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Is it ok to put さん after an internet handle, such as a twitter name or a username?

My suspicion is that you'd avoid adding さん if it'd confuse the software, and that addressing someone by their internet handle at all would be too casual in formal situations, but that otherwise you'd add さん or whatever honorific was appropriate.

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I don't know the (unspoken or spoken) rules about this, but I know if you sign up for something on a Japanese website, you get e-mails and such with 様, regardless if it's a real name or a nickname. –  silvermaple Aug 4 '12 at 13:35

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Not only is it okay, the Twitter button on a website will do this automatically when you are using Japanese locale. For example, I recently pressed the button and it tweeted

Ursula K. Le Guin pressured to make books 'more like Harry Potter' http://blastr.com/2012/07/ursula-k-le-guin-pressure.php @blastrさんから

When replying to someone on Twitter with an @myname, you don't generally add さん to their username because it makes it look a bit like writing a letter, but if you are mentioning them in the midst of a sentence, you will add it unless if it's a good friend, for example, 「.@mynameさんによると・・・」

With other kinds of usernames, さん is completely dependent on context. For example, on 2channel you may see people add it to be polite, or omit it to be casual, or even from time to time use it sarcastically, like 「1さんのお母さんでいらっしゃいますか?息子さんが 2ちゃんにクソスレ立ててらっしゃいますよ。」

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