Global username policy

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The following is a proposed Wikimedia policy. References or links to this page should not describe it as an effective "policy". The proposal is in development, it may still be very experimental, not working as currently described or intended, and could be possibly never finalized.

Policies and guidelines Global username policy (draft)
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This page outlines standards and guidelines relating to the naming of accounts across all Wikimedia projects and action that may be taken by stewards for usernames in violation of this policy.

This policy describes what kinds of usernames are acceptable on Wikimedia wikis and how unacceptable or doubtful usernames can be dealt with. It also specifies that a user account should be used only by one person, and that in most cases one person should use only one account.

You can make an account so that a username is shown beside the changes you make. A username is a way of telling who is writing something. This helps people to communicate and to keep records. You can have a user page with the title of your username, and also a talk page, where people can leave you messages.

In the past, users created separate accounts on each project they intended to edit, and the policies around the naming of their accounts were managed locally with the possibility of different username policies on every project. With the implementation of unified login (also known as single user login or SUL), user accounts are connected globally.

This policy recognizes the need for local username policies. It is not intended to supersede them, but rather to create a minimum standard globally for acceptable usernames. Local username policies are developed by each community and serve an important role in setting community standards, which may differ based on language, culture and other factors.

Unacceptable usernames[edit]

Stewards are trusted to use their judgement in enforcing the global username policy, as this list is not necessarily exhaustive. This section and policy is not to be confused with a criteria for global locks; though an account may be locked due to an unacceptable username, an account's behavior is a central point in a decision to globally lock an account which is not addressed here.

The name must not try to offend or upset anyone. Remember that other people editing here are from different places and they may be upset by different things. Here are ways to avoid offending people:

  • Do not use the name of a political, military or religious figure or event (including real people).
  • Do not choose something that might be offensive. Your user name should not suggest that you hold any particular political, religious or other belief.
  • Do not use a name similar to another user.
  • People should be able to think things about you just based on your contributions, not on what they think about your name.
  • Usernames that offend other people might make people not want to contribute to Wikipedia. That also distracts people from what they are meant to be doing - writing an encyclopedia!
  • Some names do not offend people, but they show a strong view or are very religious. These names are discouraged but less seriously than names that offend people.
  • Names that have the word "bot" will confuse you with bots. It is not offending, but it is confusing to the community and is not allowed.
  • If someone complains about your user name, please think about changing it. If lots of people complain, you will have to change it.
  • Do not create or use promotional usernames, such as the name of a company.

Any username that violates the global oversight policy is additionally considered unacceptable and therefore may be locked and immediately suppressed by local oversighters or stewards.

Doppelgänger accounts[edit]

Sometimes it may be needed to create accounts with a username that is like your own to prevent other editors from doing it. Such accounts are called doppelgänger accounts. The user page of a doppelgänger account should identify it as such, or redirect to your user page. Doppelgänger accounts should not be used for editing.

Enforcement[edit]

Usernames in violation of this policy may be immediately locked, without warning or community discussion. Additionally, at the discretion of stewards, they may be hidden from logs through the use of oversight.

To appeal a global lock, email your request to the stewards OTRS queue at stewards(at)wikimedia(dot)org.

See also[edit]