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My brother and I sometimes share the same computer and our accounts were merged by mistake because the system flagged it. As a result it was necessary to undo this. Now there is a confusion about the accounts. I am happy that my questions and answers are ok but I am curious. What it is account merge? why this even exist?

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Accounts are typically merged in the following scenarios:

  • A user creates two profiles and asks for a merge.
  • A user purposefully creates multiple profiles and uses one or more of them to upvote a "master" profile (these days such accounts are usually deleted, but a merge is still an option).
  • A user creates two profiles and the system identifies that they are likely belonging to the same person.

It sounds like you got caught up in the third case. Some of these merges happen automatically (assuming a high degree of confidence based on IP matches, login credentials, etc.), some end up in a queue that I, Shog9, and Tim Post review to provide human oversight and accept or reject potential merge candidates.

The vast majority of the time, this system works well. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes still happen. My best advice for sharing computers is to make sure you do not use any similar (or same!) login credentials, ideally visit the site using incognito/private profiles in your favourite browser, and do not leave yourself signed into whatever OpenID provider (Google, Facebook, etc.) that you're signing in with when switching accounts.

If you are still seeing any issues with your account, let us know and we'll do our best to sort them out as soon as possible.

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    Well, they have the same last name, so similar logins and credentials was only honest. – Mołot Dec 24 '13 at 12:20
  • Thank you for the answer. We will be more careful. The level of support for solving this from stackoverflow has been great.We really appreciate it. – cayerdis Dec 24 '13 at 14:28
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    @Mołot Just to be clear, I'm absolutely not accusing them of anything fishy here. – Adam Lear Dec 24 '13 at 16:52

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