In physics forums, I created two accounts (actually for myself, for not being able to change my photograph), then I was suspended from the site. Now, as my sister is forcing me to create an account for her also, can create another for her? Why I asked is that, I should not get suspended even here.


1 Answer 1


Yes, you're allowed to create multiple accounts, but there are some restrictions on how you can use them. Let me quote the key part of that answer:

if the second account allows you to do something on the site that your normal account would be prevented from doing, it is abuse. Examples of this include (but are not limited to):

  • Voting on your own posts
  • Casting multiple votes on others' posts
  • Supporting your own arguments ("+1: shog is right, don't know why the rest of you don't realize this")
  • Using bounties to circumvent the rep cap
  • Circumventing suspensions, quality bans, or the rate limits on posting questions / answers / comments / etc.

If the evidence available to moderators is suggestive of any of these activities, we'll take whatever corrective action is necessary. Usually that means merging and suspending the accounts, but of course it could vary on a case by case basis.

If you want to create multiple accounts and use them regularly, I'd suggest thinking carefully about why you want to do so, and whether you really need to. Although, as I said, it is allowed to create and regularly use multiple accounts, it's not very common to have a good reason for it.

Incidentally, Physics Forums is a completely different kind of site. In general, anything you may know about their policies won't necessarily apply here.

  • $\begingroup$ It's probably worthwhile to mention that SE, both on a script and on a team level, is very trigger happy in terms of merging accounts which look like sock puppets. If you do want to use multiple accounts for legitimate reasons, and you don't want them to be merged, take appropriate precautions such as always using different browsers for the two accounts. This includes, among other things, using an account here which can be linked to you personally, and a separate account on e.g. Academia or The Workplace SE to ask about confidential matters. $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2015 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Emilio that is true, but I would also add for readers that they don't merge or delete accounts simply because they appear to belong to the same person. There has to be some evidence of inappropriate use, or a verified request from the owner. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Oct 4, 2015 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ That's not what comes through on MSE, though. This and similar proposals have been stonewalled, and team members have explicitly said (example) that there is no guaranteed lower bound on the circumstances in which two accounts will not be merged. $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2015 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ Well, your first link is about something different. But in any case, I'm describing the practice, not the policy. Think of it as though SE reserves the right to merge accounts with arbitrarily little cause, even though in practice they generally won't. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Oct 4, 2015 at 19:28

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