Remark 99.4.6. The result of Lemma 99.4.5 can be generalized as follows. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. Let $U$ be an algebraic space and let $f : U \to \mathcal{X}$ be a surjective morphism (which makes sense by Section 99.3). Let $R = U \times _\mathcal {X} U$, let $(U, R, s, t, c)$ be the groupoid in algebraic spaces, and let $f_{can} : [U/R] \to \mathcal{X}$ be the canonical morphism as constructed in Algebraic Stacks, Lemma 93.16.1. Then the image of $|R| \to |U| \times |U|$ is an equivalence relation and $|\mathcal{X}| = |U|/|R|$. The proof of Lemma 99.4.5 works without change. (Of course in general $[U/R]$ is not an algebraic stack, and in general $f_{can}$ is not an isomorphism.)

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