My account name is "Randolf Richardson" but somehow my account name was changed to "Complicated see bio." The description was also changed (it used to begin with "I am a spam-fighter ... I'm also anti-RIAA ...") to "This account is a chimera of several user accounts following a stackexchange mix-up."

Either something is seriously wrong with the system, or someone has figured out how to gain unauthorized access to my account (if so, it's safe to assume that they've figured out how to gain unauthorized access to other accounts).

Can someone please restore my information to what it was just prior to this change?

Also, is it possible to get some sort of password protection mechanism to prevent this from happening in the future? I'm worried that relying on third party systems like OpenID or gMail may be the weakness.

Thanks in advance.


A special thanks to @DMA57361 for looking into this extensively and providing updates in a private chat channel.

A special thanks to @random for obtaining a copy of my description (before it got obliterated), also in the same private chat channel.

  • Is your OpenID not password-protected? Because then yes, that would be bad, but in theory OpenID is the password protection mechanism Nov 7 '11 at 15:07
  • I'm using the one provided by StackExchange. It never asked me for a password when I signed up for it. Nov 7 '11 at 15:11
  • It definitely did, it's half the fields on the registration page. How are you logging in without a password? Nov 7 '11 at 15:14
  • This system never asks anyone for passwords. Either that, or my account is really screwed up and is exempt from needing a password as a result. Nov 7 '11 at 15:16
  • It completely does. Have you just not needed to login since you originally signed up? The site generally remembers your credentials Nov 7 '11 at 15:19
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    You can stay logged in to the SE open id (or even the website) for a very very long time without logging back in, could it just be that?
    – DMA57361
    Nov 7 '11 at 15:20
  • Did you ever sign up with an OpenID? When you viewed your profile page did it say "Unregistered User" above your details?
    – ChrisF
    Nov 7 '11 at 15:34
  • For the other "Complicated see bio": it's not an issue of unprotected OpenID, it's a stackexchange account that accepts logins with the respective OpenIDs of two persons from different continents who have never met. They may both have used "nobody@example.com" as e-mail addresses when registering. There is no other obvious explanation for the glitch. Nov 7 '11 at 15:41
  • @Michael Mrozek: I signed up with Stack Exchange's OpenID system when it was in beta, perhaps passwords weren't required back then. I couldn't use the main OpenID web site because it doesn't support plussed eMail addresses, and their technical support is non-existent (they just ignore all eMails asking for help). Nov 7 '11 at 15:43
  • SECURITY NOTICE: I didn't post that comment that begins with "For the other ..." -- someone else is using my account now. This is rather worrisome! Nov 7 '11 at 15:43
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    @ChrisF: I tried, many times, but they don't support a "+" symbol in the local-part of eMail addresses (which MUST be supported according to the relevant RFCs regarding eMail, SMTP, etc.). I did try to contact them via eMail a few times about this, but they never replied so I gave up. Nov 7 '11 at 15:45
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    @Complicatedseebio - please join me in chat here: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1734/room-re-accidental-merges Nov 7 '11 at 16:52
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    So for the rest of us, in case we ever see strange behavior like this ourselves - the gist is that two users got mistaken merged?
    – Shinrai
    Nov 8 '11 at 18:15

I've manually unmerged these accounts as best we can, @Pascal - you'll need to login to SuperUser once to create a new user I can assign your posts to, so you'll get that reputation back. Please comment here once you're done that and I'll happily fix the ownership on these up:

Also, I'm a bit confused with the history on who was the actual English owner: https://english.stackexchange.com/users/9014/complicated-see-bio (this was the origin of the mis-merge), please comment if I've assigned this to the wrong person and I'll fix that up.

  • Those two answers you posted were not written by me. Might they be Pascal's? Nov 7 '11 at 18:52
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    @Nick Craver: It seems he doesn't have a network profile either. Nov 7 '11 at 18:55

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