I find radical changes in users' "display name" (because of user's own will or accounts merging or else) rather confusing.
Particularly when reading comments because when the link to the commenter profile page is updated accordingly, comments including the @user_display_name are kept unmodified.
In case of old posts with many comments from many users, understanding what comment is addressing what other comment becomes a hassle.

Could some bot also update these @user_display_name in the comments when the display name of some commenter is changed ?

Alternatively, is there a possibility for the standard user to access some sort of history of display name changes ?

Additionally, what should I do when some comment of mine appears to me just unrelated because addressing some comment from @old_user_name I just cannot find ? Simply delete it ?

1 Answer 1


No, unfortunately. This has been requested on the main meta, and it is far more serious than the simple issue of someone getting confused by a name change (I feel you, it confuses me too!), there are strong safety and legal reasons for this. For instance, people who have transitioned and changed name want to remove mention of their deadname, and also, people who request deletion of their data under GDPR should have all of their data, including such comments deleted.

Sadly, SE have made it clear that this is not technically feasible, or at least, not feasible with the resources the company is willing to use for such a project. And, to be fair, it really is not a simple thing (just think of duplicate user names and how one would be able to distinguish between them). Please see:

As for the final question, if you think a comment of yours isn't useful anymore, yes, please delete it! And if it isn't yours, flag it as obsolete and we'll delete it for you. Comments are supposed to be ephemeral, temporary.

  • Fair enough. Thanks to @ter^H^H^H^H… the author of this answer… ;-)
    – MC68020
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:06

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