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I know that the Community user is in every site, but when looking at its profile on any individual site, it says "This user does not participate in any other communities currently":

Why is this?

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  • High probability of being a dupe Mar 7, 2019 at 16:02
  • 2
    I half suspect community predates having more than one site, and is super special Mar 7, 2019 at 16:08
  • 2
    My bet is that the accountid field of their user record is null.
    – rene
    Mar 7, 2019 at 16:54
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    @rene not really, it seems to be -1 everywhere.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Mar 7, 2019 at 17:04
  • @Glorfindel hmm, interesting. Didn't expect they would have specific handling.
    – rene
    Mar 7, 2019 at 17:07
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    The user Community FAQ doesn't say that everything is hidden. A better question is: Why does the Community User have Favorites?
    – Rob
    Mar 7, 2019 at 19:46

4 Answers 4

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I know that the Community user is in every site

I would like to challenge this premise. I would instead phrase it as:

I know that a Community user is in every site

That is to say that while there is a Community user for each site, why would you think that they are the same user? There is also a user Alex on every site (probably, I haven't actually checked) but they are not necessarily the same user. Their sites do not show up in each other's profiles just because they have the same name.

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That particular list is generated based on cached information from the network account that ties all of your per-site profiles together. But the Community user doesn't have such a network account. It's literally just a series of profiles assigned to ID -1 that exist on each site, but they are not tied together in any way at the network level outside of being mapped to a non-existent network account (ID -1 as usual). So while the profile does exist on every site, there's no network information that maps them all back to each other, and thus there is no cached list of profiles to display in that space.

Note that this behavior is different for Area 51 and the API, which do not rely on the user map at the network level but rather just query for all sites where there is a user with a matching AccountId set. This method is not dependent on an actual network account existing.

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All Community’s accounts are linked in some respect. Its network profile link on every site leads to the same profile. And all its accounts used to be shown on Area51:

Image of Community’s accounts

The app similarly says that Community has 104 other profiles and has a list of some meta posts that it's credited with asking.

This is similar to hidden profiles, but it's not quite the same for a number of reasons. No other account behaves in quite the same way.

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  • 1
    this goes against Alex's answer so...I looked at it and that's right
    – Plqsmic
    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:31
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    The Area51 trick doesn't seem to work anymore.
    – 41686d6564
    Sep 22, 2021 at 22:02
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It actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Community ♦ represents the community of a site, and each site has its own community. If SFF.SE's Community ♦ also had an account at Stack Overflow, that would be equivalent to saying that SFF.SE's community is identical to that of Stack Overflow's, which is absurd.

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