I've noticed another user that's using an identical Display Name to mine. Is there a protocol for dealing with this on SE or am I expected to just suck it up?

  • 6
    Best solution: Change your username to Richard I and declare war on France. Jan 26, 2014 at 4:08

2 Answers 2


Duplicate usernames are not seen as an issue on the StackExchange website.

This has been discussed previously

People have the same names in real life. Isn't StackOverflow real life?


If they didn't, and people missed out on their first choice, you'd be left with trying to come up with all sorts of variations just to "be yourself".

You don't want it to be like AOL or Xbox Live (badges notwithstanding) where if you're not the first, you're docsavage1933 while some other joker, who just happens to be in before you gets to sit around on docsavage

Regardless, the chap who shares your username has been on the stachk exchange network since '09, and on sci-fi since '11. Please don't see this as a case of him copying you, or taking some individuality away.

  • 1
    I wasn't accusing him of copying. That would have been a different issue entirely.
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2014 at 19:40
  • @Richard I've edited my answer, apologies for the tone I took. It seemed that you were getting defensive in your question: 'am I expected to just suck it up?'. I'm sorry if you feel that way
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jan 24, 2014 at 19:41
  • I meant, am I just supposed to suck it up that I've accidentally picked the username of an existing user. E.g. Am I in breach of the protocol by not checking more carefully before choosing a more unique name?
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2014 at 19:43
  • @Richard not at all. YOu can change your username at any time. There may be a wait time before you can change it again though, I'm not sure.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jan 24, 2014 at 19:52
  • 2
    There is a 30-day cooling off between display name changes.
    – Wrathchild
    Jan 24, 2014 at 20:59
  • I changed it a short while ago to test it, then changed it back again. It didn't give me any warnings.
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2014 at 21:58
  • 2
    @Richard You can change your username multiple times in a short time frame (in case you made a typo, for example), but after a few minutes or maybe a couple of hours (I don't know exactly how long), your user name is frozen for 30 days.
    – user56
    Jan 24, 2014 at 22:40
  • Fair enough. I'll stick with her buffness as my "trademark" and just accept that others have a similar name.
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2014 at 23:46
  • "Isn't StackOverflow real life?" - I would VERY SINCERELY hope not. I didn't sign up to be in the Matrix :) Jan 26, 2014 at 4:02

I strongly suggest, and you've already done it, make your identity from your Gravatar. People recognize gravatars more than they recognize the user names anyways.

Aside from that, you can change your user name if you wish, but it's up to you.

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