Can one have any (nonduplicate) username?

What if one chooses username "jewhunter"?

There may be other names which are rather political or opinion, who decides on this?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Actually, people can have duplicate usernames, perhaps confusingly. The moderators of the site and/or the people who run SE have sometimes changed usernames in the past. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 17:21
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ I would find any name which has almost purely racist/sexist/offensive meaning to be offensive. I am also not a fan of using names of actual people when it's clear you're not them (e.g. Bill Clinton) and that includes "slight typos" in that matter. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/11562/… $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 17:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ But how do I know you're really the Asaf Karagila...$${}{}$$>.>$${}{}$$<.< $\endgroup$
    – Emily
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Arkamis: You ask Arthur Fischer, Michael Greinecker, Gerry Myerson, amongst others. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Maybe someone else was using your account in between.. $\endgroup$
    – emcor
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ emcor, unlikely. I'm almost constantly online. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ See more here: meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/8884/442 $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


There are very few rules on user names, duplicates are explicitly allowed. But there are some restrictions:

  • Impersonation of other users is not allowed (having the same name is not necessarily impersonation)
  • The diamond symbol indicating a moderator can't be used in user names
  • Offensive user names will be forcibly changed by moderators. The decision on whether a user name is offensive is made on a case-by-case basis by the moderators.
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I expect it can be a difficult call, sometimes. Ages ago I met a female Iranian mathematician whose first name was Nazi. That might not work really well as a user name, though it is apparently a perfectly fine Persian name. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 14:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Haran: According to a quick Wikipedia check there at at least two places in Iran called Nazi too. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ What if a moderator has the name of another user? Does that mean the other user can't use their name? I would vehemently disagree with not allowing someone to use their name because some moderator shares the same name them. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 17:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @dustin Unless you're doing anything else to imply that you're a moderator or intentionally try to cause confusion, just having the same username as a moderator is no problem at all. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 18:00

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