Wikipedia talk:User account policy/Archive 5

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Suggested modification

I'd like to suggest a modification to WP:U that I hope will raise the bar on username blocks to an appropriate level. While reviewing WP:RFCN and the block logs, I perceive a trend tending towards blocking usernames that the blocker feels 'might be seen as obscene by someone'. Specifically, the blocker isn't blocking a username that he/she finds offensive, instead the admin or concerned user is blocking/advocating the block of a username that they think someone, somewhere might be offended by. I feel this sets the standard for this specific type of username block too low, and that the language should be modified slightly to reflect that someone _does_ find it offensive, not that some unspecified third party _might_ be offended by it. Under the current policy, person X could block, say, User:Piehole, and then argue that someone might find it offensive. Anyone who disagrees can only assert their own non-offendedness but cannot authoritatively say "Nobody will be offended". The burden is inordinately skewed, in terms of backing up the assertion, in favor of the person reporting the theoretical case.

The current language lists, as unacceptable: "Usernames that contain profanity, obscenities, or other potentially offensive language (including non-English profanities)." I propose that it be modified to remove 'potentially', along the lines of "Usernames that contain profanity, obscenities (including non-English profanities), or other reasonably offensive language that a user has specifically objected to." The burden should be placed on the accuser, not the defendant, to shamelessly analogize the essential matter. Better language suggestions for the above are welcome, of course.

The current wishy-washy 'well, someone SOMEWHERE might be offended' text creates a 'follow the letter, not the spirit' environment surrounding WP:U and cheapens its role in the project. - CHAIRBOY () 18:05, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I absolutely disagree. I feel the current language serves us well, and I don't think blocks have been excessive. No one person can dictate what is offensive, therefore, the potentially needs to remain. There is no burden on anyone as WP:RFCN is not supposed to be used to review blocks, just to have conversations about them before if an admin feels they are borderline. Nowhere does RFCN state that reviewing already made blocks is its purpose, and though some use it for that, it is incorrect. You cannot say authroitatively that nobody won't be offended either. The potentially offensive wording has been long standing and useful. I see no good reason in your arguments to change it. If you have an issue with a specific block, you should be talking to the admin who made it. In practice, the potentially offensive argument is not abused like you are implying it is. pschemp | talk 18:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
My main request is that the person applying the block or reporting an offensive username actually believes it to be offensive themselves or has seen a complaint about it. I'd appreciate any insight you can give as to why that would be an unreasonable request. - CHAIRBOY () 18:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
And indeed, I don't block it unless I feel it is offensive. Your argument is a bit silly though. You don't have to be required to be personally offended to block something. While I might not be offended by User:fuckJimbouptheass because I don't like Jimbo, the name should still be blocked. It is clearly potentially offensive, and as such, the wording of the policy works perfectly. I don't think waiting until someone complains about that name is reasonable either. "Potentially offensive" forces people to consider the whole wikipedia population and think past their own personal biases. Taking that away just results in dictating morals. pschemp | talk 18:27, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I also strongly disagree with this change. Pschemp has already put it better than I could have. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I half agree half disagree. I don't believe the intent of the policy is to prevent pretty innocuous names which just could be found offensive by the one-eyed eskimo called Pete, whilst at the the same time as pschemp points out there are a number of names which I personally don't find offensive but I'm pretty confident others will. I doubt any change will have much effect, if I block name X merely because I think someone else might find it offensive, if asked I could just say I find it offensive (which by your criteria is end of discussion). That is to say I agree there maybe some problems with application of the policy, but it isn't the policy which is faulty. I also certainly believe we shouldn't be going out of our way to look for offense, and the idea of listing up every borderline case somewhere, so a group of people can hypothesise as to if someone could perceivably find it offensive is a complete non-starter for me. I'll repeat what I've said elsewhere about the way I look at these, if it's obvious to me that it is offensive or that someone else will find it offensive, I'll block it, if not I'll leave it be (There are enough people look at these, such that if we all let it be, there is a good chance the name simply isn't a problem). -pgk 18:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
We are really talking about a very small grey zone here. There is no reason why any editor should ever pick an obviously offensive username... except to be deliberately offensive. Doing something that is deliberately offensive goes against several wikipedia guidelines and policies. They should be slapped down hard. I would hope that every editor would have the maturity to avoid even potentially offensive usernames. But when they don't, they should be notified and politely, but firmly asked to choose another. The only time there should be a question is when someone picks a user name that they thought was fine, but turns out to be offensive. For example, (and I am deliberately going to extremes here) a new user chooses User:Joeblow as his name. He honestly feels that this name is acceptable and inoffensive. To him it is a common reference to annonimity. Now there is an "off chance" possibility that "someone" might find this offensive - since it could be construed as a reference to homosexual acts, or cocaine abuse. However, this is an unlikely occurance. In this situation, an admin needs to use good judgment let the name stand until someone actually complains. Blueboar 20:40, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Blueboar's comment about names not known to be offensive seems reasonable. A more plausible example might be a user that only speaks one or two languages and chooses a username that is perfectly innocent in those languages but also is an obscenity in some unrelated language. They've picked a potentially offensive username, but have no idea that they did it. This should be able to be handled gently by discussion without blocking. Remember the urban legend about the name of the Chevrolet Nova. GRBerry 22:13, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I strongly agree with the proposal and have even removed the word "potentially" myself only to be reverted. WP:RFCN has become a joke. More than half the names that are nominated there are so innocuous as to be laughable. We have users who seem to live for nothing else than to find every username in Wikipedia that contains a religious or political term and nominate them for banning (usually without discussing the issue with the "offensive" user beforehand). Ironically many of the users who vote to ban these usernames have "potentially" offensive usernames themselves. Maybe that's how they found out about RFCN, I don't know. The whole process is like watching someone make sausage. I finally had to take it off my watchlist in disgust, as I was afraid if I participated much longer I would lose my ability to remain civil. It's also worth noting that RFCN is hopelessly skewed to a Western/Christian POV. Usernames that would get people beheaded in other countries are ignored, while usernames like SouthernPride or ILikeJesus are crucified. Kaldari 18:35, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Potentially is there for a good reason. We don't want people dancing on the line. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I have to reluctantly agree that having the 'potentially' there to provide a grey area is a better option than without. To my mind it should be seen as a way of saying "I can't define disruptive behaviour, but I know it when I see it. And I see it in your username. *zap*" However, there is a clear history of people here stretching the grey area far beyond that. To shift it back where it belongs, could I suggest something along the lines of "language that is considered likely to be offensive, in the judgement of (an administrator|an impartial person)"? Sure, it's not perfect (How do I know how likely it is? How likely is likely? Why does person X get to make the judgement?) but I can't think of any arguments that can't be equally applied to the 'potentially' wording. And to anyone claiming that the current language isn't abused - if that were true, I wouldn't be here right now. A year ago I was asked to change my name, evidently on the basis that there were a handful of country names that could be potentially used to potentially annoy people, and therefore we must systematically seek out everyone with a country name and get them to change their username. That incident undoubtedly coloured my view of the Wikipedia project, and put me off making a larger contribution to it. Today I see the same arguments still going on. I wouldn't normally get involved in Wikipedia policy as I find most of it (harmlessly) tedious, but this is an exception - it creates a scattergun culture of randomly pestering well-intentioned editors. It needs to be fixed. Slovakia 20:56, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


I've put together some statistics based on the recent database dump - here. I haven't made any effort to double check these so take them with a pinch of salt (and indeed some are not necessarily in line with my expectations.) The block information is based on the block log and IIRC some entries are missing from that log due to a bug in mediawiki, I haven't looked into that and if it was in effect for the date range covered. --pgk 22:55, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting. So far it seems like usernameblocks are indeed a very small percentage. pschemp | talk 08:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Issue with trademark policy

I would like to raise a few issues with the current trademark policy. First, I'll quote it as it stands:

Unique trademarked names: Non-trivial trademarked names that undoubtedly refer to the owner of the trademark, such as "Google", "Wikipedia", or "New York Yankees", but not necessarily "AIBM" (IBM), Accord (Honda Accord), Goggle (Google) may be blocked on sight because of legal concerns involving copyright and trademark issues.

Problem #1: This policy invites a group composed mostly of non-lawyers to make a subjective determination about whether a name is a "legal concern" for Wikipedia.

Problem #2: This policy doesn't give any clue as to how "unique" or how strong of a reference constitutes a violation. Clearly "New York Yankees", but where does "Yankees fan" stand? How about "Jazz fan", which could refer to the Utah Jazz, or to jazz music? How about a john-at-comcast-dot-com, which while discouraged as an e-mail address, isn't prohibited, and contains a reference to Comcast? How about User:BuickCenturyDriver, which is undoubtedly a reference to a Buick Century, but certainly not a trademark infringement in the legal sense.

Problem #3: The notion that words like "accord" or "goggle" should be blocked is highly misleading and open to misinterpretation. A lawyer can likely tell you that using these as usernames doesn't even come close to violating any trademark law anywhere. With the amount of stretching that this "policy" demonstrates, just about any username could be accused of being "similar" to somebody's trademark.

Problem #4: The policy is awash in legal inexpertise. If the person who wrote the policy doesn't even know that copyright law (as mentioned in the policy) doesn't even deal with trademarks AT ALL, then the rule was clearly written with an insufficient level of legal knowledge to be doing such a thing. (The person who wrote the policy probably doesn't know that using a trademark as a username on an online forum isn't a trademark violation either, even if it's a blatant use of a trademark, save the exception that the person is trying to impersonate a representative of the trademark owner.) Intellectual property law 101: Trademarks exclusively cover use of commercial marks, and copyrights exclusively cover works.

This rule should either be stricken, revised, or evaluated by Jimbo or the Wikimedia Foundation's lawyer, as it clearly wasn't written according to Wikipedia's guidelines for self-imposing rules for legal reasons. "The community [consisting mostly of non-lawyers] should not use its incomplete comprehension of legality to impose restrictions upon itself", and "the Wikimedia Foundation employs a lawyer who will inform [them] if and when restrictive actions are necessary." - See WP:PEREN#Legal issues.

--Reswobslc 21:34, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the rule is doing fine, have you an example of where this has caused a problem? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:25, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
It's a restriction just for the sake of restriction that doesn't serve a practical purpose. It's like prohibiting cannabis. Reswobslc 19:52, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm with HighInBC, the current policy is fine - non trivial trademarks are disallowed - this removes any potential for legal issues RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 01:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
It is simply wrong. If the name is spammy or confusing, that's one thing -- but that is independent of whether or not the name is trademarked. On the other hand, if a username contains a trademark, but is not spammy or confusing, then there is no issue. The given justification for this rule was legal, and I seriously, seriously doubt there are any legal implications here. I think the whole trademark thing was a red herring, and I have removed this rule. Perhaps you can give an example of where there are legal issues. Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 00:59, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Reswobslc, plus what exactly does "non-trival" mean, operationally? Until 02:06, 17 February 2007, that passage read: "Unique trademarked names:' Complex trademarked names that undoubtedly refer to the owner of the trademark, especially sports teams like the Miami Heat, the Carolina Hurricanes, or the New York Yankees." "Complex" as in word-combinations that made up the unique trademark, as opposed to single words like "Heat", "Hurricanes", "Yankees", "Apple", "International", "Business", or "Machines". "Apple Computer" may have changed its name to just "Apple", but that word by itself is not only (or "uniquely") a trademarked name. The current passage, with ill-fitting terms like "non-trivial" and "copyright" tossed in like gravel in a salad, simply doesn't work. I'm reverting to the version just now quoted, the last before that revision. If it needs to be updated from that, get input from Brad Patrick or someone else up there who actually knows what the WMF wants and needs said. This is a Wiki, yes, but on legal issues it shouldn't be the Amateur Hour. -- Ben 01:04, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
This rule didn't come from the WMF. Jimbo has an issue with "Wikipedia" in a username, but again Nothing To Do With Trademarks. Just nuke the rule. Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 01:07, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Stongly oppose nuking the rule - there are potential legal issues if this rule is not included RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 01:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
There's not, but if you're concerned, go ask Brad Patrick, general counsel for the Foundation. Titoxd(?!?) 02:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Ryan, I agree with Titoxd there's not, and you are not a lawyer, and until Wikimedia's counsel advises otherwise, the community should not arbitrarily restrict itself based on an inaccurate knowledge of the law as you insist it should. Reswobslc 06:59, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Uh, last time I checked, I was agreeing with you. Titoxd(?!?) 07:08, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
You're right. Response was to Ryan (as I hoped the indentation level would suggest). I clarified it. Reswobslc 08:42, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually the old version is worse. "Miami Heat" is a perfectly reasonable username. It is hot in Miami, and it is not our concern if sports teams choose generic names. For other names, regardless of any legal issues, usernames should not pretend to be those of some company. —Centrxtalk • 03:12, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

A better example could be given. My concern was with the text outside the examples. -- Ben 09:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Sports teams were the original motivating example, and copyright the motivating reason, actually [1]. It was also added without discussion. Now that it has been discussed and debunked, we can nuke it. Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 16:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Comment to everyone, I've asked Brad Patrick about this so hopefully he can sort this out. The page has now been fully protected so we need clarification from him before we can move on' RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 23:59, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Removing the trademark rule, which should not be put back except under the direction of Wikimedia counsel.
  • If WMF has a problem with this rule, they are capable of removing it. I do not see that you have any special authority in the matter.) [2]

In defence of this user, I don't think this was a claim to speak for WMF. Rather, because this rule was not "from above" to begin with, I think the point was that if the WMF wants a rule to protect themselves from trademark infrigement action, they can direct us. I believe the advice cited above (WP:PEREN#Legal issues) is what was being followed here: in absence of such direction, we should not have rules based on bad legal reasoning like this. I also agree with this advice. Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 19:52, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

In defence of common sense, people shouldn't be editing on behalf of organizations like Google. And fanboys are nuts and shouldn't be editing on behalf of their favorite sports teams either. These names cause problems. The rule is fine. Its meant to *avoid* legal issues in the first place. There is nothing wrong with this approach. pschemp | talk 09:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
In defense of common sense, my common sense isn't your common sense. In America common sense says we eat cows and never horses - in India common sense says we eat horses and never cows. It's one thing to be impersonating Google, which is already addressed by the impersonation rule. It's another to forbid every user name that refers to a trademark, especially to do it based on an incomplete comprehension of the law. If the Wikimedia lawyer says we need the rule to avoid legal issues, then so be it. Short of that, the community need not restrict itself unnecessarily (did you get the memo? WP:PEREN#Legal issues) Reswobslc 20:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You are talking about an abuse of the rule situation. However, that hasn't happened. pschemp | talk 20:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
It might be better to refer to "company names", etc. rather than trademarks, which is the intention of the rule. —Centrxtalk • 20:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that. pschemp | talk 20:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Thats already covered; Usernames that promote companies RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 20:19, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Poop in usernames

I've recently noticed a lot of usernames with poop in are blocked for having offensive usernames, would anyone agree that this is not offensive and should be written into policy as an example of a username which is not offensive? RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 23:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I have to say, the word "poop" does not really offend me. Nor "caca" for that matter. --Kukini hablame aqui 00:21, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
No, I think the rules against excretory references is just fine the way it is. Using children's language does not make it any more appropriate. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:24, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Is poop appropriate in the sense of "poop deck" on a ship?? Not being frivolous, but it can be a legitimate username element.

--sunstar nettalk 00:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

And even if its not used in this respect, surely no-one would find poop effensive, mildly comical at worst RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 00:29, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't see any value to Wikipedia in making that special exception, nor harm from not doing so. The policy ain't broke, so don't "fix" it -- please. -- Ben 01:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Sounds like instruction creep to me, as always it's about applying common sense a name which fits the list may be fine don't block it, others not on the list will be inappropriate, block them. We've had 1000 upon 1000 of these, those which haven't been blocked immediately seem to have invariably involved in vandalism. Much of the origin of the username policy is to maintain a certain amount of integrity to the project, I can't see User:Poopeater being a ringing endorsement of our status as a serious project, no matter how good their contributions may be (IIRC the example name there was CumGuzzler or some such, which need not be considered directly offensive). Sure that'll look great in press articles article on <famous person> had libel introduced to it on wikipedia, by users such as Poopeater, I love Poop etc. etc. --pgk 11:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • There's not much in this world that offends me, but as Pgk says, names like that are simply an embarassment to the project. I don't know if we really need to specify either way on this particular issue, but as long as it is left at our discretion I will continue to block them. Kafziel Talk 19:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with some of the above comments. I'm not offended by poop, but it refers to an excretory function. Many harmless exceptions to this are possible, but allowing them would mean we will eventually need to throw away the rule altogether. Either we forbid all references to excretory functions, or we forbid none. At the moment we forbid all references, and this includes poop. AecisBrievenbus 00:22, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Edit war

I have protected the page from further editing until the conflict over the "trademarks rule" has been settled. Having a revert war on official policy, especially one we ask new users to review before creating thier username, is a very bad thing. Please continue the discussion on the inclusion/exclusion, and request unprotection when the dispute has been resolved. Administrators are reminded to avoid editing or unprotecting protected pages if they are parties in the dispute; please ask an uninvolved administrator to make any necessary edits or unprotect the page. Essjay (Talk) 23:57, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Any chance you could give User:Brad Patrick the heads up to come and solve this? I've already asked him but I'm not sure how much weight he'll give to my comments on his talk page RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 00:05, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Any chance we don't go crying to brad or jimbo about every little silly detail of this policy? Seriously. It isn't broken, I don't know why people think it needs to be so "fixed". pschemp | talk 09:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going crying to Brad, the page has been protected and this seams like a legitimate answer to the problem - he's the best person to advise us on this RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 10:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You have a handful of people saying a policy is needless and created for legal reasons by a non-lawyer and enforcing it like hapless rookie cops, then you have a handful of people who value restrictive policies without regard to their purpose, because "that's the way we've always done it". And if nobody from Wikimedia can be bothered to say a word, then it's the lost leading the lost. The version selected for protection was selected by pure timing and chance, not by any amount of rational thought. If the big "cluster fuck" isn't apparent by now, then I don't know how to explain that to you. It would be trying to explain why you can't see the forest because the trees are in the way. Imagine if retail stores couldn't be bothered to set their own policies, such as their return policy, and customers were debating semantics and legalities back and forth in the aisles. If the current state is "We're protecting the page until it's resolved", and the only person who can really "resolve it" doesn't bother to... in the military, that's called a cluster fuck and gets people killed. On Wikipedia, it just makes Wikimedia look stupid. Reswobslc 02:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Lets all be civil here, geez, it is a policy discussion, don't take it so personally. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:41, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Your best bet is to email him and point him here; his email is at the top of his talk page. I have no idea if he'll be willing to make an official statement on this, though. Essjay (Talk) 00:09, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps we can agree on a ceasefire and unprotect the page, or will that result in edit warring? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:51, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I am unprotecting this policy as it has several productive proposals on the table and it is not good to keep it locked for too long. Please do not edit war, it will be taken seriously. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:36, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I suppose Essjay's retirement (which I found out about on CNN!) would be a good explanation for the "radio silence". Reswobslc 07:54, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Would it be possible to add "developer" to this section as an extension to this wording: Usernames that imply an official role or a position with access to additional tools not available to a standard user, such as "Administrator", "Admin", "System operator", "Sysop", or "Moderator". to make it more explicit. The matter arose today at WP:RFCN. Archive link Thanks. Bubba hotep 13:19, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd be up for that addition, think its should be made clearer in the policy RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 13:20, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Yep, me too. Also add whatever other role may exist in WP. There are legit normal professions out there that may just be the user's occupation. We should make clear which ones do carry an official WP role, because next we will have a username e.g. "User:Entrepreneur Joe" and people may suggest that it is confusing with WP entrepreneurs such as Jimbo Wales. NikoSilver 13:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be added, it clearly implies an official role. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:12, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Along with "Steward", and "Bureaucrat". There are union stewards, cruise-ship stewards, etc, and legions upon legions of bureaucrats; one or more of them may likewise think of putting the word in their names. I thought WP:U was pretty clear about the examples already given not being an exclusive list, but that didn't prevent a lively debate about "DeveloperDan" on RFC/NAME on the grounds that he was a real-life (off-wiki) software developer and used that name as a "handle" elsewhere. -- Ben 15:31, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and added it to further clarify the various official role names that should not be allowed.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 19:36, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I seem to think that it's impossible to solve this supposed problem by creating a list of words. No matter how many words are listed, there's always a legitimate use for each, and there's always going to be more words that could imply official status. Example words that could imply official status: patrol, manager, supervisor, agent, director, operator, controller, auditor, technician, server, guardian, watcher, programmer, editor, chief,... I could go on and on. Examples of uses of words unlikely to be confused as official: User:747 stewardess, User:Aspiring FBI bureaucrat, User:AZHomeDeveloper. Reswobslc 05:56, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Agree with the above comment, I can't see much point in this (not necessarily any harm at this stage either). As always it is the intent not the absolute letter of the policy which is important. We aren't going to be able to list out every possible way that a name can misrepresent authority on wikipedia. Attempting to do so would merely makes the list unwieldy and if it either purports or appears to be intended as a definitive list makes it subject to (more) lawyering when dealing with those not listed. One of those mentioned on the list is moderator, this was added I believe after a username (Moderator2000?) was apparently being treated as an admin and indeed was encouraging such, at that point I'm not sure anyone had seen a problem with the word moderator as we don't have moderators, the problem was "ordinary" editors often don't realise that, otoh I'm not sure even a brand new user seeing just the word Steward or Developer would see any real significance to it without some other words to indicate official capacity. --pgk 07:39, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Meh. Per WP:CREEP, we shouldn't be adding every single example on the planet. That's why admins have brains. pschemp | talk 09:46, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


Some clarity on this would be great. Recently, my bee in my bonnet has been people reporting new editors to RFC purely because of their name, with no effort whatsoever made to contact the new editor first. This, to me, smacks of newbie biting. This policy - WP:U - says that if a username is borderline inappropriate, you:

  1. Ask them politely to consider changing it
  2. Wait for a response (should this be clarified with "a reasonable amount of time"?)
  3. If no response, submit to WP:RFCN.

However, the RFCN header ({{RFCUsername}}) says "please consider asking first". Given that this is the root policy, I've amended the RFCN header to match - changing "please consider asking" to "please ask". I raise this here rather than on the template talk page as this should (hopefully?) recieve more input. Is this a reasonable change? IS this how we want it to work? I am very much in favour of always asking politely first (we even have a suitable template to do so). Proto  18:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Seems like a reasonable modification. As this is an RFCN change, it won't affect the obvious User:iamjimbowalesandimgonnakillallyouwikimotherfuckers username blocks, to anticipate a possible objection. - CHAIRBOY () 18:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with the change. Sometimes it's obvious that a name should be blocked, but if it's possible that the user just didn't know the rules, they should be given the benefit of a warning. Kafziel Talk 18:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Got to admit I hate people shouting WP:BITE as it tends to be quite emotive. There are many ways new users can feel pissed off such as the old joke of first showing users how we create new pages and then we show them how we do speedy deletions... I think it makes not a jot of difference, new or established user. That said I suspect from what I've seen of WP:RFCN recently It might need a more significant overhaul, in the grand scheme of things a borderline username is not a big deal, I suspect (though I haven't checked) that a few people list the majority of the names, which if true suggests it risks becoming a rules for the sake of rules situation. Certainly if doesn't appear to fit the mould of other RFCs, rather than being about general comments/observations to enabled those involved to resolve any problems (No blocks issued by RFC), it seems to be approaching a simple vote with consequence. (I'll hasten to add I haven't looked into this that deeply and I may just have been unlucky on the couple of days I did look....)
The other aspect I personally consider in the borderline cases, is that if the user is here to be disruptive in someway, they'll normally end up getting blocked pretty quickly anyway for that reason, often it's best to just keep an eye on someone if they are contributing constructively there simply isn't a good reason not to approach them in due course and ask them to change. --pgk 19:41, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Proto, I agree with your change, and certainly with the preferability of having a one-to-one conversation* with the user before dragging the issue to an RFC. I suspect the reason for "please consider asking" was to bend over backwards to avoid appearing to give an order ("you must ask"). But "please ask" isn't an order, either; it's a perfectly reasonable and civil request. Good change. Full endorsement. -- Ben 23:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
         * :My work on the RFC-related templates (see {{RFCtemplate}}), especially {{ArticleConcern}} and {{ConductConcern}} and {{UsernameConcern}}, actually owes something to Lanza del Vasto of the Community of the Ark, who'd told me that when anyone came to him with a complaint about another community member, he'd take the one by the hand, lead him to the other, and say to the other, "This person has something to tell you." He'd let them try to work it out together before getting anyone else involved. Then, if necessary, one mediator. Then, if necessary, a group of three. The community as a whole wouldn't get involved until as a last resort -- and its decisions were by consensus, there meaning that the meeting didn't end until everyone either agreed or voluntarily chose to leave the community. (Don't let anyone tell you that pacifists are pushovers or soft.) -- Ben

New addition

I saw Centrx (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) made an addition to the list of inappropriate names. I'm just wondering how closely related does the username have to be to warrant a username block? I mean, I don't see blocking Yankeesfan94, or Yankees4life indefinitely. Is it just referring to team names and such? Also, ::the examples posted were all team names, but would this same thing apply to companies and such? I have blocked a handful of usernames because their name implied commercial ties. Thanks, Nishkid64 22:03, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

An example I just encountered is: Yankee42pitcher (talk · contribs). The user name was just created less than thirty minutes ago. I'm wondering whether the changed policy would apply to this. Nishkid64 22:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd say let it go on this one, the page has been fully protected as there was an edit war regarding whether trademarks are an issue or not, I don't see how we can block a username when there is the real chance that this particular part of policy will be removed in a couple of days, hope that helps RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm...okay. Another question, where exactly do we draw the line for vulgar names? I mean...I've been iffy on blocking users with the word "bastard" or "fruitcake" in their name. I left the bastard one for now, but I already blocked "totalfruitcake". Nishkid64 22:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think you might have got it the wrong way round! Think bastard is generally clear cut, and would merit a block on sight. Totalfruitcake, I don't really think infringes on policy, he's saying hes a total fruit cake and I can't see any profanitites or outright vulgar words in there. Generally speaking, usernames that contain words such as fuck, cunt, twat, slag, slut e.t.c can be blocked on sight. The thing to remember really is sometimes these words can be inside other words and be totally harmless, e.g. User:Darcyshitum, on first sight this looks offensive, but actually this could be his name, its cases like these that an RFC/N is probably a good idea RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Well the guy's name is Creativebastard (talk · contribs) and all he did was post his Myspace link at his user and user talk page. :-P I didn't block this guy because bastard refers to someone who is an illegitimate child. That's not vulgar, but can be used in vulgar, in a sense. Totalfruitcake just gives me the impression that it's not the food he's talking about, but the inflammatory term. Nishkid64 23:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what inflamatory term there is in "totalfruitcake", in the UK slang it could be someone saying they were a total nutter (An eccentric, insane, crazy or reckless person.) - Deriving I assume from "nutty as a fruitcake". OTOH Bastard I hear used as a direct insult more often than I do as a factual statement of someones parentage. I don't think either are offensive, but that isn't necessarily the only consideration as per the above discussion on poop. Personally I'd block neither --pgk 07:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Total Biscuit is a character in a Discworld book. It could, I guess, be a take on that. Proto  11:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Real names - asking in advance

Wikipedia:Username says:

If you wish to use your real name, but it appears that it might violate any of the rules on inappropriate usernames, please contact an administrator. A mutually acceptable solution can very likely be found.

It may not be obvious to a (potential) new user how to "contact an admin". Even if there is a wikilink to (say) the page with the list of admins, it's still a random thing as to whether (a) the admin contacted is inactive or not; (b) if active, the admin is on a wikibreak; (c) the admin notices and responds; and (d) the quality of the answer of one person who may not have much experience with inappropriate usernames.

So - a suggestion, for discussion: What about an (additional) section at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names where someone could ask about the proprietary of their real name as a user name? (I'm not suggesting a section to ask about potential usernames in general; that invites policy-testing and game-playing; only about real names.)

In a nutshell, what about changing the policy from "contact an admin" to "post at WP:RFC/U"? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


There's an interesting issue with Usernames containing the word "Muhammad". Muhammad (name) is a very common Muslim/Arabic name (it is the most common first name and the most common last name in the world). However, by the letter of WP:U names like User:MuhammadRahman (literal trans: Muhammad merciful) would be banned, since they refer to a religious figure. (Just google "Muhammad Rahman" to see how common this name is)

There was a very recent WP:RFCN here on the name User:MOHAMMED NO, closed as no consensus. This, imho would have almost certainly been deleted without my intervention. I'm pretty certain no one from an Arabic or Muslim community would take offense at this name, as it would more likely refer to a person's name, nickname, or initials (e.g. Muhammad Nor Othman). The issue I have with Username policy is that we have Americans and Europeans with scant knowledge of Islam and Arabic culture making judgments on what would be offensive to our communities. In the discussion I linked to, the nominator didn't even realize that "Muhammad" and "Mohammad" were different transliterations of the same name. One of the voters referred to Muhammad as God, an assertion that would get you stoned to death in some countries. I'm sure they mean well, but can these people really decide what is offensive to a Muslim and what isn't? I suggest that rather than posting on WP:RFCN, usernames that might be potentially offensive to Muslims be referred to Wikiproject Islam instead. Borisblue 13:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad I was spared the stoning! :-) Btw you are right, of course, but still it could definitely be interpreted as an implicit reference to the founder of Islam (which is also not allowed IMO by WP:U). I strongly believe that in such usernames where sensible doubt can be raised, the "burden of proof" should lie on the user's side. If there is adequate clarification that no implication of religious figures is intended, then everything is OK. However, if there are doubts, and even if non-eligible (in this case e.g. Christian) users perceive it as "inflammatory", then the username should IMO be disallowed, on the grounds that this confusion will be extended to the editors that interact with the user concerned on each and every edit of his. Wikiproject Islam (or whatever applicable), while obviously more conscientious on the issue, will not be there to clarify every confused fellow editor. NikoSilver 14:39, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
As an admin I would not block usernames with Muhammad on that factor alone. Just like users with Jesus Gonzoles (or other similar Spanish style username) for jesus as that is a common username there also. But there should be other factors that play into the block. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 14:52, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Me neither, but if I were an admin, I'd certainly block usernames such as Muhammad/Jesus coupled with "NO"/"NEVER"/"NO WAY"/"NADA"/"KAPUT"/"ZILT"/"NEIN"/"NICHT"/"NON", and I wouldn't care if some wild Google search provided the (extreme IMO) possibility that they could be "real names", unless and until it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that it is so. It is these cases I refer to as "potentially offensive", and not "Jesus Gonzales" or "Muhammad Noah" or whatever else that cannot be misinterpreted as a potential religious offense. NikoSilver 13:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The burden of proof should be on the community's side — and it should be a strong demand for proof. At the moment the letter of the law is being pursued with scant regard for common sense; people who are either oversensitive themselves or overprotective of the supposed sensitivities of others are bringing ridiculous cases to WP:RFCN. OK, they're often laughed off the page, but not always (not often enough, I think).

WP:U offers guidelines, not polcies, and shouldn't be treated like an inflexible law to be applied without thought or question. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 15:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree on the burden of proof being the communities. However, it is a policy, not a guideline. It is arbitrary enough for interpretation though. HowIBecameCivil 15:07, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed that it is a policy but one requiring interpretation. That is what WP:RFCN is for. I would like to see a consensus for allowing the names Mohammed (and variations) and Jesus when it is not clear they are meant in a way that would be considered offensive, inflammatory, or blasphemous to Muslim and Christian believers, respectively, due to the fact that these are also common names. --Ginkgo100talk 21:54, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, yes, I was careless — a policy it is. As Ginkgo100 points out, though, it doesn't replace our intelligence abd common sense. It was created for a reason, and applying it where that reason is absent goes against its spirit if not its letter. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 22:30, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


I have unprotected this page because there are a few proposed additions that seem likely to succeed. A major policy should not be protected for too long. I please do not engage in edit warring, it is often preferred to block users than to protect pages. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 05:04, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Randomness policy

I have restored the policy in the edit before this edit [3] one, as the page clearly says: "When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus". As there was no discussion whatsoever before making the change, the revision did not reflect consensus, it was just one user's opinion. Although the change has been there a year now, that doesn't necessarily reflect any consensus, as the page clearly says at the top [This page represents consensus]. So a user making an out-of-process unilateral change effectively creates consensus, because subsequent readers would then read the page and believe that its state represents consensus. This is clearly contradictory with the statement that changes should not be made without consensus.

Accordingly, I have reverted the edit, as the original change was invalid as it was made without any consensus, mention, or discussion whatsoever (not even in the edit summary), and I don't see that I should have to justify removing a change made on the basis of one user's opinion Nssdfdsfds 00:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

For everyones information, the part that Nssdfdsfds reinstated was originally removed by an IP earlier today [4] Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 00:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you're misreading the edit history..... Nssdfdsfds 00:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
So I am, in that case, your removal of the statement about usernames which contain random or apparently random letters was against consensus, please could you revert yourself and discuss it here Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 00:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I didn't remove it, I restored it to before when it was changed against consensus here. [5] As I explained above..... If you look at the talk archives, this change was entirely unilateral, without any discussion at all, let alone consensus. So as I see it, if someone makes a change against consensus without so much as a word about it on Talk, it doesn't magically become consensus, because as I explained above, any change made to policy becomes *APPARENT* policy, because of the disclaimer at the top telling people not to change without consensus - subsequent editors to the page assume it is consensus policy, because of the warning, even though it's not. So any editor just inserting his own opinion can undermine the process. This should not be allowed to stand. So I don't see any reason to revert what is after all a change made against the explicit statement on the page to get consensus first. Nssdfdsfds 00:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd say you need to quit reverting it as you're only guilty of behaving in the way in which you accuse User:Freakofnurture of behaving. You're not so much reverting as making a policy change at this point. It needs to be discussed first now, as two so-called unilateral edits will not make it right - Alison 01:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I already reverted twice and stated my rationale, but Nssdfdsfds reverted back. However, I'm not getting into a revert war over this - Alison 00:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Here's the Talk Page when Freakofnurture made the unilateral change. There's nothing to justify the change..... No consensus, not even a mention of it. [6] Nssdfdsfds 00:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
This is a very respected part of policy which many people abide by, there have been no requests for its removal completely that I am aware of, again, please revert yourself and we can discuss it here first Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 00:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
As I've said, if somebody decides to change the policy then people will abide by it and uphold it, just because it is understood to represent policy. That doesn't mean the change was valid.
By analogy, if the police are told that there is a new law in the land, they will uphold that law without question - it's obvious that any system of upholding rules works this way. But if it turns out the law was never actually passed, and in fact someone at the printers just decided to add it on to the lawbook, it is in fact not valid law, and then they would have to STOP enforcing it, and then the lawmakers would need to decide whether in fact they did want to make that law. Any quasilegal system has to work in this way.
For this reason telling me to revert is absurd, as you've asserted that there is consensus without establishing that any such consensus exists - you are effectively endorsing people to make their own unilateral changes without consensus, even though that is against policy. This is logically contradictory. Nssdfdsfds 01:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
There has been consensus here because its been in the policy for over a year, hence why I am asking you to revert, because you've removed a sentance from policy without discussing it first, regardless of when or how the original statement was added, this is an excepted official policy which noone but yourself wishes to change Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 01:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Un-indenting for simplicity of editing: It's been discussed several times since Freak made the edit, so even if it wasn't endorsed as consensus at the time it was made, it's certainly endorsed now. Examples of discussion on the subject are cited in the RFCN thread on your username (including a re-confirmation of the policy from last month). Also, re-reverting.-Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 01:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary Section Break

Er, as I've said, the fact it's been in the policy for over less than a year proves nothing. The policy says at the top that it represents consensus. Therefore nobody's going to change it because they've been told it represents consensus, even though it was a unilaterl change. So that's a non-starter as a justification. And consensus? Looking at your link, I don't see any. The only user who was endorsing the policy as it was unilaterally created was inBC, Kukini wanted to modify it, as did Benedict_the_moor, and tjstrf. And that's with these people starting from the assumption (which is incorrect) that as the policy is on the page it must have followed consensus. Nobody noticed that some user just took it upon himself to add it, but despite that, there's still no agreement on it. So I'm not sure why you're saying it's been endorsed, as it clearly hasn't Nssdfdsfds 01:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

  • "Therefore nobody's going to change it because they've been told it represents consensus" - not true. It's being discussed here right now, so state your rationale and let's go for consensus. You're challenging it, right? - Alison 01:37, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Nope, I'm saying if you want to make it policy, establish consensus. That's the correct thing to do. Until there's consensus established (rather than just changing it and nobody noticing/objecting), it should not be in the policy. Nssdfdsfds 01:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
"Nope, I'm saying if you want to make it policy, establish consensus" - great. So go ahead and do just that, because right now, it is policy. - Alison 02:03, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • If anybody wanted to change it back at that point, they would've changed it back. It's not like this snuck under the radar... That said, consensus can change, so if you want to have another debate on the merits of the policy, that's fine. I think it should stay the way it is because it's difficult to type, and it'd make it difficult to distinguish between different users with nonsense names if we permitted nonsense names. Also, I think it helps discourage a certain amount of casual vandalism (by discouraging the creation of throwaway accounts), which is a good thing. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 01:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree. This has gotten consensus several times now. You need to get a consensus to change it, if that's what you want. pschemp | talk 02:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The list of "random" admin names from his RFCN seems relevant - pasted: "Allow c'mon guys, lets be serious here. This username isnt really a breach of policy. To me it seems no more or less random than User:EWS23 User:Rd232 User:Zzyzx11 User:Nv8200p User:Mdd4696 User:Jcw69 or User:Ixfd64 (all of whom are administrators!) Glen 10:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)" - The policy, _as written_, does not allow these names. If the actual policy being enforced (i.e. the one that actually has consensus) is something other than this, this page should be changed. --Random832 14:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think a name that's five characters long has enough substance to be random. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree- there should be a length limit to the randomness policy. Borisblue 15:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
This was just discussed a little while ago at #Concern over the concept of "apparent". My opinion is the same. Random or apparently random names are confusing and disruptive. However, if they are 5 characters or shorter, I do agree the problem is not as bad. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Err, why is a 7 character long random name like User:Mdd4696 more "disruptive" than a 10 character long random name like User:Nssdfdsfds? I agree that a long random username is quite confusing, but I don't consider 10 characters to be long. Maybe we can change the policy from "Usernames that consist of random or apparently random sequences" to "Usernames that consist of long random or apparently random sequences". What "long" is could be discussed on a per-case basis at WP:RFCN. --Conti| 17:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Personally, if I saw a name like Mdd4696, I'd assume that the first three characters were initials, and the last four were a date (M.D.D., born April 6, 1996, or September 6, 1946, or whatever). When I see a name like Nssdfdsfds, I assume that the guy created a throwaway account by hitting several keys at random, since it's implausibly long for an acronym and it doesn't include any numbers. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 14:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
That makes sense to me, but this policy currently states that not only random, but also "apparently random" usernames are forbidden. See a few sections above, where this was discussed in detail. I don't see anything wrong with either username, but per this policy they're both not allowed. --Conti| 15:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Does any of you really think that it would be possible to quantify absolutely a subjective criterion? Were it that easy, we wouldn't have judges in beauty contests (or the Eurovision). We'd just go ahead and unanimously pick the best looking gal/song. NikoSilver 15:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Therefore, IMO, the process as it is now, is the perfect emulation of quantification of subjectiveness: We have 5 or 10 or 20 !judges [sic], voting in WP:RFCN! I wouldn't change a iota. NikoSilver 15:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I am pretty sure we can make something more or less subjective, so I don't see any futility here, we can clarify the wording and still have it be subjective, just less so. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The point is that it will eventually rest on the judgement of the community. Nssddfsfdsfs (and others) will always be marginal cases. What we may want to do, is alter the philosophy: How about "no consensus" defaults to "disallow", since obviously there will be a significant number of users who have a problem with these names? NikoSilver 15:44, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer to see "no consensus" default to "allow" as that better fits the mission of inclusivity of wikipedia as well as best fits the "don't bite the newbies" rule. Kukini hablame aqui 16:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed amendment

I would like to add that username with the = sign be forbidden as that breaks templates such as {{vandal}} and others. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 16:48, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Example: Using the {{vandal}} template on User:Billbailey=legend will result in:Example (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

  • Support Due to technical reasons this character is disruptive in a user name, and is not needed to build an encyclopedia. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support If theres a clear technical issue it should be written into policy RyanPostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:47, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Been hesitant about these, but it only seems logical to do so. If it has caused technical problems, then by all means, it should go become policy. Nishkid64 00:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support how many so far? NikoSilver 01:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC) change to Oppose. Ben found a solution for filtering out the wrench from our gears. NikoSilver 21:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
    Much as I would love to take credit, VectorPotential pointed it out here first. -- BenTALK/HIST 20:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. It would be better to have the software block such names, of course, but changing policy is a good first step. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 16:42, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, but I feel that this should be hard-coded into MediaWiki. MaxSem 08:40, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment There's a simple enough work around, Example (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is a template breaker, User = name (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is not. As long as the name of the variable "{{{1}}}" is specified, ie {{Vandal|1=User = name}}, there's no reason that any existing template should cause any problem. I therefore propose that this section be removed--VectorPotentialTalk 18:53, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Very Very Very Strongly Oppose. There's no sense in changing policy and blocking usernames to avoid a technical glitch -- in a user-written template, for crying out loud, not even part of the basic system software -- when that has several easy technical fixes, VectorP's "1=" being both the simplest and best-working at the moment. I've just revised {{User2}}, {{User3}}, {{User4}}, {{User6}}, {{User7}}, {{User8}}, {{User9}}, {{User10}}, {{User11}}, {{User12}}, and {{Usercheck}}, so far, to incorporate VectorP's other excellent suggestion of a named variable "User" that can also be used, and to update the documentation to show both ways of listing names containing equal signs. If a template doesn't work correctly on all usernames, you should at least try to fix the template (or in this case how it's being used) rather than block the users! And if people don't know how to use the templates' options, you write documentation to show them how! What is it with this rush to the block button as the first resort?! -- BenTALK/HIST 04:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Ben. If it's just a user template problem. I wouldn't mind strongly recommending it it the policy (although that risks beans). If it's a mediawiki bug perhaps I would support it but not for this Nil Einne 19:03, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - doesn't break the template if used properly (e.g., instead of {vandal|Billbailey=legend}, type {vandal|1=Billbailey=legend} and get Billbailey=legend (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). However, many users don't know this, and there's no reason to cause excess confusion. Patstuarttalk·edits 21:47, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Those "many users" can't be told how to use templates on such usernames, either personally or in the template instructions? So instead we should block E=MC^2 (talk · contribs · count · logs · block log · lu · rfa · rfb · arb · rfc · lta · socks), Wikipedian since Feb. 2005 and never blocked before this? Because suddenly, after more than two years, using the most famous equation of the 20th century as a username causes excess confusion? -- BenTALK/HIST 21:45, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Suggested wording

Technical problems: Names that contain the character "=" will stop certain aspects of Wikipedia from working properly. Names with the "=" sign in it are not allowed for this reason.

Feel free to edit it mercilessly, I will add it once we agree. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:50, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

How about:

Technical problems: Names that contain the character "=" are not allowed because they result in confusing the code (mainly in certain Wikipedia templates).

Thoughts? (how about we also add it and tweak it there along with its context?) NikoSilver 14:11, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

  • change result in confusing the code to function as WikiMedia software code and thus the software may attempt to use the username as Wikicode instead of as a username' as I think that is clearer. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 14:55, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Head spins... Perhaps more precise and accurate, but it does not seem as clear to me. Perhaps "throws a wrench in our gears"? HowIBecameCivil 14:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Fine by me. --Conti| 22:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
That seems like a bit of a hassle, many people will not know to do that. The symbol can simply be disallowed in names. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 23:02, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
True, but in the mean time, blocking existing users just on this basis seems a bit harsh, besides, it's just two charters, =1 someone could make a note of it on the AIV header. It's literally the same amount of effort as knowing to use {{IPvandal}} in place of {{vandal}} when dealing with an IP--VectorPotentialTalk 23:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I personally think we shouldn't disallow usernames just because it makes our life a bit easier. The templates easily work with those usernames, and if people don't know that, we can simply tell them at Template:Userlinks. --Conti| 23:08, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
There's another alternative, which is to rename the variable something more intuitive, like changing {{{1}}} to {{{User}}}, that way they could type something like {{Vandal|User=Billbailey=legend}} and have it produce Billbailey=legend (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)--VectorPotentialTalk 23:11, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
The documentation at {{vandal}} / {{{userlinks}} has already been updated to show how "1=" works, and has some commented-out stuff about "User=" to be uncommented as soon as the code changes are moved in. {{user}}, {{user0}}, and {{user5}} are likewise just waiting for an admin to move the already-written code-and-docs into those protected templates. -- BenTALK/HIST 04:51, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
These template updates have now been made. -- BenTALK/HIST 23:19, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Or go to User:Billbailey=legend and you see the name in the URL as Billbailey%3Dlegend. Plug that name into {{vandal}} and you get Billbailey%3Dlegend (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). It's not pretty, but the links work... though in the logs you need to take out the extra "25" added by the template's "urlencode".
Or you could use urlencode yourself: {{vandal|{{urlencode:Billbailey=legend}}}} → Billbailey%3Dlegend (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
There's no sense in changing policy and blocking usernames to avoid a technical glitch -- in a user-written template, for crying out loud, not even part of the basic system software -- when that has several such easy technical fixes, VectorP's "1=" or "User=" being both the simplest and best-working. -- BenTALK/HIST 23:23, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Now that the technical problems of this are solved (so to speak), does anyone still object to the removal of the new rule? --Conti| 15:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I've commented out that rule until the issue is resolved, just so nobody gets username-blocked in the meantime, for a rule that could turn out to be so short-lived and so unnecessary. What a mess that would leave behind! How many Wikipedians would we infuriate for no good reason? (Note again that the Template:Vandal documentation has been updated to show how it can handle usernames with equal signs -- which undercuts the entire basis of this rule.) -- BenTALK/HIST 05:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how an awkward work-around that nobody knows to use invalidates this rule. The character is problematic, people don't know to use the work-around, and many bots will not work with that work-around. The character causes problems, and it is not needed to improve the encyclopedia. I think the rule should stay. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 17:17, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not a "work-around" at all, see meta:Help:Template#Parameters: "If a parameter value contains "=" the name has to be put explicitly". Names can contain "=", so we should've used "1=" in the first place instead of being lazy. It shouldn't be a problem to fix the bots where it is needed, either. And saying that the character is not needed to improve the encyclopedia is.. weird. We don't need usernames with an "i" in them either to improve the encyclopedia, right? --Conti| 17:52, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say that since "i" is a component of words, and "=" is not used for words, then your comparison is not really valid. The fact is that many sets of instructions would need to be changed, bots reprogrammed, and the general public would need to change how they use templates that take unnamed parameters. Or we can disallow the = sign. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:02, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Does that mean that usernames have to consist of words and nothing else? I think there was a discussion a while ago that resulted in the removal of a "don't use special characters" rule. (I could be wrong here, tho.) I understand that it's much easier to disallow one character than to fix everything else, but the easiest way is not always the best one. The instructions already have been updated, anyways. And what bots would need fixing? The general public won't have to do anything different either in 99% of all cases. And in the few cases where it is needed, I'm sure someone who knows what to do will be around. I really don't think that we all have to do some complicated hard work unless we disallow usernames with a "=" in it. --Conti| 19:18, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
The instructions have indeed been updated. Meanwhile, Example (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been a Wikipedia editor since February 2005, with never a block. Suddenly this is a problem? -- BenTALK/HIST 23:37, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Well the AIV helperbot will not detect the 1= usage for example, as it was built based on the instruction on that page. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 21:07, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know much about bots, so forgive me if I may sound naive, but shouldn't it be rather trivial to change the bot so it wouldn't have any problems with this? Thinking about this, the 1= usage has always worked with those templates anyways, so bots should probably be able to detect the usage whether we allow usernames with a "=" sign or not. --Conti| 22:00, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
The WP:RFCN section headers generated by {{user}} don't reveal the use of "1=" or "User=" at all. The headers will look the same as for other usernames, which should mean the variable's transparent as far as the bot is concerned, or templates like {{UsernameDiscussion}} -- what both will see is
Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names#E.3DMC.5E2_.28talk_.E2.80.A2_contribs.29
... or...
Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names#Billbailey.3Dlegend_.28talk_.E2.80.A2_contribs.29
... and the same reasoning should apply to the WP:AIV tags generated by {{userlinks}} aka {{vandal}}:
... or...
... the "1=" or "User=" simply drops out of the visible results. -- BenTALK/HIST 00:14, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Abandoning one username and starting anew with another

Having found no policy or guideline on the matter of abandoning one username and starting anew with another (I know it's perfectly acceptable, but I think this should be in writing), I've posted a note at Wikipedia talk:Changing username#Abandoning one username and starting anew with another about whether there should be formal, written guidance on this matter, and, if so, where.

Comments are strongly invited - please post there rather than here so all information is in one place. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

"Usernames of religious figures"

Why does the policy specify only religious figures, rather than a broader sweep of specifically religious terminology. I say specifically, to avoid arguing over common terms like "cross", but I would have thought if we're discouraging Jesus/Mohammed etc, we should extend that to "crucifix", "Ramadan" etc.

Just to clarify, I make this observation from the point of consistency. And as with the careful wording re the names of religious figures, I would suggest that we should not blanket object to all such usages. --Dweller 18:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I couldn't disagree more. We're going too far with religious usernames. We should be allowing more stuff like this, not less.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Pat Stuart (talkcontribs)
That's fine, but it's inconsistent to have a policy against one, but not the other. Either both or neither? --Dweller 21:53, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is a good idea. Are you seriously proposing we don't allow any usernames with any religious overtone whatsoever? Shall we disallow User:Wiki Raja, because Raja can have religious overtones in Hindu? This could seriously go too far. Patstuarttalk·edits 22:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
As I said above, the current policy regarding Jesus etc allows a measure of common sense to be brought to bear. There's no blanket ban. It seems inconsistent for policy to cover User:Jesushater but not User:Crucifixhater. Policy currently might allow User:JesusGomez and similarly could permit User:Wiki Raja, as you cite. --Dweller 09:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

There should also be no trivialization of religions such as in this case [7]. Overall, the religious policy should revolve around respect for religion not suppression of religion. The probably block of Dvoted2christ (talk · contribs) may be an example of wrongly blocking a user for simply expressing a religious belief without attempting to stuff it down another's throat. The Behnam 22:10, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I really dont think this is necessary. The only things I can think of that should be banned by this idea are already banned by the general "Inflammatory usernames" Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 19:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Interesting point, but wouldn't that also apply to the "Jesus clause"? It's inconsistent to cover names of religious figures, but not other religious issues. We should either have both or neither. --Dweller 12:08, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

email addresses?

The policy currently states that the MediaWiki software will disallow any username with an @ sign in it, yet I just saw and blocked someone w/ this sign in their username. So I'm confused. Natalie 01:27, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Never mind, I just can't f-ing read. Natalie 01:32, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed revision: Company names accepted with proof of affiliation

I feel that a company name should be allowed as a user name, provided that the user provides some proof of their affiliation with this company. Any thoughts? --24fan24 (talk) 21:52, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is spamming. If they are advertising, then don't allow. In a related theme, I am soliciting comment on the company name policy here on the RFCN talk page. Flyguy649talkcontribs 21:31, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Definitely not. We often suspect that they're affiliated to the companies involved, which is what rouses our concerns. How would proof of their affiliation reduce the problem? --Mel Etitis (Talk) 21:40, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how company names are an issue. If a company's name isn't known I especially don't see any harm. This certainly wont increase business for said company, no one is going to think, "Interesting username, I better search for any affiliated company and purchase their products/services." Furthermore, I think a lot of users are using these names not with intent for harm, but because it is an available name of which makes sense to them. It can be difficult to think of a username, especially on a big site like Wikipedia where many obvious ones are already taken. I think though that there should be a clause for proof of affiliation, because a user may create an account with the intent to harm the image of a company. --24fan24 (talk) 21:51, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I can't think of a single instance of someone using a company name as usernames with the intent of harming a company's image. They use them with the intent of adding spam links, creating inappropriate articles, and having a visible presence on Wikipedia where they can try to get some free name recognition. Nobody buys anything from spam emails, either, but they still send 'em. Marketing doesn't have to make sense. The point of the rule is to avoid advertising. It has nothing to do with whether or not the user is affiliated with the company; 99% of the time, they are. Kafziel Talk 21:56, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
No, a company cannot have a "company user account". Group accounts or role accounts are strictly forbidden. —Centrxtalk • 22:12, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't referring to group accounts. 24fan24 (talk) 23:52, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Religious usernames

I am deeply saddened to see people allowing usernames like User:Hentai Jeff (an obvious sexual reference) at WP:RFC/NAME, but disallowing clearly benign usernames like User:Jesusfreak, which is only a positive connotation of a religious figure. The whole point of disallowing religious usernames is to avoid offensive ones (e.g., User:ChristIsNotGod, User:AllahSupportsViolence, etc.) or ones that deliberately misspeak of the place of the user (e.g., User:Allah; it could be very offensive to a Muslim to have a person claim to be God). But a username like User:DevoutBuddhist is offensive to absolutely no one, and we are disallowing these usernames left and right. Patstuarttalk·edits

No we do not. Last example was a User:Dvoted2christ which was allowed. We only disallow those that may be perceived negative. Your example can be perceived negative if one assumes that "Jesus is a freak", which is highly probable for people who are not familiar with this recent terminology. That's why these are screened through WP:RFCN, and my and your perception should be irrelevant when voting there. We should vote taking into consideration if some users may be offended or not. WP:U explicitly states "potentially offensive", not "clearly offensive". NikoSilver 18:27, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Looks fine to me, that name has been disallowed over 5 times. Hentai does not mean a sexual perversion, but it has simply been used in that manner a lot. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:36, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Note, User:Jesusfreak has not been disallowed. Kukini hablame aqui 22:10, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh? [8] --BigDT 02:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Policy Change for WP:U regarding Religious Figures

Current Usernames of religious figures such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah", which may offend other people's beliefs. Usernames partly comprised of these terms are not always necessarily prohibited but may be subject to review.

Usernames which consist solely of the name of a religious figure are prohibited such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah", in addition, usernames that invoke the name of a religious figure or religion may be prohibited should they be distasteful, provoke or promote intollerance, or are blatantly disrespectful of the religion, are also prohibited. Usernames that are clearly expressions of faith are discouraged, however considered allowed unless disruptive. Should a username not be clear as to the motive, it may be reviewed.

The current policy is far to open for interpretation, allowing for the potential of abuses and inconsistancies. The proposed revision defines far more clearly what usernames are prohibited, which ones are allowed (yet discouraged), but still leaving the option for review open. The proposal has come after the RfC for "SlaveOFChrist" uncovered some inconsistancies, as other similar names, such as "ASERVANTOFCHRIST" was allowed, along with other usernames that invoke the name of Christ.

Examples of tasteful usernames
To clarify, some examples of 'tasteful usernames' would be "ImCoolWithJesus" or "JehovahsFriend", "AllahsFriend", etc.

Examples of distasteful usernames
Distasteful usernames: "JesusSux", "DownWithAllah", "MayChristBeWithYou", etc.

CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 13:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


I feel that it is a needed change. I think the semantics need to be worked out but WP:RFCN is becoming crazy. You never know which way it is going to swing and it depends on whose online, and often, who the first person to get a good argument in is. I think we eiliminate way toooo many names and unless it is blatantly offensive, I have no problem with it. The problem is going to be drawing the line between offensisve and not offensive. I think the recent WP:RFCN for AslaveofChrist (not sure the proper capitalisation on that one) was an issue because some people thought it might be offensive. A clarification of the policy would not have helped this situation. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 13:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Support I like the wording on this one- previous wording left too much up in the air. Hopefully this will lead to more consistency on RFCN Borisblue 13:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I fully agree with Chris, at present, theres far too much contention in policy, and debates on usernames seam to suggest disallowing just about all usernames with religious reference, but if there unlikely to cause offence, theres no need to block them Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 13:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I like the new wording. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 14:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I like it in general. As Chrislk02 said, the semantics need to be worked out. I would also suggest that Expressions of faith that are against other religions or some such also be added. To prevent User:ChristOnly, User:jainismIstheonlytrueway, etc. Flyguy649talkcontribs 16:14, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Although I think a name such as "Christonly", etc. would be considered "Provoking or promoting intollerance", it probably isn't a bad idea to nail it down.

Proposed Rewording

Based on feedback from others (see above), I'm proposing the following modified version of the origional form:

Usernames which consist solely of the name of a religious figure are prohibited such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah", in addition, usernames that invoke the name of a religious figure or religion may be prohibited should they be distasteful, provoke or promote intolerance, are blatantly disrespectful of the religion, promote the ideology that one religion is superior to others (e.g. "ChristOnly", etc.), are also prohibited. Usernames that are clearly expressions of faith are discouraged, however considered allowed unless disruptive. Should a username not be clear as to the motive, it may be reviewed.

Comments on 2nd draft

The addition of the prohibition of claiming superiority over another religion is important, I prefer the new wording. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:50, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I like it. I think it is a good addition without too much scope creep. I think in this situation, it needs to be as clear and concise as to what is allowed and what is not allowed as possible. It could be very offensive to any user of another religion to everday have to work with an editor whose name may be Buddahistheonlygod or something like that. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 16:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Hehe, "Buddahistheonlygod" is a funny example because Buddhists don't believe in God, they believe in man(unless I am misinformed). HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I was trying to avoid always using Christianity and Islam refs. Yup it's silly. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Hahaha, yea that is exactly why i chose that reference is I was trying to shy away from using Christianity or Islam as the example. (plus, i dont know a whole lot about Buddhism). -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 17:09, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah I like this version, and will certainly clear things up Ryanpostlethwaite contribs/talk 17:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Nice work on the rewrite of this policy! I like it much more than the current wording. --Kukini hablame aqui 17:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Not sure if it is too soon, but I move to suspend draft comments and vote on the second draft for a final version, unless anyone has any further suggestions. CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 17:10, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the need for a vote, the current discussion makes people's view on adding this clear, we can just let it go a little longer and see if anyone objects. Polls are for when consensus is less than clear. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 17:12, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Spent a little too much time with Parlimentary Procedures. Some habits die hard! Thanks for everyone's input on creating a clarifying policy. Hopefully RfCN's will be less heated now... emphasis on 'hopefully'. CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 17:15, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I understand how you feel about parlimentry procedure. I very regularly want to motion, and all kinds of other things. I am kind of glad we dont have to go through all of that with the wiki interface, I think it might be kind of difficult. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 17:19, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I've just made some changes below. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed rewording, Third draft

Because people seem to like this, I'm proposing some minor changes for clarity. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Usernames which consist primarily of the name of a religious figure (such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah") are prohibited. In addition, usernames that invoke the name of a religious figure or religion are prohibited should they be distasteful, provoke or promote intolerance, are blatantly disrespectful of the religion, or promote the ideology that one religion is superior to others (e.g. "ChristOnly", etc.). Usernames that are clearly expressions of faith are discouraged, however considered allowed unless disruptive. Should a username not be clear as to the motive, it may be reviewed.

Comments on 3rd draft

Isent that just minor gramatical changes? The content is still the same as far as I can tell. If it is different, could you highluight the changes? -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 17:20, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry, I meant grammatical clarity. The second sentence may need rewording. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:24, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Also "prohibited" appeared twice in the second sentence. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:24, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
As long as the point is the same, i dont think minor grammatical changes are that big of an issue(I.E., dont need another draft), but that is just my opinion). -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 17:27, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Aye, I think we've agreed on the spirit, a few minor tweeks don't need much discussion. It reads better though. Thank's flyguy! CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 17:28, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. I put them side by side to figure out what the changes were. This reads well. I think draft 3 should be the one that goes forward.--Kukini hablame aqui 17:28, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not crazy about all the commas in the second sentence, but as long as it says what we mean... Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:32, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, ladies and gentilmen, I think we've done a good job at nailing down some problem areas. I agree the third should go forth. HighInBC stated he would wait awhile to see if we got anyone coming in screaming, but I think that has A snowballs chance in hell of happening. CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 17:37, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Just to get all semantic, doesn't the first sentence the mean that JesusChrist12344 is ok, because it isn't solely the name of the religious figure? jUst trying to get this right. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:42, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps replace solely with primarily, or we can count on common sense to realize that it's content is solely the name of a religious figure. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 17:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that. Otherwise someone will accuse us of ignoring our policy again. Flyguy649talkcontribs 17:55, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Ooooh...GOOD point! Change to "primarily" please. --Kukini hablame aqui 17:56, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I didn't think about that. Good catch! CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 18:03, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I made the change. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I think we all like this, but should we leave this discussion going for another couple of hours to see if anyone else spots something? Or WP:SNOW ? Flyguy649talkcontribs 18:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:SNOW, it shalt be invoked, I think. CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 18:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I say we go for it, if consensus changes we can just change it back. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:20, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
SNOW be it. Kukini hablame aqui 18:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
It is done. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Do we have a disease? Or just a condition...?

A recent RfC/N prompted some dissent on my part (a bit provocatively I fear) from my misgivings about the stated rules at WP:U#Illness. The genesis was someone wanting the name User:Schizophrenic and who, when objections were raised based on stated rules, then tried for User:Scitzophrenic. That RFCN looks headed for 'disallow', through reference to the current policy. And User:WJBscribe helpfully pointed me this-a-way as the right place to ask for clarification.

In my dissent, I mentioned a few existing user names that don't seem 'wrong' to me. Since then I've added to my example list. What I hope is to point out the problem of applying this broad denial:

Usernames mentioning or referring to illnesses, disabilities, or conditions (e.g. AIDS, amputation, Asperger syndrome, Retard, etc.).

On the RfC/N I threw out:

Schizoid (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) (see Schizoid )
Phrenic (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)
Bananas (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)

In addition, a 'little' random searching (okay, I got intrigued) finds:

Braindamaged (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Brain damage )
Braindisorder (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Brain disorder )
Leperous (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Leprosy )
Athletes Foot (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Athletes foot )
Hiccups (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Hiccups )
Diarhea (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Diarhea )
Giardia (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Giardia )
Constipation (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Constipation )
Acne m (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Acne )
Hyperactivegenius (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Hyperactive )
IdiotSavant (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Idiot savant )
Idiotsavant (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)
IdioT.SavanT.i4 (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)
Idiotbastard (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Idiot )
Idiotkid (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)
ParalysedBeaver (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Paralysed )
Paroxysm (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Paroxysm )
Metathesiophobia (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Full list of phobias )
Cretin (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log)     (see Cretin )
This is not the name Cretien (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log), but quite close

Which of these don't mention an illness or disease, directly or indirectly? More pertinently, what quality of the name of an illness is it that causes concern, and rejection?

Is it only illnesses that are disabilities, or that are conditions with negative associations, that are concerns? Or only those that have widely perceived negative associations?

If I use the name Hyperhydrosis is that 'bad'? That illness has greatly negative effects on the individual (e.g. shunning, isolation), but since sweaty palms isn't thought to be catching, no one will 'worry' about it?.

I finally went and looked in the archives, and I found some previous discussion here: Illnesses, disabilities and conditions? (archive 2) . Actually, it looks like people there objected to the rule also.

I'm not sure I want to throw out the rule entirely, but think we need more guidance as to application. User:UraSyphiliticPusBrainedIdiot is out already because it is an attack, but maybe User:SyphiliticPusBrainedIdiot is 'okay' as humor?

And perhaps that is the answer, that in every case that would be objectionable, there is already an applicable other part of the policy that would apply?

Shenme 03:50, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I personally think that the policy should only prohibit names that mock an illness. --24fan24 (talk) 03:59, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
While I agree the clause limits some legitimate tasteful usernames, one needs to think of why one would want to be known online as a disease. Thinking about it in plain form, taking the name of a disease implies viral attacks, sabotage, disruption, pollution, contagious, or immune to all threats. Taking the name of a disease, in my opinion, violates Usernames that give the impression that you intend to cause trouble, because that is in essence what a disease does. So I think we can safely say calling oneself 'Syphilis' is out.
Second, brain disorders... Schizophrenia (and any misspellings), brain-damaged, etc., intend to make light of serious neurological conditions. Think about it, suppose a family member of yours has such an illness, and you come to Wikipedia only to find someone gallivanting around calling themselves "Schizophrenia". Not exactly very welcoming. Or someone using the term SphiliticPusBrainedIdiot simply flies in the face of Usernames that are recognised as slurs or insults.
Yet, the way the clause is worded now a user of "CancerSurvior" or "ILostMyLeftNutToCancer" would both be not allowed, although "CancerSurvior" is far more tasteful than it's latter example.
The issue is really a sticky issue, and in my opinion, not cut and dry. Personally, I would like to see it rewritten to allow tasteful usernames such as "CancerFree" etc., while banning "CaptainAnthrax".CascadiaTALK|HISTORY 04:13, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Many of the names in your examples are in violation violation of policy, and should be such as "Braindamaged", "IdiotSavant", and "Idiotkid". The exception being "Cretin"(from French dialect cretin, literally, wretch, innocent victim). I would say this rule is fine. I do see the point Cascadia has made about "CancerSurvivior". HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 04:58, 24 March 2007 (UTC)