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I have seen a user posting a first question (first posts review queue) and it seemed very familiar (by name). Based on activity from other sites on the SE Network, I think it is actually the same user as one I know having much activity on Politics.SE (questions mainly).

Question: can a user leave (and lose all activity) and rejoin the community under the same name?

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Yes, a user can request the deletion of their account, and later come back, creating a new account. If this sort of thing is done to evade suspension or post ban, that's not allowed and a moderator will take action up to the deletion of the new account. But otherwise, this is not out of ordinary. People change their minds.

Display name can be the same or different. Names are not unique anyway: there are several users named "John", for example. Users are identified by Id number (like 11278 for you), not by their names.

  • How does this work when a user then ends up answering their own question asked with an old account with a new account? The archivist in my head feels that ought to be noted somewhere so as not to give the appearance of sockpuppeting, but I can't for the life of me work out how. – origimbo Oct 23 '17 at 21:12
  • It could be noted in the post itself, "I am the author of the question, posting from a new account". I see these occasionally. On technical sites like Stack Overflow, such a note is helpful because it gives more context to the answer: it's one thing when a random user says that X worked for them, another when the question's author does so. On sites like Politics... asking a question and then promoting a particular point of view as another user could indeed be considered abuse. – user4921 Oct 23 '17 at 21:17
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    @origimbo - Well answering your own question is an acceptable practice here so I do not see why it would be a problem. – SoylentGray Nov 1 '17 at 21:04

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