Do we no longer announce poster name changes?

It’s helpful to know who we are reading or conversing with. Thoughts?

We haven’t announced name changes in many, many years. It can be helpful if a user posts the change somewhere (we used to recommend adding it to your sig line) but there’s no requirement that they do so.

Are you alluding to anyone in particular? (was supposed to be a response to @D_Anconia)

He’s not sure who.

How about a sticky in ATMB for people to announce name changes?

That sounds like a good idea.

I suspect some people who request a name change may wish to disassociate themselves from their previous username.

On a board where socks are forbidden, do we want people to be able to do that?

– I can see it in cases of gender transition; but do we want people to be able just to disassociate themselves from previous posts and posted opinions/positions?

Their profile wouldn’t be changed, and I believe that all their previous posts would be updated with the new name, so they would still be connected.

Just to note that we’ve allowed name changes here for a long time. They aren’t common, but they’re not unheard of. And, as @k9bfriender notes, a user name change gets retroactively applied to all of their old posts, so it doesn’t let someone actually “disassociate themselves” from previous posts.

I think, to @Telemark’s point, there may have been some who have changed their user names because they no longer felt good about what their previous user name indicated or suggested about them.

People generally announce their name change if it’s just that they feel the old name no longer fits. Changing your name to disassociate yourself from your posting history doesn’t usually work too well for the above reason and the fact that people don’t really change all that much. People will soon notice that poster B acts a lot like poster A, connect that with poster A suddenly no longer posting and the gigs up.

I’ll be a bit vague here so as not to drag up old news, but at one time a poster that had been, let’s say controversial, had left the board (maybe banned, but I think just left) and later asked to come back under a new name or just made a sock. The poster was outed in no time. I can’t remember if someone noted similar posting styles or if someone the returning poster had trusted with the new name told other people, but soon the whole board knew about it. Bottom line, there are very few long lasting secrets here.

Weren’t there an unusual number of name changes when we migrated to Discourse? A lot more than the usual number? Might that be a reason to have a notification or a listing of at least those name changes?

Or for even more mundane reasons. I first signed up for the board as slowmovingvehicle. But, being something of a grammar Nazi, I didn’t like the lower case or the way all three words ran together. So TubaDiva changed it to Slow Moving Vehicle for me. Then in the transition from vBulletin, it became Slow_Moving_Vehicle, because Discourse doesn’t like multi-word usernames.

There was obviously never any idea to disassociate myself from my previous posts; it was just correcting a minor annoyance (to me).

Ah. That makes quite a difference. Thanks to both of you for info.

A lot of those were closely enough related to the original name that it was easy to connect them; they were just fitting names into the limited Discourse forms.

Those weren’t name changes but socks created by people who weren’t able to login using their old vBulletin username. So there are two separate accounts with two separate post histories. An administrator would be able to merge the two accounts but we don’t have anyone in that role at present. I believe we were told not to do this but instead to contact @engineer_comp_geek who could assist people in logging in using their old account.

Indeed, going back and reading old posts, the new user name will show up except for when they were quoted, then you see the old user name.

Yep, it’s incredibly easy to find out. Just search on the user name and start at the oldest posts. In any longer thread it’s likely someone replied to them.

Even easier, just PM them and ask. I think most posters would probably tell you.

On other D-boards I use, changing the names in quotes doesn’t happen, like (IIRC) it did on vBulletin.

Let’s say I’ve quoted Alex in a reply. They later change their name to Ben.

All of Alex’s posts will change to the new username. But quotes of those posts won’t. Instead, my quote will show a greyed-out generic avatar and the greyed-out, unclickable name Alex, followed by whatever text I’d quoted.

What will change is the name in the upper right corner of my post, the one beside the date. That will update to the new name. So there is still a connection, at least as long as Alex/Ben was the only person I quoted in my reply.

I seem to recall several threads in which users announced their own name changes.

There were some, though, who were sufficiently unhappy with the way that Discourse mangled their names that they decided to change to something completely different.