A role account is an account that is not associated with a particular person, but with an office, position, or task. Those doing the task use the account only to do the task. They have other accounts for other work.
Use of role accounts is not officially sanctioned on most Wikimedia Foundation projects, though their use has been proposed. To use them, consensus must be made. Meta-Wiki does not use them currently, but Foundation representatives may do so in the future.
All Wikimedia wikis
The following role accounts were created globally and exist for the use of the Wikimedia Foundation.
See Commons:Commons:Role account for available information.
On the English Wikipedia, five role accounts are currently permitted.
- User:Oversightdiff account was created by the Arbitration Committee in February 2008 to make reporting of privacy violations easier.[en 1]
- User:Bureaucrats[ref?] account was created by bureaucrats on the English Wikipedia as of March 2009 to enable people to contact the private mailing list.[en 1] The email list for the Bureaucrats was closed in 2017.[en 2]
- User:Wikipedia Information Teamdiff account created to send emails to accounts where an email address exists; or for emails to be sent direct to OTRS. Account makes no edits.
The following role accounts exist on the English Wikipedia for historical purposes and are inactive:
- User:User Advocate[ref?] [en 3]
- User:Mediation Committee,[ref?] the account for contacting the members of the Mediation Committee on the English Wikipedia, this account does not edit.
Any other accounts with multiple users are likely to be blocked.
- A special:emailuser points directly to the oversight list, however this account does not edit.
- Bureaucrats' noticeboard discussion to retire mailing list
- Role accounts were created unilaterally in 2003 and are no longer used. However, the User:Mediator role account helped lay the groundwork for the Mediation Committee and the Arbitration Committee, and the User:User Advocate role account did the same for the Association of Members' Advocates.
In the Spanish Wikipedia one role account is currently permited:
- Usuario:Supervisor~eswiki is a special account used to contact the oversight mailing list for the Spanish Wikipedia via Special:EmailUser. The account does not edit.
Per fr:Wikipédia:Nom d'utilisateur, accounts under the name of a legal person, such a corporation, are frowned upon, but not forbidden, as long as they respect policies, mainly about self promotion and paid contributions.
If a contributor has a doubt about the identity of such account, the account owner has two choices:
- send a proof of identity to info-frwikimedia.org, and a OTRS volunteer will note the legitimate use
- ask an account rename
See also the essay fr:Wikipédia:Compte collectif.
A "gardener" role account exists on the French Wikipedia and was used for a while without any opposition.
Un autre role existe également sur la wikipédia française, la jardinière. Il a fonctionné un certain temps, sans la moindre opposition de quiconque.
On the Hungarian Wikipedia, one role account is currently permitted.
- Szerkesztő:Wikitanács, the account only for contacting (secretly, via e-mail) the members of the Arbitration Committee on the Hungarian Wikipedia. This account does not edit.
On Portuguese Wikipedia, one role account is currently permitted:
- Usuário(a):Supressor is a special account used to contact the oversight mailing list for the Portuguese Wikipedia via Special:EmailUser. The account does not edit. Its creation was proposed here.
On Meta-Wiki the following role account is currently permitted:
- User:Wikimedia Stewards is a role account for the stewards so users can contact their OTRS queue easily using Special:EmailUser/Wikimedia Stewards. Intended to facilitate users making oversight requests. The account is only present at Meta and, except an edit on the userpage, this account will not edit[meta 1]
- User:Meta-Wiki oversighters is a role account for Meta:Oversighters so users can contact their mailing list using Special:EmailUser. Account was created by MarcoAurelio.
- User:WMF Surveys is a role account for the Wikimedia Foundation's Learning and Evaluation team. It will be used on Meta to send MassMessages for survey invitations.
- User:Indic-TechCom is a role account created by Jayprakash12345 for Indic-TechCom activities[meta 2].