I just realised that I am using about ~7 accounts on this website. For reasons of style I created these accounts, and also because I was embarrassed about asking easy questions on one of my accounts.

I stress that I have never taken advantage of having multiple accounts; I never upvote my own questions/answers/comments in different accounts. I never posted more than two or three questions a day so I don't abuse the system in that sense.

I feel bad for having so many accounts but like I said I didn't do anything bad with them so I hope this is admissible!!! Pls. let me know your thoughts? Thanks.

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"Do not worry about asking easy questions on Math.SE. I can assure you mine are still easier." –  user53153 Feb 27 '13 at 20:23
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@5pm are you quoting yourself? –  Alexander Gruber Feb 28 '13 at 5:05
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@AlexanderGruber It's a mutation of Einstein's famous quote: "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater." –  EuYu Feb 28 '13 at 5:07
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$Bipolarity$ $\rightarrow$ $Septapolarity!$ –  Vladimir Putin Mar 7 '13 at 16:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 23 down vote accepted

There are no rules against having multiple accounts. Part of the reason may be because it is very difficult to police such accounts, unless they are detected via voting fraud. If you wish, you can merge any of your accounts.

Of course, if one of your accounts is suspended, using any of your other accounts is also forbidden. When this activity is detected, the other accounts will also be suspended (or deleted).

There should be no problem as you avoid voting fraud and suspension evasion.

This question was posted on MSO recently with the same concerns, and the answer is similar.

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I couldn't agree more. –  mixedmath Feb 27 '13 at 22:21
    
Thanks for the answer! –  blahb Mar 2 '13 at 18:36

As long as you don't use the other accounts to circumvent any limits or do anything you can't do with a single account, or use the accounts to create a misleading impression (e.g. by commenting on or answering your own posts), multiple accounts are tolerated. But they should never interact in any way.

In practice, it is very easy to accidentally misuse multiple accounts, if you are actively using them. You have to pay attention to never vote on the same post or interact in any other way. Using another account to post a question anonymously is usually unproblematic, but that account should not vote or do anything else to avoid breaking the rules.

If you accidentally created those accounts, you can merge them.

A post on this topic from Robert Cartaino, an SE employee:

Multiple accounts are generally not allowed, but we (Stack Exchange) have yet to take an absolute, hard-line statement against having multiple accounts. Some feel they have a need to separate (for example) their public from their personal lives. I can't think of another valid use case, but know that neither our system nor our Terms of Service support having multiple accounts and they are subject to removal or merging at any time.

So if you want to live on that bleeding-edge case, there are some absolute, immutable rules you have to be vigilant about if you want to continue using the system.

The Golden Rule The #1 absolute rule is that those accounts should *NEVER* in no way interact with each other in any way. Period; exclamation point. Trying to do anything with a second account that you could not do with one account is a good way to get your account suspended and deleted unceremoniously. That includes voting multiple times for a post, casting multiple close votes or flags, exceeding your personal allotment of activities (daily voting limits, questions, close votes, etc)… and this prohibition goes triple-y so for sock puppet voting (i.e. voting for your own posts). That is a big, huuuge no-no.

#2, Don't fake it Our Terms of Service prohibits impersonating another person. If someone were to suspect your intentions, don't exasperate it by "faking" a bunch of phony profile information. The response may be stronger than warranted by your actual intentions.

"Faking it" also includes pretending to be two people where the content is concerned. Don't support yourself in comments, don't answer your own questions, don't stir up staged controversy (or quell it by playing a supportive peer) and — I say this again because it is so important — do not up-vote your own comments (or posts!).

The more I write this up, the more I realize just how problematic it is. I would really prefer just to say "don't do it"… at least until we implement a way to gain the benefits without all the potential for abuse.

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Though I have only ever had one account, I can understand the rationale for having a separate "anonymous" account on which to ask questions that one is, for whatever reason, embarrassed by. I don't know how it is in CS or other fields, but in mathematics eventually one is supposed to grow up and be "the answerer". I think this is really bad, and one of the things that impressed me most on MO was very eminent mathematicians who had enough self confidence to ask questions of the form "I never understood X very well", where $X$ is something regarded as basic, like tensor products. –  Pete L. Clark Feb 28 '13 at 23:31
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Speaking for myself, I am -- very unfortunately for me -- less willing to ask basic questions in certain areas in which I have apparently established expertise. For instance, I have never claimed to be anything close to an expert on commutative algebra, but the fact that I have a book-length set of notes may create that impression. There is also a question about completion of ordered fields that I haven't gotten around to asking because I feel like I should be able to work it out for myself (but probably won't!). –  Pete L. Clark Feb 28 '13 at 23:35
    
"As long as you don't use the other accounts to ... do anything you can't do with a single account ..." What would be an example of something that can only be done with two accounts? –  Thomas Mar 2 '13 at 13:29
    
@Thomas Exceeding any limits, like e.g. posting more than 6 questions per day, upvoting a post more than once –  Mad Scientist Mar 2 '13 at 13:32
    
@MadScientist: That makes sense. –  Thomas Mar 2 '13 at 13:37
    
Thanks for the answer. –  blahb Mar 2 '13 at 18:28
    
@zyx I flagged it and recommended deletion, that might have played a role. –  Mad Scientist Apr 9 '13 at 16:57
    
Thanks very much. (And also for your contributions in general to the site.) –  zyx Apr 9 '13 at 17:02

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