I just realized that Stack Exchange allows users to have different usernames in different communities. It doesn't appear that it's common for people to change their usernames, but the ones that do, I'm trying to understand why they do change them.

Other sites such as Reddit and Quora, I don't think allows users to do that. This seems like a super interesting feature that I didn't really know of and am curious about its use cases.


I can think of a few reasons:

  • Some usernames fit well in some sites, but not others (Mr. Java fits better on SO than Pets SE)
  • Users might not want everyone to know all the communities they participate in
  • Just for fun
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    Well, all the communities they are participating in are visible on the profile page anyway. – nohillside Jan 2 '19 at 18:19
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    @nohillside there's a way to hide them from the profile page. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 2 '19 at 18:22
  • Ah, right, forgot about that. – nohillside Jan 2 '19 at 18:25
  • Ah that makes sense.. I also didn't know their participation could be hidden. – user926321 Jan 2 '19 at 18:37
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    @user926321 in "edit profile & settings", there's a section "hide communities" to hide some of the sites you participate in. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 2 '19 at 18:39
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    I have been a victim of serial downvoting on StackOverflow due to my participation in another SE community. In the cases I identified, the user had the reputation at StackOverflow, and didn't have enough reputation to issue downvotes at the other community. This voting behavior was identified and confirmed by, hiding my involvement with all other communities, and the serial downvoting stopped. Only when my network profile is identified does the serial downvoting happen. The contributions that were serial downvoted were years old, and not active, hence the reason I know it was serial votes. – Ramhound Jan 2 '19 at 19:17
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    Which is of course the reason I have changed my username on different communties. – Ramhound Jan 2 '19 at 19:18
  • sorry to hear that :( That must have been such a weird experience, being followed around like that. – user926321 Jan 2 '19 at 22:56

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