There has been a recent surge in Jon Skeet imitators on SO. What should be done about this? He's asking questions about Java pointers and stuff...

The 'current' Skeets

Found another post but I think only 10k users can see it.

Edit: the more I see, the less upset I am. This guy seems to just want to joke around. No harm done really.

Edit again: here, yet another question (now deleted): https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2633964/is-c-freeware

  • 6
    What about: Nothing! Apr 13, 2010 at 19:41
  • 9
    Links to user profiles, or it didn't happen.
    – Jon Seigel
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:41
  • 5
    +1, Jon. Although... "Seigel" does look suspiciously similar to "Skeet"... you're not foolin' anyone, buddy!
    – Pops
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:43
  • 2
    The real question is: should SO allow people to use an "existing" display name?
    – M.A. Hanin
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:46
  • @M.A.: I sure hope we can. Otherwise I'd have to deal with the other Josh K on SU.
    – Josh K
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:47
  • @M.A.: That's not a question, that's status-bydesign. Apr 13, 2010 at 19:49
  • 1
    @M.A. I think we should I'm really tired of usernames like earlz932 and __cool12_ness
    – Earlz
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:50
  • Here is one of the young Skeets: stackoverflow.com/users/315843/jon-skeet Apr 13, 2010 at 19:55
  • @Pop: Well, not quite. I'm actually a bot.
    – Jon Seigel
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:55
  • Maybe Jon Skeet (one or the other) can tell us if that name is very unique? (The most recent Jon Skeet's user id being 315,843 I wonder if 2 out of 315,843 is really that odd.)
    – Arjan
    Apr 13, 2010 at 20:27
  • They're all posting joke questions, though. One of them asked how to throw exceptions in FORTRAN with jQuery.
    – mmyers
    Apr 13, 2010 at 21:30
  • @mmyers: perhaps that's something Jon Skeet doesn't know OMG If there is a question Jon Skeet can't answer would the universe collapse? :-O
    – OscarRyz
    Apr 13, 2010 at 21:58
  • I'm aware of a few other Jon Skeets, but not many at all. I think Skeet is a relatively rare surname.
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 13, 2010 at 21:59
  • @Jon: doesn't it give you satisfaction to know people think so highly of you to imitate you? Apr 13, 2010 at 22:46
  • 1

7 Answers 7


Flag for moderator attention and eventually his IP will get banned or he'll get tired of his posts getting hard deleted.

EDIT: In context, I'm talking about people abusing the system by posting obvious flame-bait under another user's identity. I'm not talking about people who simply have the same name. The proper response to flame-bait is to flag for the mods to deal with.

  • Exactly. I flagged the last one asking for html "codez" to read ntfs drives as spam. It's hard deleted now.
    – user142852
    Apr 13, 2010 at 23:23
  • Aw.... I kinda liked that one :) Apr 13, 2010 at 23:55

The moderators are circling the spawns round about. It's going to be a blood-bath.

Update: We've identified the mossy trolls amongst the wet-stones. Casting fire daggers for 12 damage. Mossy trolls whimper, but the mods pursue them to the distant forest.

  • 1
    -1 for excessive geekiness ;")
    – DVK
    Apr 14, 2010 at 2:02
  • 12
    -1 because fire daggers cause 13 damage, not 12
    – DVK
    Apr 14, 2010 at 2:02
  • 1
    @DVK Yes, fire daggers are typically 13, but our accuracy wasn't high enough to deliver full damage. I blame the desert wasps from an earlier battle.
    – Sampson
    Apr 14, 2010 at 2:38
  • 2
    -1 to desert wasps for not causing more damage.
    – DVK
    Apr 16, 2010 at 0:31
  • 8
    You guys! There aren't any downvotes despite your claims of "-1"! Jun 20, 2010 at 6:50
  • 1
    @GeorgeEdison The system didn't apply them because this post was about Jon Skeet ;)
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 20, 2013 at 3:34

Oh my! The original Jon Skeet is budding. Soon there will be thousands of little Skeet polyps looking for a place to attach and grow.


Maybe you could ignore him?

It's not like we don't notice the missing 160k or so rep. He isn't fooling anyone. Downvote questions and vote to close if appropriate for the question.

  • 1
    Why do you want to downvote him? Maybe his name is John Skeet. Even if it isn't, what's the problem? Apr 13, 2010 at 19:43
  • I mean downvote questions that should be downvoted (i.e. use the system like it's supposed to be used).
    – Josh K
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:45
  • That sounds better :) Apr 13, 2010 at 19:48
  • Yeah, I didn't mean just downvote because of the user.
    – Josh K
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:49
  • He is not posting any "questions". Everything has been closed as [not-a-question] :) Apr 13, 2010 at 19:56

The system was designed to allow naming collisions. However there is some precedent discouraging use of the avatar and name, or a substantially similar avatar and name, of another user, especially moderators.

If you are concerned about this, please flag it for moderator attention, or contact [email protected].

I don't think it's a big problem, but with the new restrictions on frequent name changes, it could be that the rules are tightening.


I go to StackOverflow, click Users, and type "Jon Sk" in the box ...

There is only one, and he's the real deal.

I try "Jonsk"

There is only one, and no one would confuse "Jonskichov" for "Jon Skeet."

Where are these imitators of which you speak?

Per gnovice's advice, I have seen the one (still not a "surge") other user with the name, "Jon Skeet." His profile can be found here.

It's still not a surge of imitators, and whether or not the guy is imitating (the web site is google.cn, so who knows), does it matter? We'll all know the difference:

  1. Gravitar image
  2. Rep!
  3. The writing styles are nowhere near similar. (The real Jon Skeet writes professionally; this user ... doesn't.)

Bottom line: I'm not seeing this being an issue. Now if anyone starts using his head shot, or updating their profiles to mimic his, then there's a problem. If you really feel it's a problem even without that, then flag for mod attention.

Final Edit

I am now convinced that the user to which I linked above is definitely fishy. His name just changed to "Non Skeet" in the last minute or so (I refreshed his user page and it changed); his "standard" gravatar changed appearance sometime this afternoon (Central US time). Jonathan Sampson has called him out on impersonation, as well. Both questions I linked to in this post have been deleted, but based on them, I'm getting fairly convinced we have a prankster on our hands trying to disrupt the community.

  • You have to put in the entire name "Jon Skeet" to see him show up. It's just one other guy. Apr 13, 2010 at 19:49
  • Actually, I've seen at least one other today, since deleted. I flagged it for attention and now the user/questions don't seem to be there. At least my comment on the question doesn't show up in my activity feed.
    – tvanfosson
    Apr 13, 2010 at 19:55
  • There's been at least 3. Apr 13, 2010 at 20:03
  • 3
    Unregistered users don't appear in the users page, I think.
    – mmyers
    Apr 13, 2010 at 20:10
  • The question is: Do they all have the same gravatar? If they're all the same guy, then flagging will get them resolved.
    – John Rudy
    Apr 13, 2010 at 21:03
  • 1
    LOL at the question linked. That's hilarious. But seriously. Jon Skeet has, like 300 sockpuppet accounts. I think it's fair that a few other users take his name in return.
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 13, 2010 at 21:05
  • The gravatar change was because I destroyed two fake Jon Skeet accounts earlier today. Keeping this and future accounts around for IP address records. Apr 13, 2010 at 22:01
  • @Bill: On one of the recent questions, there was an answer by Bill the Lizard who had a rep of... 1! (Was that you?!?) Apr 13, 2010 at 23:57
  • @George: No, that wasn't me. Apparently FJS is even more bored than he was this afternoon. I saw a fake Jeff Atwood account as well. Apr 14, 2010 at 0:11
  • Ahahaha! That's quite funny! Apr 14, 2010 at 2:14

The thought has just crossed my mind that a hit single "Real Jon Skeet" is what we need here, an adaptation of Eminem's song:

Will the real Jon Skeet please stand up?

Any way we can get that as a banner across the top of SO?

Yeah I know, that deserves lots of downvotes.

  • -1 because you asked explicitly for it. Apr 27, 2010 at 21:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .