Wikipedia:Namechecking

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It's official! Everybody wants to have their name in Wikipedia! But namechecking is not cool. Adding names to lists of people when you have no intention of establishing their notability is bad. Listing the staff of a school board, small business, design studio or college department does not add to a readers understanding of the topic. The schoolfriends of pop stars were probably not instrumental in their later success, and family members need to do something on their own terms to be important. If you have added redlinked or non-linked people to an article who you do not believe would pass WP:BIO, you've been namechecking. If you know any of these people, or indeed share the same set of fingers and toes with one of them, then you're guilty of namechecking and breaching Wikipedia's conflict of interest guidelines.

Never lose heart – when you, your friends and colleagues get featured in Widget Monthly and leap over the bar of notability, someone will be only too happy to write about you. With sources and everything. Until then, please don't confuse Wikipedia with the telephone directory.

Typical namechecks[edit]

  • "His brother Jeremy is a clinical officer at Pharma Inc."
  • "Michael grew up playing football at school with childhood friends Steve Smith and Brian Johnson"
  • "Jenny Barker – Forum moderator"