An unusual situation came up on this post. I discovered the following information in a description of one of the edits. A person posted the question anonymously, but his/her browser crashed while he/she was trying to edit the post. The user made an account and has suggested and gotten accepted several edits to the post, garnering this account several reputation points. At the same time, people (including me) have upvoted the post and the original account (not fully set up) has 11 reputation, at my latest count. I flagged this post under other/needs moderator attention, but the flag was deemd unhelpful (with a message saying "declined-- flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention). Either a flag was not the right tool to use, the moderators did not understand the situation, I should have informed someone else, or there is nothing to be done about this situation. What should I do in this situation? I do admit that my comment was a bit unclear-- maybe they thought that I was spamming random gibberish about reputation transfer. In any case, this seems like a difficult situation to deal with.

  • $\begingroup$ If I have a flag declined and I think that this is because the decliner did not understand the situation then I flag it again putting a comment in the "other" box saying "I don't understand why my previous flag was declined", and then explain the situation a bit. I am always wary of doing this for fear of annoying them though... $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ Relevant to merging of accounts: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/8403/… $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


Flags used to be the right tool. The moderators could have merged the accounts and the OP would have regained control of their account.

But now they can't do that anymore.

Now you need to explain to the OP that they should register to the site, and then they can request the account to be merged. And if they don't want to do that... Well, too bad?

  • $\begingroup$ It borders on ridiculous, though. There is Thomas Forster on MO, for instance, who seems to open up an account every time he visits. The moderators merged some of his accounts a while back, but now they can't, and they keep proliferating. $\endgroup$ Commented May 1, 2014 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I agree it's ridiculous that the moderators can't merge up accounts. There is some user on this website (who posted more than a handful set theory questions) which has at least 10 different accounts. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf, see my edit. The OP posted the question anonymously, but it was shown as being posted by a registered user. When I first posted a question, I posted it anonymously and it asked me for my email. It sent me a notification on how to complete my account. I did so. I imagine that he/she has been sent such a notification, so I should be able to tell the OP to set up the account so they can be merged. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented May 1, 2014 at 23:56
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Merging is a very dangerous tool, far more dangerous than it appears at first. If used incorrectly, you're giving full control of an account and the private data in it to a random person, which is a huge privacy issue. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 5:29

I declined the flag because there was nothing to be done. We can't merge accounts or move rep from one account to another at leisure.

Also, if I may be so bold, I thought the issue was too minor to waste time fixing. There are more important things to worry about than if an unregistered account misses out on 10 rep and unintentionally gains 6 through suggested edits. That is why I chose the "content does not require mod intervention" reason to decline the flag.

Anyway, to address your actual question, one way to contact us without flags is to check for us in the site chat room. I hang around there pretty often and it's okay if you ping me for a specific moderation issue. You can also post on meta to ask general questions, which is evidently something you've discovered.

  • $\begingroup$ Or, you know, stalk you guys up, and find your email addresses/facebook accounts/twitter account/home address/cellphone number... (I already have one phone number!) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 6:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Asaf Well hey, I ain't hidin'. If somebody wants to come sit on my porch while we talk about which questions need migrated, then by all means, I'll bring the beer. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 6:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well one of the mods explicitly says on his profile page: For moderation issues you can contact me at ...@...; but usually raising a moderator flag will get you quicker response. So email is an option, too; although the last part of the quoted sentence should be stressed. IMO flag seems to be the best way. If someone expects some kind of response from a mod, chat or ping somewhere seem to be the most straightforward solutions. (Unless the issue is important enough to start a post on meta.) $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander: Ever since this morning I've been in the mood for some good Kasekrainer, if that is included in your offer, I'll be on my way. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 16:59

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