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Recently, I was involved with a question (now deleted, 10k only) where the original user, "Jason", made a second account, "Jason", and tried to edit "their" question. It was pretty obvious that it was the same user, but technically there was no way to be sure, so I rejected the edit. However, the user made a few attempts at editing the question, and it was eventually accepted through the review queue anyway.

Today, a similar situation appears to be happening with this question where the original user, "SoundFX", appears to have made a second account, "SoundFX", and is attempting to edit "their" question. This time, I've accepted their edit request, since it's pretty obvious that it's the same user, and in the previous situation with "Jason", their edit seemed to eventually get through anyway, so it seemed pointless to reject their edit if other users would let it through anyway.

In situations like these where new users make a second account by accident, is there anything else we can do besides just throw out a comment including this guide on merging accounts? And should we accept or reject these edits (when it's pretty obvious that it's the same user), since consensus seems to be divided on this matter?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related but not a duplicate: How to handle this new user accidentally making multiple accounts and suggesting edits to their own question? (In that case, it wasn't obvious that it was the same user.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 2 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would we be concerned at all what account they use to edit their question? It sucks for them if they don't get the rep, but ultimately if they are concerned about that linking them the account merge process is the correct answer and if they are unwilling to go through that, that's their problem. It doesn't matter from a site moderation point of view except that it's okay for OPs to edit their questions to include system tags but it's not okay for other people currently. If they appear to be the same person, why not accept their edit as such? What problem are you hoping to solve? \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Nov 2 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I did accept the edit this time, for pretty much the same reasoning. I'm trying to find out what the community thinks should happen. If you have an answer, it would be better as an answer rather than questioning that I'm asking in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 3 at 0:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I'm fairly certain this can only happen with unregistered accounts (otherwise they would just log in to the original account), this is related/helpful: "How do unregistered accounts work?" \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 3 at 4:11
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We don't need to do anything else.

We could but we have no reason to so we don't want to. There's no problem here, so there's no need to try and figure out a solution.

What should happen, if the edit is one that's okay for an OP to make but not a regular user (which is a very small set of possible edits), is that the edit, since it appears to be from the same user, is approved and the user is instructed to merge their accounts or the reviewer neither approves nor rejects the edit and first leaves a comment @-ing the editor to confirm they are the same person. If they have the same username or said "I'm the OP" in the edit notes or something like that, that's good reason to think they are the same user.

This is what currently is done, and what you are currently doing.


N.B. that the possibility that a user is impersonating another user is not really something to discuss. We are supposed to assume good faith here, except when it is extremely obvious that actions are being taken in bad faith. If someone is pretending to be someone else, we thus let them get away with it unless it is extremely obvious-- until the original user complains. This has never happened on our site as far as I am aware, but I'm sure we'll figure it out when it does.

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    \$\begingroup\$ With several upvotes and no downvotes, and no opposing opinions, I think it's safe to say this is the right way forward. How I handled the "SoundFX" case (as opposed to the "Jason" case) seems to be the correct way to handle things. Thanks for your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 7 at 15:07

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