Yesterday I saw a proposed edit by "gutto" to a question asked by "guto". I rejected the edit with a note saying he should use the same account to edit as he did to write the question. He wouldn't need anyone's approval to edit his own question anyway. Also, having the same user speak from different accounts causes confusion.
I thought multiple accounts where against the rules, or at least discouraged, and I know mods can merge accounts (I learned this when a particular user that is now in the penalty box for a long time kept creating "sock puppett" accounts, and I heard mods talk about "merging" them to his real account. See fourth comment down by Kortuk.). This guy managed to get his edit thru with the second account anyway, so I flagged it for moderator attention figuring a merge was in order and perhaps a warning to the guy to not create multiple accounts in the future. However, my flag was declined with the cryptic note "Ask in meta about it for more feedback, but it can actually be very hard to recover an account if they loose it. The process is not obvious and I can no longer just merge for them. Do not reject edits".
Now I'm really confused. That note raises more questions than it answers. Something changed recently so that mods can't merge accounts as before? What can they do? When is it appropriate? What really is the policy on multiple accounts? Isn't having the same user, particularly in the same question, using multiple accounts a bad thing? What is meant by recovering a account if someone looses it? What do you mean "loose" it anyway? Note that the edit with the second account was only about 9 hours after the question, so the original couldn't have been considered inactive or something. What is meant by flat out "Do not reject edits"? Isn't that what the edit queue is for? If we're never supposed to reject one, what's the point of having us review edits?