# If several people use the same username, how do you ping just one of them? [duplicate]

I want to get someone's attention by using the @username feature. But I noticed that several people use the same username. So how does that work?

If they have all recently been in the chatroom you are in, or participating in the same comment thread, then there is no way to differentiate them. If you ping one, you will ping them all.

user147263 points out that Rule 4 says that in comments, the user chosen is the user

1. who matches the name supplied

2. who has participated in the comments on or edited the particular question or answer

3. who has acted most recently (editing, commneting, etc)

However, I have been the "victim" of misdirected pings to @rob in chatrooms, so, unless the code has changed recently, I am pretty sure that chat pings any match. Further evidence that the chat code is different: multiple people can be notified in a single chat message.

• @user147263 What if the person hasn't participated in the thread other than setting up a bounty? – user26647 May 7 '14 at 15:39
• I don't go in the general Mathematics room much precisely because I get hit with all @alex pings. – Alex Becker May 7 '14 at 20:48
• minor point, I've noticed, if I am the first and only comment on a question and the OP writes a comment without any @ field, often i get pinged anyway. Probably not every time; in any case, if I remain interested, i go back and check my own activity for comments without @ fields... – Will Jagy May 7 '14 at 23:10