I noticed yesterday that a new unregistered user has selected the same username as another registered user.

  • Is it normal and/or expected?

  • Doesn't this mess up the "@" mentions? (or would it mess it up once the new user decides to register?)


1 Answer 1


The Display Name has no real meaning to the system: you can set it to whatever you want (within reason), by design. The site identifies you by your user number (9740 for the new person, 394 for the Terry we all know), which is unique to each site (e.g. I'm user 64 here, and 32986 on Server Fault).

This won't generally affect @ mentions unless both users happen to be participating on the same question or chat room (which is possible, but not a big enough problem to warrant requiring a unique display name: you can figure out who they're referring to by context).

  • $\begingroup$ isn't there a way to do @ mentions using the ID? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Aug 10, 2015 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico Not that I'm aware of. The moderator "superping" in chat uses them but that's a special case. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Aug 10, 2015 at 17:37

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