Until yesterday my display name was 2 characters. This ended when I started wondering about some issues with comments and notifications, went to meta, and found out that

there is an important feature which only works if the display name is at least three character long.

Methinks, I should not have discovered this accidentally. I should have been warned, maybe even prevented from creating a display name that turns off some of the site's features. Kindly consider implementing this.

  • ... That's a long username you have
    – waiwai933
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 2:24
  • 4
    Oh, great - i was wondering what comment notifications others referred to sometimes ;) Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 2:50
  • 3
    I'm not sure it is allowed to enter an actual serious feature-request on this day. Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 3:35
  • @dmckee but, this question is dated April 2nd! Surely it's allowed then!
    – SamB
    Commented Apr 7, 2010 at 23:49

3 Answers 3


We no longer allow names of 2 characters.

3 characters is the minimum name length, and this is enforced.

However, users who have an existing 2 character name may retain it, but will be unable to copy their profile from site to site until they make their username at least 3 characters.

Update: as of 14 September 2011, previously existing shorter display names have been padded with dots.


Yes, very true..One should be warned when he/she entered a user name with 2 or 1 character. But to restrict the length of user name is not at all necessary. Warning feature should be there.


I think that's perfectly reasonable. And we don't want a username of A on here. Every other website in the world has minimum lengths on usernames, so why not SO?

  • 2
    because, as somebody who previously went by a two letter name (Back on IRC, a shorter name left more room for text!) very few sites allowed this, for no good reason - same with arbitrary password restrictions (No more than 12 characters? Why? You're hashing it, right?), wheras the trilogy, which DOES have a good reason (notifications) doesn't - I don't see why this should change. A warning would be good, though.
    – Phoshi
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 12:21

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