Wikipedia:Unified login/Consultation on renames

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For information and guidelines on handling SUL conflicts, see Wikipedia:Handling SUL conflicts

The developers have started to implement single user login. This allows someone to reserve the rights to the use of a username globally across all Wikimedia projects. This is likely to result in a number of beneficial features - for example it might become possible to sign in to one project and be automatically logged in on others.

Requests are being made by sysops on other projects to take over accounts on this project that have the same name. The English Wikipedia does not currently allow the usurpation of usernames that have made significant edits to the project without their owner's consent. Other projects are allowing this in order to facilitate the implementation of the global ownership of usernames.

This page is intended to allow for community discussion about the logistics of renaming users for compliance with SUL, so that bureaucrats can implement whatever consensus results.

The current position

User may usurp accounts that have made no edits whatsoever or in most cases accounts that have not made any GFDL significant edits, provided that the holder of the desired account does not object. Users may also usurp accounts that consent to being renamed regardless of edits.

Possible expansions

Allow someone who globally has the "best right" to a username to usurp an enwiki account with that name:

  1. ... in all circumstances regardless of the extent of their edits.
  2. ... where the target account has performed any number of edits, but where they have been inactive for some time (e.g. 1 year, 2 years...) and cannot be contacted.
  3. ... where the target account has performed fewer than X number of edits.

If the enwiki user can be contacted, they will be offered the chance to be renamed to an available name of their choice.

Factors to consider
  • The user wishing to take over the account may not be particularly active on this project, though they will be a significant contributor to Wikimedia projects as a whole.
  • Being forcibly renamed may upset active users.
    • They may choose to "vote with their feet" and leave the project in protest.
  • Signatures on talkpages may become misleading.
    • Possible solutions: bot signature changes, "disambiguation" style notes on user/talkpages explaining the rename
  • Edit summaries linking to the wrong user page, as, for example, with reverts and undos.
    • It is not currently possible to change edit summaries.
  • Possible GFDL problems.
    • Users make edits in the expectation that those edits will be attributed to a given username. Does renaming an account without their agreement violate the GFDL? Or does reaming them to a name like User:Foo (usurped) (which makes clear the previous name) in conjunction with the rename log provide sufficient attribution of their edits?
  • Inevitability - is SUL likely to result in these accounts being taken over eventually anyway?
    • Better to rename accounts now than wait until later when they may have more contributions?