So, yesterday I tripped and my display name broke in half. I figured I would fix it in the morning, but when I checked back, I got the banner for recent responses, and clicked it. I noticed that I had comment responses for both "@ccomet" and "@ccornet" listed.

I was originally going to ask how it knew to attribute both to me, but I figured that logically the system just permanently attaches the comment to my account when it is made, so it wouldn't matter that my display name changed at a later point. There wouldn't be a complex system which remembers when I had what display name, and figure out comment replies based on a lookup.

But that line of thought made me come to a different question of curiosity. Does Stack Overflow actually track the history of display name changes? There's been requests for seeing the recent names of a user, and we all know that massive post detailing voyager's shenanigans. But there's nothing, at least as far as I've delved, that actually explains whether or not our display names are mechanically recorded or not. Are they?


Yes, there's a history kept of account changes/actions, including display name. I can't tell how far back it goes from the moderator view, so I'm not sure if a complete history is available. It goes back a while. See the comments below.

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  • Ooh, neat. That's cool to know (and thanks for the quick response!). I bet if you check Welbog or voyager, you could find out just how far it goes back. If it records up to 11 months of activity, I'd get the idea that it keeps a complete history. – Grace Note Jun 11 '10 at 12:28
  • @ccornet: Now I'm embarrassed to admit that I just can't seem to parse dates. It does go back over a year, I just didn't notice the '09 when I checked earlier. :) – Bill the Lizard Jun 11 '10 at 12:33
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    @ccornet you're welbog and voyager? Great. I really wish display name history was visible to everyone. – George Stocker Jun 11 '10 at 12:44
  • @Grace: the history usually shows everything back to the account's initial registration, but as @bill says there's a slightly-over-1-yr cutoff. i don't know if June/July '09 is when user history started being recorded, or if there's some limit to the entries displayed by the tool. i doubt that info is ever purged from the system completely, but i expect only the dev team knows for sure. – quack quixote Jul 1 '10 at 16:08

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