can think of maybe two users who would do this. And if it really becomes a problem, I'm half certain there's going to be an annoyed dev or two who'll probably have choice words for you.

  • 1
    Fifth paragraph is a sentence fragment, can't understand what you're getting at. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Sep 22 '18 at 14:57
  • 1
    It's a relative non issue until it is. Then a angry dev smites the perp. – Journeyman Geek Sep 22 '18 at 15:03

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