A question on Stack Overflow was asked by larz, who has a reputation of 6, and also has an answer by larz, who has a reputation of 1. Both have the same gravatar and username, but slightly different user ids.

Shouldn't Stack Exchange somehow realize they're the same user, based on the email address or something, and merge the accounts?

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    notice that neither is a 'registered user' per the account pages – Jeff Atwood May 13 '10 at 13:48
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    There is no longer an answer by the second larz, but the question still remains. – haykam Jun 24 '16 at 4:25

Shouldn't SO somehow realize they're the same user, based on the email address or something, and unite the accounts?

Yes it should. There should be a periodic background task that compares users -- e.g. the fact that both the gravatar hashes and the usernames are the same should be easily detectable, and these users should be flagged for moderator review.


Their activity confirmed that it was a unique person. Unfortunately, some people tend to create new accounts unintentionally from time to time. These two accounts have been merged, uniting all of the users activity into one profile.

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    Related to this, should these kind of extra accounts be reported by others? Or should they be left to decay/left to the actual user to bring it up when finally registering? This question discusses when the user has multiple accounts intentionally created, but I'm more curious for the situation of multiple accounts created by cookie expiration. – Grace Note May 13 '10 at 13:56
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    @ccornet I can only speak for myself, but I do appreciate when others in the community help point things out. Reconciling data is a good thing, IMHO. If you see this type of things often enough, please feel free to point it out. – Sampson May 13 '10 at 13:57
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    @ccornet, how about this list :D – YOU May 13 '10 at 14:09
  • @SMark Now, if I had every account, I'd totally add to that list, then. Thanks! – Grace Note May 13 '10 at 14:14

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