I am surprised that nicks are not unique in SO.

  • Should nicks be unique? What if tomorrow we get oli's, jorge's and luis alvadaros' all over the place? :)

[JFYI] Due to name space pollution, I changed my nick from Private to don.joey. Should have picked something less standard in the first place, I guess. No worries.

  • I'll miss the awkwardness when Private was chatting with Private.
    – Alaa Ali
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


Point of interest, there are already seven people called Oli on the main site.

I wouldn't worry too much about name clashes. It's something that happens in real life all the time and we get along with it because we learn other identifying marks (faces, voices, etc). On Stack Exchange we have avatars.

Between the two, that should provide people with enough individuality without needing force the next Oli to call himself BigBadOli6969, just because I nabbed "Oli" first. That's the trade-off here. Silliness vs individuality.

There is another side to this: when people purposefully imitate another user by copying their avatar. In these cases I think we would take action to prevent calamitous hijinks ensuing.

But again there is a problem when people use publicly available material as their avatars. You have selected an image from a very old internet animation. You are certainly not the only person using it.

You have to expect some level of clash if you use both a common nickname and a commonly used avatar.

  • 1
    Then there was Oli day... That was fun.
    – Mateo
    Sep 13, 2013 at 15:26

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