I'm considering changing my GitHub username from the old alias I was using as a kid to my real name. I'm concerned about my repository URLs. GitHub will redirect the old URLs, but if someone creates a new account using my old username and creates a repository with the same name as one of my repositories, the URL redirection will break and the URL will lead to their repository, not mine.

Now, this is understandable, and GitHub recommends to not count on the redirect in the long term, and update all the remotes, but I'm concerned about some Vim plugins I'm hosting on GitHub. It's a common practice to manage Vim plugins with Git(either as separate repositories or as submodules), and if one of the plugins' remotes break you'll get error messages when you try to batch-update all your plugins(it happened to me once...). It's not that hard to solve, and the chances that'll happen are slim, but I would still like to avoid causing trouble to the users of my plugins...

To prevent this, I think to create a new account with my old username. That way I can avoid the risk of someone else taking my old username and breaking the redirects of my old repositories.

While researching this approach I've found GitHub's Name Squatting Policy. According to that policy, GitHub can delete or rename inactive accounts. To my understanding, they do this to prevent Cybersquatting, but surely this isn't the case with my fake account - I'm not holding someone else's name in an attempt to sell it to them, I'm merely occupying a name I was using to protect my old URLs...

So, is it acceptable to go with this plan an create a fake account with my old username?

closed as off-topic by GrandmasterB, GlenH7, Dan Pichelman, user40980, gnat Jun 1 '14 at 7:12

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  • 3
    Have you tried contacting Github about this? What did they say? – user40980 May 31 '14 at 23:06
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the policies of a 3rd party site (Github). – GlenH7 Jun 1 '14 at 0:45
up vote 5 down vote accepted

So, is it acceptable to go with this plan an create a fake account with my old username?

You are asking the wrong people.

There is only one arbiter of what is acceptable use of Github account names; i.e. Github themselves.

Ask them, via their normal support channels.

  • 3
    OK, I asked them and they replied: "We're fine with that within reason (i.e. if you're not making fifty dummy accounts)" – Idan Arye Jun 1 '14 at 19:41

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