The obstacles to username changes

I’m curious about the technical or even purely policy reasons behind “we can’t change addresses once they’ve been issued”?

The policy is meant to keep the namespace clean and prevent abuse. While most people will pick a username and keep it indefinitely, there are some folks out there who would change theirs daily if allowed—either due to indecisiveness or because of other abuse-related shenanigans. And of course with every name change there’s some namespace pollution (e.g. if someone used the email address associated with their prior address).

Some have suggested that I allow a certain number of username changes, like three or five—but I’m not a fan of that approach (mostly because it allows the issues above, and I also know from experience that if you let someone do something a few times, they may have a hard time respecting that they can’t do it any more).

Ultimately, the core model is very similar to any other top-level domain name registration (and in fact, is considered an “eTLD” given its presence on the Public Suffix List). You choose a domain, select a registration period, and pay annually. With any other domain registrar, there’s no option for changing the domain name after registration (likely for the same abuse and namespace hygiene reasons).

I realize none of this may sound overly great to anyone who wants to change their address, but I hope it at least makes sense and clarifies where the policy is coming from!