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Today I got a nice chat message notification (ping) and got really excited that I finally have some friends to talk to, but to my dismay they weren't trying to talk to me but to a user with a similar username:

Confusing, I know...

Here is the relevant chat transcript. When @Major Stackings sent this message, I got the notification (sounds, little asterisk in my chat window, etc)...

What is going on here?

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  • Possible that you were originally tagged, and then Major Stackings went back and edited it to @ the correct user? – phantom42 Dec 17 '14 at 4:25
  • Oh yeah, that makes sense. – Möoz Dec 17 '14 at 4:27
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    No. I'm sure sent it to @Moo from my cellphone and didn't go back in and edit it. – Major Stackings Dec 17 '14 at 7:17
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    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/73931/226928 – alexwlchan Dec 17 '14 at 8:06
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This is one of the pitfalls of the chat notification system being "smart" rather than dumb.

According to this post on SE: Meta when the system detects the use of a name in the chat box, it attempts to route the notification to the correct user. Unfortunately this sometimes results in another user with a similar name being sent the notification incorrectly.

[The System will] generate a notification for you ... when we can't find anyone else who we consider to be a better match, i.e. someone called "Marc" who was in the room during the past seven days, or someone called "Marc Gravell" who was here in the past two days.

As the saying goes; it's not a bug, it's a feature.

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