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There is a user on physics.SE with the name michio kaku https://physics.stackexchange.com/users/27903/michio-kaku who I strongly doubt is the real michio kaku given his response here A question for the generalization of gauge transformation with two antisymmetric indices which was promptly removed by David Z.

This got me thinking about how it would be nice if we could somehow make certain that names of faculty at research universities could be protected as usernames as a means of retaining such people in the physics.SE community. Perhaps this is antithetical to SE values? Furthermore, it would be interesting (and useful I think) to have a means of verifying that these people are who they claim to be.

I understand that physics.SE needs to be inclusive, but I personally think that attracting/retaining users who are researchers could lend legitimacy to the site and might enhance the quality and scope of both questions, and answers.

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    $\begingroup$ There are quite a few questions already posted on Meta Stack Exchange dealing with the subject of impersonation. The prevailing opinion from those seems to be that users' display names shouldn't be taken at face value, and given that it's not really a problem, but I didn't find a clear consensus or policy about it. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 6 '13 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think if there is obvious bad intent here, then we can rename it (already did that). Otherwise it's best to let it be, but as DavidZ said, there aren't any clear guidelines. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Aug 6 '13 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if the 't Hooft and Motl and Shor on this site are the real deal ;-) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Aug 6 '13 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ meta.stackexchange.com/q/13039 I assume that "attract attention from moderators" means that we are free to change their name if we think that it's disruptive. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Aug 6 '13 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Apologies for my ignorance. This all sounds reasonable to me. $\endgroup$ – joshphysics Aug 6 '13 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ @joshphysics there is absolutely nothing to apologize for ... ;-). You asked a legitimate question since abusing names of known physicists to troll should by all means be prevented and it does. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Aug 6 '13 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth: And the Xiao, and many other people too . . . How about banning real names? Ok, never mind . $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Aug 6 '13 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth Take a look at this on meta.MathOverflow and this on meta.math. $\endgroup$ – Mo_ Aug 6 '13 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Is it bad to use your “real name” as your user name? $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kienzler Aug 16 '13 at 10:33

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