A really cool feature was dropped with the introduction of global network autologin. Resulting in some discussion as one would expect:

What I didn't find yet is whether or not this is going to be fixed somehow. I don't like to have to set my display name individually for all stack exchange sites, and that is what seems to be happening. The way I read the blog is that the intended effect is that you can log onto all SE sites with a single account, but I couldn't figure out why we have to set a display name for all sites.

Is this an issue that is going to be fixed eventually? Does it have to stay like it is now for some reason?

  • ~quack will be crying Sep 19, 2010 at 13:23
  • According to Jeff: This is by design and will remain this way from this point onward.
    – Arjan
    Sep 19, 2010 at 13:27
  • 2
    @Kop - ~quack changed to "quack quixote" a long time ago now.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Sep 19, 2010 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


One reason we no longer do this is because without a display name set nobody can @reply to you.

Another reason is because it exposes part of your openid identifier.

  • When I initially signed-up +1 yr ago on I was surprised/disappointed when my name was inferred. It wasn't the one I'd wanted to use for SO and I never used it for anything other than reading. So I like this change.
    – lastfish
    Sep 19, 2010 at 19:53
  • I get it now, but I'd say it would be an improvement if the display name would be inferred at first and then editable later.
    – iwein
    Sep 21, 2010 at 13:36
  • 2
    Can't you just ask what they want their display name to be when they log in for the first time? Let the default be whatever you used to infer and most people will just click OK, while the few who want a different name can choose one.
    – Gabe
    Nov 16, 2011 at 4:15

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