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My assumption is that duplicate accounts are not allowed on the SE network, but I am unsure how to flag an account as a duplicate. Today, I came across two questions asked a few hours apart with the exact same title:

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/175145/how-to-show-arcgis-offline-map-in-android

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/175158/how-to-show-arc-gis-offline-map-in-android

Instead of modifying the first question by user64469, Chetna Jaiswal created a new question. The similarity of the questions (including they link back to the same tutorial and include the same title) make me assume that this is the same person with two different accounts. In addition, another user commented on the first question "Sorry for insufficient information" which makes me think that they may actually have a third account as well.

Is there a way to flag potential duplicate users? If not, should there be? Or is this a problem that comes so few and far between that just flagging for moderator intervention is good enough? If there is, should it be more intuitive?

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Either flagging a moderator from a question, or posting like you have here, seem like reasonable actions to me.

However, I think the first action, upon spotting what appears to be the same person using more than one account is to mention that in comments on the post(s) and point them at the help instructions for merging accounts. I urge them to merge their accounts ASAP because the site then becomes much easier for them to use.

Continuing to use more than one account inevitably reduces the chances of them getting questions answered and, in some circumstances, can lead to suspension.

I think it is just a new user misunderstanding how the site works, and not realizing that creating more than one account is ill advised.

I have posted a comment on the most recent question asking that the user merge their accounts ASAP. If that does not result in rapid remediation then there are some "bigger sticks" that I can use, but would prefer not to.

  • I assumed it wasn't malicious and just new-user problems--but I really had no idea how to address it. Thanks for clearing it up! – MaryBeth Dec 30 '15 at 1:19

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