Jump to content

Requests for comment/Create a universal user name policy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

The following request for comments is closed. No consensus at this point in time to pursue a global username policy that universally applies to all projects. ~riley (talk) 00:59, 17 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Note: this idea is primary, but somewhat makes some sense (at least, to me.)

As usernames become global (or across projects) with the CentralAuth extension, there should, in my opinion, be some update to the username policy, which was independent within multiple language versions and projects.

The aim to instate a universal username guideline/policy is a practical issue (at least, to me). This is to avoid ironic situations where one username is acceptable in project A but unacceptable at project B (and get a block on inappropriate username). This defeats the purpose of implementing the unified login system/SUL at all.

In order to draft this piece of universal policy, there would need a broader consultation and a lot more to be discussed about. This idea is just in a primary stage, so any input/comment is welcome.--1233 T / C 17:54, 30 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]


  • I support + username change also should not depend on arbitrary votes. There shall be rules, those that fit should be able to change theisr username. Typing from my phone, I will be glad if someone adds support icon to my comment. --Ruhubelent (talk) 13:29, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'd support a very, very non-encompassing global username policy that, say, only disallows usernames that are personal attacks or obviously bad-faith. There are a few main issues: differences in consensus across projects, difference in languages and associated connotations with specific words, and the fact that you cannot globally block a user, only a lock, which prevents possibly good-faith users (like people whose username is the name of a company or group they're trying to write about) from changing their username as they would not be able to login. Best regards, Vermont (talk) 00:51, 7 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Nope. There's a reason we don't have one: our projects are based on languages, and languages typically map to geographic regions and cultural groups. What is offensive on ar.wiki may or may not be offensive on en.wiki, and there are good reasons to let people on each of those projects set their own policies (Iridescent explained this to someone recently on my en.wiki talk page, so pinging him in case he's interested.)

    Renames/usernames are only "global" in the sense that that's an unfortunate requirement of SUL. Wikimedia projects are fundamentally local because of the language/culture issue and attempts to create global policies without a strong case is almost always a horrible idea.

    One of the most positive things that has happened on meta over the last few years is that we have de facto relocalized renaming. This is because it is not a global issue, but an issue on projects where someone works and is known. Having a global policy for this would re-prioritize meta in an area where we have correctly shifted the balance of power away from meta. That's a bad thing, especially in an area so sensitive as what you call someone. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:25, 7 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • Oppose Oppose Let's say an user from certain project (A) edits under a username allowed by their local policy, but is not for any other project (B). As long as they do not edit on B project there shouldn't be any problem, but if they do then they will have to think wisely, e.g. to request an username change to make it valid on both projects and as much as possible wikis. This is not that hard, and could be easier to understand if local communities encourage their editors to choose usernames that may not be controversial for other projects (perhaps some already do). There could be harder cases, e.g on Commons which policy allows the use of names of organizations as long as they are verified, but that is not allowed on a plenty of other projects. Commons has its valid reasons why that is allowed, as well English Wikipedia has its reasons to forbid it. Said that, creating a global username policy could lead to disputes between projects to decide whether a kind of username should be allowed or not. Instead, projects should guide users to pick not very controversial usernames. Esteban16 (talk) 22:51, 9 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support There are also a lot of scripts that can make other scripts languages users angry, e.g. by using Tifinagh scripts, you will be blocked on id:, and they won't give you ways to request unblock. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:27, 17 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • I'm not sure if you're arguing for or against that usage of a block, but to me that doesn't seem like anything a global username policy would solve: local admins could (and would) still block for it if they wanted to, because local policy can always be stricter than global policy. If you're saying that's a good thing, I disagree completely and can think of issues on some wikis where علاء has almost been blocked because he doesn't have a Latin script username. That's a rather bad idea, and I'd oppose banning scripts across all projects. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:09, 20 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • What is acceptable @ one culture (user of language alpha) might not be acceptable @ culture B (language beta), and what is acceptable on culture C (language gamma) might not be acceptable @ culture B and D (language delta), and on and on and on. We can't accomodate all of that in a single rule. — regards, Revi 01:17, 20 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, only thinking to codify a single policy that should include such a vast range of cultural and liguistical differences could explode someones brain. Just the single example that a profanity in one language could be the word for "cat" in another, makes any try moot, as any policy enforcement would require either a comittee or hyper-multi-super-polyglot enforcers. Let's leave it as is, in the hands of local communities. —Ah3kal (talk) 09:16, 20 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose per TonyBallioni, also as revi said "What is acceptable at one language might not be acceptable at language B" --Alaa :)..! 11:19, 21 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose — There have been a number of incidents in the last year showing just how different various wiki's policies and preferences can be. That's okay! I mean, it's annoying in the abstract, but the reality is that it's a small subset of folks for whom it might be a real concern. Even ignoring the languages aspect, we have many different types of projects, and as noted above, what may be acceptable on a project like Commons or wikiquote may not be elsewhere. ~ Amory (utc) 15:05, 13 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, per Tony. There's a lot of logic in having a global username policy, but doing so would likely override a lot of already long-established consensus on a lot of projects. Maybe if this had been done 10 years ago, it could fly, but I don't see it being anything but divisive and problematic at this point. As example, Esteban16 points out my own thoughts that some projects currently allow for usernames that imply shared use, while others don't - and many projects have very strong feelings about their projects policies regarding this. I suspect we'd have quite a revolt in either direction if we establish a global username policy that enforces one or the other direction. Waggie (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]