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This is a spin-off from Move an existing Stack Exchange account to a new user account?.

This feature request is to allow a collection of tech and non-tech Stack Exchange accounts that exist inside one user account to be split up among two user accounts.

There could be three categories that every Stack Exchange is assigned to, "tech", "non-tech" and "exceptional cases":

  • Inside these categories: moving an SE account to another user account should not be possible, as it is the rule of now. This is in order to a mess of SE account shifts.

  • Across these categories: if a user starts a non-tech Stack Exchange account in her "user account No. 1" and later realises that she would like to have it assigned to another user, this should be possible as long as the non-tech SE account that shall be moved to her "user account No. 2" does not belong to the tech category covered by her "user account No. 1". The whole thing applies the other way round as well.

  • Partly across these categories: there could be exceptions beyond such broad categories (e.g. tech didactics can account for both tech and non-tech, and in this case, it is allowed to shift the SE account in both directions). There should be very few exceptions (<10% of the Stack Exchanges) that allow this.


Added discussion of the main feedback up to now:

Since the comment discussion does not seem to work. I will go through every detail of the discussion points, and I think that your remarks are mainly not valid for this feature request, or there is an easy fix for them.

This feature request is to allow splitting up a collection of thematically different Stack Exchange accounts among multiple user accounts.

First off, why limit the feature request only to 'thematically different accounts'? The easiest way to allow this would be ... to allow this for any and all site profiles, regardless of their theme. Each site has its own theme already, which determines what is on- and off topic on such a site.

Invalid remark, as I explicitly ask for splits only among broad categories, it is clear that I mean those broad categories when I say "thematically different". This is essential to the whole feature request and also influences any discussion points that you make afterwards. I also do not know why you did not just delete this part when you knew that it is an invalid point, as we discussed in the comments.

Making categories is easy, but arguing that the sites in these categories are similar or different enough to make splitting off a profile okay or forbidden is not. Someone that wants to split off their profile on the arduino site because it's just a hobby from their Stack Overflow profile and put them under two different accounts would be barred from doing so, as both are grouped as 'technology'.

The categories do not have to be perfect science. The mere thing to distinguish something techy like drones and something obviously non-techy like "English Language and Usage" is obvious. This feature request is not to discuss the details anyway, it is about the main idea of being able to split up broad-category-wise.

While it does sound nice to be able to split off a profile instead of hide things, it's likely to cause more trouble than create benefits that can't be had already by using the feature to hide site profiles or creating a second account. So I'm going to say allowing users to do this is a very bad idea.

Invalid statement. This request shall see the hide-option not even as a workaround, instead, hiding should simply not count at all. It is good to mention it, but it should not be put against this request. Hiding will not serve as what this feature request is for. In the end, what is asked for is what most of the users seem to do anyway: having different accounts for different needs - without hiding anything. And the only difference here is that a user should be able to do this split later, when that decision has not been made early enough for some reason; all of this in clear borders of very few broad categories. Take just the two "tech" / "non-tech" categories if the exception case irritates too much.

Allowing people to just move site profiles between accounts would likely be a cause of many messes and open up new ways of abuse. As a quick example: If people can transfer one site profile to a sock, they can e.g. earn the association bonus for that sock account. And voilà: now the sock can participate in a sockpuppet ring and upvote posts, without ever having to even try and gain the first few reputation points. Without any restrictions, you could even move one site profile from sock, to sock, to sock, to sock....

One could also ask why the same user who has obviously proved that he can manage Stack Exchange should be forced to earn the first reputation points at all to comment and flag when opening up a second profile. And as to the association bonus, just suppress the effect of that association bonus as soon as it comes from such a moved SE account. That is all you need to weaken this point.

Networkwide suspensions could become useless. Keeping track of notorious troublemakers and trolls becomes harder. Is there anyone that wants to buy an SO account with a bit of rep and a good question, that allows you to flag and comment but won't get question banned as easily? I've got a PayPal...

You can configure any such move request so that any ban is taken with it. Moreover, you can only do a one-directed move by this feature request, that is, for example, moving a "non-tech" SE account (which belongs to the minority in your user account then, while "tech" is the majority of the SE accounts) to another user (perhaps even only a new one only, point of discussion), and not the other way round afterwards. It is a move with a ratched effect, no way back. The same would account for a "non-tech" being the majority, then you could only move the "tech" accounts.

The big mess?

  • The big mess is when an account can be moved again and again. Which is not impossible if you open up five empty tech SE accounts and then move the non-tech account further again, but what is the use of that if the ban would be taken with it and moved points will not have an effect of the other SE accounts? And you could also prevent some abuse by just counting those SE accounts that have passed some threshold of points.

  • In case you see a mess when too many people split up their SE accounts with this feature, this is no point either, since they could split up to as many users as they want anyway: if they decide so at the start.

  • @mindstormsboi I want to have the already used SE account with its content to be moved to another user so that I do not need to hide it there, since I do not want to hide it at all. I just do not want to show alltogether, and what I want to show depends on the context (a job application is just one of many examples). – questionto42 Jan 12 at 11:37
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    While I favour being able to have different thematic accounts for different stacks, I don't think "tech", "non-tech" is a useful distinction in many cases. For example, SO is a tech site. But what about Mathematics or Cross Validated? You can very well have a question there related to something you want to do with code. You can also ask questions on Constructed Languages (non-tech) about a game you're making and you're otherwise active on Game Development. Trying to label "exceptional stuff" starts becoming quite hard in the face of all that. – VLAZ Jan 12 at 13:11
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    @VLAZ It's probably a little known secret, despite appearing in the footer, that there's a pre-defined categorical split; simply click on the ▶️ to see the sites that comprise "Technology" vs "Science". – Rob Jan 12 at 13:37
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    @questionto42 could you explain why you want this? What problem would it solve? What would it allow you to do that you cannot do now? I've re-read the question three times and I don't understand what you are trying to achieve. And do consider that the categories are not well defined. Is Biology a tech site? How about Bioinformatics? What do non-tech sites have in common? Why would anyone want to group them together? – terdon Jan 12 at 13:52
  • @VLAZ good point, it is then a question of how you name it. I see Cross Validated as a classical tech site, while English Language Usage is not. And things that are typically hobbies and not meant for the usual IT could be kept aside. Even the Astronomy Stack Exchange would not be "tech" then, and yes, we should find a better name then. This request is not about finding the best cut or name here, it is more the general idea that should be discussed. Science vs. technology is not the question. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 14:33
  • @terdon This is a spin-off from meta.stackexchange.com/questions/359492/…. And problems could be: you share your username on the long run. On the short run, you might not need to split among multiple users. But if you need it later, for example because you do not want to share your various communities with anyone who can look up your profile (hiding is not a good workaround), or if you have become a teacher and you do not want the pupils to look at what you do in the didactics community, then you need it. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 14:39
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    Then you open a new account. It seems needlessly complicated to have a whole functionality for something that will only be used rarely and will likely be abused often (we have enough trouble tracking sock puppets already). – terdon Jan 12 at 15:17
  • @terdon Needlessly complicated is one view. I would rather say that you make it too simple. Even your question about what could be the problem at all (which is something that goes without saying here) is already too easy-going. I have made the very small mistake of opening a non-tech account on my normal "tech" user. What can happen to you after a short time can also happen to you after a long time. It is not only a problem of a beginner. What you want to share can change over life-time and due to outer reasons. And you do not want to just delete or hide your work then. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 16:03
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This feature request is to allow splitting up a collection of thematically different Stack Exchange accounts among multiple user accounts.

First off, why limit the feature request only to 'thematically different accounts'? The easiest way to allow this would be ... to allow this for any and all site profiles, regardless of their theme. Each site has its own theme already, which determines what is on- and off topic on such a site.

Making categories is easy, but arguing that the sites in these categories are similar or different enough to make splitting off a profile okay or forbidden is not. Someone that wants to split off their profile on the arduino site because it's just a hobby from their Stack Overflow profile and put them under two different accounts would be barred from doing so, as both are grouped as 'technology'.

While it does sound nice to be able to split off a profile instead of hide things, it's likely to cause more trouble than create benefits that can't be had already by using the feature to hide site profiles or creating a second account. So I'm going to say allowing users to do this is a very bad idea.

Allowing people to just move site profiles between accounts would likely be a cause of many messes and open up new ways of abuse. As a quick example: If people can transfer one site profile to a sock, they can e.g. earn the association bonus for that sock account. And voilà: now the sock can participate in a sockpuppet ring and upvote posts, without ever having to even try and gain the first few reputation points. Without any restrictions, you could even move one site profile from sock, to sock, to sock, to sock....

Networkwide suspensions could become useless. Keeping track of notorious troublemakers and trolls becomes harder. Is there anyone that wants to buy an SO account with a bit of rep and a good question, that allows you to flag and comment but won't get question banned as easily? I've got a PayPal...

  • The feature request is meant for thematically different accounts, and this shall prevent the mess that you are fearing. If you want to discuss a feature request that does not distinguish between such categories, it is another discussion - which will certainly have no success, I agree. The rest of the post is of course good to be discussed. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 12:00
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    @questionto42 Even for thematically different accounts, the messes still count, that doesn't change. Each site has its own topic, so each site could be seen as "thematically different". You already point out that you wouldn't put tech didactics under tech... Making categories is easy, arguing that they're different enough to prevent or allow splitting off site profiles isn't. – Tinkeringbell Jan 12 at 12:23
  • Then you have not understood the request. It is essentially about the broad categories behind, and best example is tech vs. non-tech (and exceptions that are in between, like tech didactics; this is an exception, and other exceptions are also possible, the main rule would still be to look at single categories, which would be the usual case of 90 % of the Stack Exchanges). The messes are by far not the same as what you describe in a scenario where you can move whatever SE account to whatever user account. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 12:25
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    "First off, why limit yourself only to 'thematically different accounts'?" counter question - why is this a problem? I maintain several thematically different profiles across websites. I associate them with different email accounts. Some of them are the more "professional" with my main email and then there are accounts based on my hobbies with a second email. I find the separation quite useful. I wouldn't want to cross the accounts. I don't see why others doing similar but on the Stack Exchange network would be questioned and discouraged. – VLAZ Jan 12 at 13:03
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    @VLAZ there's nothing wrong with having accounts that are thematically different. My question is to illustrate the point that limiting the ability to split off existing site profiles from an account based on the "theme" of the site profile and the "theme" of the account you want to split off of, makes no sense. Why should someone that wants to split off their arduino and drones hobbies from their SO profile be limited because all three are themed "technology"? I've edited to reflect this is about the limitation in the feature request :) – Tinkeringbell Jan 12 at 13:11
  • @VLAZ I have not requested anyone to cross the accounts. I want to reach your way of doing it, after realizing too late that two or even more accounts would make sense. That is something a beginner might not think of when adding a few communities for fun at first. Or she might change her mind later. Sooner or later, it can happen to any user, beginner or professional. Arduino and drones hobbies are still tech in my eyes. What I do not see that techy is sociological, philosophical, language-wise and other similarly non-tech Stack Exchanges. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 16:10
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    @questionto42 if a user has created profiles that they're unhappy with, they can delete those profiles without having to delete their entire account. But, from the faq on post-dissociation: "You should be willing to stand by all content you contribute to our network." and "You need to keep in mind that everything you post on the Internet is permanent, with your name permanently attached to it.". Moving profiles between accounts won't fix that any more than post-dissociation or deleting an account will. – Tinkeringbell Jan 12 at 17:12
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    So, think before you post, that goes for everything on the internet and especially for SE. Besides, implementing this feature request wouldn't be done solely for your purpose. The part about drones and arduino is to illustrate another use case where a user might want to divide between 'hobby' (private life, if you like) and 'professional' (suitable for the public). While they are still tech in your opinion and as such no problem for you on 1 account, it is an example that illustrates how dividing things into tech and non-tech will not make for a useful tool many people can use. – Tinkeringbell Jan 12 at 17:15
  • Having a hobby like drones is a techy topic, be it hobby or not, it will not harm you if you apply, there will be nothing really private revealed by it, it can support you in your professional presentation if you have this hobby. If you instead have too many non-tech Stack Exchanges within a professional profile, it can fall back on you, and you might realise this too late. Perhaps call it tech-supportive and tech-distant, or tech-positive and tech-negative. It is about the basic idea anyway. – questionto42 Jan 12 at 20:15

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