I just want to state for the record that this is something I am considering doing, not something that I have already done.

This site has a lot of interesting questions on it and I'm considering picking some especially interesting ones (especially ones without an answer), sharing them with my friends, and uploading what we come up with.

To avoid taking credit for work that isn't entirely one's own, the best one can do right now is community-wiki their post and include some kind of disclaimer at the top.

I'm wondering whether there's an acceptable way to make a "club account" for these situations if you announce that something is a club account and agree to abide by certain restrictions, such as not asking questions or observing ban sentences if the club account becomes banned.

I have searched Meta and come across this question and this question, but those don't really have a definitive answer. They have answers with differing levels of support, but not really a policy articulated as such.

One example of a policy might be no shared accounts, this is a policy inherited from Stack Exchange, not a Math Stack Exchange-specific one. This is actually what I suspect the current policy is, but I figure I would ask to make sure.


2 Answers 2


The Inauthentic Usage policy requires that an account be used by only one person.

The Inauthentic Usage policy states:

we do not allow what we define as inauthentic usage of our systems, such as:

  • Sharing accounts/profiles between different individuals, even if these individuals work for or represent the same corporation or organization. Each account/profile may represent and be used by only one individual person throughout the lifetime of the profile/account. Stack Exchange may expressly grant written permission that an account/profile is not subject to this restriction.

As long as only person uses the account, it is not in violation of this policy. However, the account cannot change hands, unless given written permission by Stack Exchange.

  • $\begingroup$ So, it would be allowed if only one person writes on that account. His answer may begin... "The following answer comes from the ASU Math Problems group". Isn't there an account in MO where "Taras Banakh" sometimes shares problems/solutions on behalf of a group? $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Dec 7, 2023 at 17:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GEdgar Yeah, if only one person ever has access to the account, it isn’t an issue. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2023 at 17:39
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ So, I can't leave my account, and all associated imaginary internet points, to my daughter when I go? Hmm, looks like I'm going to have to rewrite my will. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2023 at 20:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson That seems to be a pretty straightforward reading of the policy, yes. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2023 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @GEdgar You probably mean Lviv Scottish Book. This account was mentioned on MathOverflow Meta: Is it possible to change the author of a problem on mathoverflow? $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2023 at 6:40

I don't think this is explicitly disallowed, and I could see it working if done in good faith. That being said, I would suggest being very cautious.

The biggest problem is going to be if the club account interacts with individual accounts of the club members. You would need to treat it like it is an alternate account for all involved. You want to avoid anything that draws suspicion of sockpuppetry, voting rings, or limitation circumvention.

So, that would mean that the club account doesn't vote on any member's account's posts or vice versa, the club account doesn't vote on any posts that any member's account has voted on already, the club account doesn't answer questions posed by any individual account or vice versa, no hyping each others posts through comments, no using the club account when any member's account is suspended, no using the club accounts to circumvent limitations (e.g. review queue limits, question limits, question bans), etc.

Regarding the restrictions you suggested: so long as the aforementioned criteria are met, I don't see any reason why the club account could not ask questions.

It should be noted that investigating misbehavior from a club account or its members would be more complex than usual, and therefore any sanctions incurred would be particularly punitive to deter future taxation of mod resources. It would be in everyone's best interest to stay well within the limits.

To keep things simple, these are the guidelines I'd advise giving your club members.

  1. The club account is for posting questions and answers.

  2. Do not vote with the club account. This also includes close/delete votes and review queues.

  3. Do not use your personal account to vote on the club account's posts, questions that the club account answers, or answers to the club account's questions.

  4. Do not use the club account to answer any member's questions, or vice versa.

  5. The club account can't comment on any member's posts, or vice versa.

  6. No using the club account while any member is suspended. Any member who gets the club account suspended will permanently lose access to the club account.

These overshoot the rules, of course, but should be an easy way to make sure the club and its members stay in good standing with the mods. Regulating yourselves helps avoid being regulated by us. If there are ambiguities about whether or not you can do something, you can always ask.

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    $\begingroup$ I’ve downvoted this answer because sharing an account is explicitly disallowed. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2023 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ I really, really like the reasonableness of this answer, but a club account would seem to violate the inauthentic use policy referred to above if a different person ever used the account. $\endgroup$ Dec 9, 2023 at 7:33
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    $\begingroup$ @GregNisbet Let's say that these would be the guidelines if one were to get written permission from SE as specified by the policy. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Dec 9, 2023 at 11:38

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