Wikipedia talk:User account policy/Archive 7

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Inappropriate names

I think this part of the policy is somewhat badly written, because it gets confused between types of usernames that are disallowed (or sometimes disallowed) and reasons for disallowing a username. It would be good if we could make it clear why we block usernames, as opposed to just the various types that are blocked. Here's what I've come up with:

  1. Usernames that make it unduly difficult to identify the user, (eg. character repetition, random characters, too similar to another user)
  2. Usernames that indicate an intent or likelihood to cause disruption, (eg. "vandal", known sockpuppet names, profanity)
  3. Usernames that imply a misleading role, (eg. "Admin" or name of a famous person)
  4. Usernames that are offensive or inflammatory, (eg. insulting, pov-pushing, hate speech, etc.)
  5. Usernames that are used for promotion
  6. Other specific restrictions (eg. "Wikipedia" in name or email addresses / domain names)

It would be helpful (I think) to make the spirit of the policy more clear. Mangojuicetalk 18:57, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure if splitting it into six points really helps, especially if the last one is "other". There seems to be a good reason why "offensive" is pretty much spelled out (e.g. don't refer to genitalia or religious figures period). >Radiant< 09:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Actually, while we're on it, can someone explain why email addresses? If they're not being used for promotion, I mean. I know we disabled email addresses as usernames, but we have a grandfather clause for old email-address usernames, so there doesn't seem much point even having that in the policy, apart from the occasional misplaced harassment of old users. And domain names doesn't have to be in the misc category, as far as I can tell, that might as well fall under "used for promotion." If we don't have to have the email rule in the policy (and it does seem kind of pointless) we don't need the 6th point. Mangojuicetalk 14:38, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
      • At least part of the reason was to prevent spammers harvesting the email addresses for mailing lists. That is, unlike the username restrictions imposed to avoid offending or misleading other users, this is meant to protect the username's own owner, one reason the old names aren't forced to be changed; if the old users find the spam level acceptable, well, they know the risks. It's the new users, who may not know the risks, who are directed away from email names. Promotion was another consideration, and it's hard to make a distinction between promotional and non-promotional email addresses (except for blatant cases like "", "" etc.), so all email addresses got lumped together and prohibited as usernames henceforth. Notice that the software has prevented the use of the "@" character, but the dodge of using the word "at" or a space-separated name like "billgates microsoft com" requires human perception to catch it. -- BenTALK/HIST 05:56, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
        • So, in terms of what goes in the policy, it would be okay to have the email address type listed under "promotional," because that's the real concern; we really don't have any need to block the typical User:Johndoe@hotmail. Mangojuicetalk 11:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Also, I disagree that it's a good idea to spell out "offensive" in the hard terms: it puts the letter of the policy above the spirit to a degree that isn't good. The point is that usernames that are offensive should be disallowed, not that any username that refers to X, Y, or Z: those are only bad in that they are offensive. In some cases they might not be. For instance, we would never disallow User:ThePenIsMightier even though it includes "penis" because it's clearly not offensive. But, amazingly, we get these jerks who try to get names like that banned, and the policy should be clear that those names are disallowed because they're offensive, not because anything with "penis" in it should be banned. It is a good idea to mention those subcategories, but it should be clear that they're subservient to the real rule, about offensive usernames. Mangojuicetalk 14:38, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
      • Some people can interpret general rules easily, some people do better with concrete examples for illustration. There is the risk that a list of examples might be mistaken for an exclusive list ("my name's okay because it's not on the list!"), so it's best to use a composite approach: state the general rule and its reason, then give examples prefaced by "... including but not restricted to:...". That meets most needs. Of course there will always be arguments no matter what you write, but this approach minimizes genuine confusion, which is all you can really hope for. -- BenTALK/HIST 06:04, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
        • Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Mangojuicetalk 11:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
          • Yep, it does. >Radiant< 09:17, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
            • Ok, I took a stab at rewriting it this way. Please feel free to edit. A couple of points: (1) it occurred to me that the "promotional" reason could be folded into the "disruptive" reason, but when I attempted to do that, it seemed awkward. (2) A couple of the types I rewrote slightly to make infractions rarer and more sensible (e.g. "promote or endorse" violence as opposed to simply referring to it, and usernames that are similar to existing users "in a confusing way"). (3) I filed the "obscenity / profanity" usernames under "disruptive," because I think that captures well why we would block a name like "CuntFucker23" but not "SmartassDude". Mangojuicetalk 14:25, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Personal security practices

Requesting comments on a proposal for a guideline on Wikipedia:Personal security practices that I've been working on, mainly out of the discussion on this thread at Wikipedia_talk:No_personal_attacks#Part_two. Any comments or concerns would be appreciated. Thanks,—ACADEMY LEADER FOCUS! 00:40, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Sexual orientation

At the moment the page seems to give the impression we block all usernames that refer to "sexual oritentation". We clearly don't - especially where people are making positive statements about their sexual identity or are using words in a manner that isn't offensive. See User:Proud dyke and User:Gay Cdn for example. We should allow people to make positive statements about their sexuality in their usernames. I think we need the policy to reflect this. WjBscribe 19:10, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Possibly but there is a grey area such as "GayMonkey", or "CrazyGayGuy". Even "Proud dyke" uses a word that is often used as a slur, it is tantamount to "Wonderful fag" or "Super Nigga". I think that using terms that are often used as slurs should remain prohibited, but the mere mention of sexual orientation in a non negative, polite manner should be allowed. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 19:15, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Dyke is not seen as negative by lesbians. Secretlondon 16:42, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Dyke is not seen as negative by _some_ lesbians. Dan Beale 14:27, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
In fact "Usernames that refer or include allusions to racism, sexism, hate speech, sexual orientation, et cetera" currently links "sexual orientation" in with negative things. Homophobia is the issue and the equivilent to racism, not sexual orientation per se. We ban racist names, not names that mention the race of the user. Secretlondon 16:48, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The fact is that 90% of names the mention sexual orientation are high school students that think it is funny to call things gay. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:54, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
You said "gay". *snicker*
In all seriousness, I completely agree. Perhaps change it to "derogatory references to sexual orientation"? EVula // talk // // 17:09, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I removed it altogether. The "et cetera" there will clearly capture this kind of thing. Plus, a separate one includes "slurs" and another one includes "insulting" names, and obviously we still have the general "offensive names" restriction. Mangojuicetalk 17:34, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Pop Culture/Corporate References

Would it be considered inappropriate (unprofessional?) to have a username which alludes that someone is a fan of a certain TV show, movie, actor, musical group, or brand? Would having a username like "CliksFan", or "Kermitismyhomeboy" (I'm just rattling off random stuff here...) be akin to using wikipedia as a soapbox? I'm just wondering, because I was thinking of changing my display name to TOSoupChef ("Soup Chef" is an L Word Reference.) Dylan Slade 14:19, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Being a fan is okay, as long as you don't make a username that sounds like you're officially affiliated with what you're a fan of (ie. User:NewYorkYankees is not okay but User:YankeeFan is). What you're suggesting is one step even farther removed from sounding official. I'm sure that would be fine. Mangojuicetalk 17:29, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that would be fine, per what Mangojuice said above. GDonato (talk) 17:42, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Promotional usernames vs. legitimate representatives.

Note: moved here from WP:RFCN.


Reachouttrust (talk · contribs)

It is a promotional username for reachout trust - if you check out their contributions you'll see that the only edits to are to Reachout Trust. NOTE: Check the block log before you start asking why I haven't left a {{UsernameConcern}} template, also check this thread on WP:AN. Ryan Postlethwaite 17:20, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I think we should allow it. The account did insert a bit of text that was vaguely promotional, but the article Reachout Trust was already in existence and they merely edited it. This is somewhat unlikely many other situations where a company creates a role account and then a blatant spam article on itself, or possibly inserts a bunch of linkspam. The interest of this account (from its edits to Talk:Reachout Trust) seems to be to keep the material accurate, or at least that's one facet of its interests. That is something we generally allow people with a conflict of interest to do, per WP:COI, as long as they follow policy (which they maybe didn't in their one edit, but hey, it's a newcomer). As Doc said, it's better that folks with a COI declare them, and this is a declarative COI in a very strong way: they can't hide from this. I support the general rule but in this case I do not support a block. Mangojuicetalk 19:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, also, I don't know if this is a great venue. This seems like a better topic for an admin board... but it has been discussed there already per your link above. Why bring it here? Mangojuicetalk 19:58, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah I wasn't sure about the venue myself, I'm just not happy with the response from AN, there seemed to be no consensus and it was more of an argument as to who was right with the block/unblock in the 1st place - I just want neutral comments on the username now. As to declaring a COI, I don't agree with that one bit - every time the username edits, they're spamming the history. WP:U#PROMOTIONAL doesn't say it's OK to have a promotional username to declare a conflict of interest - in fact, it clearly states that a promotional username editing there own article is even worse. Ryan Postlethwaite 20:05, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
To add to that a quote from WP:U: "Usernames that match the name of a company or group, especially if the user promotes it," now to me, even editing the article could be seen as attempting to promote it. Ryan Postlethwaite 20:06, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, maybe it should be clarified. If an organization is already relatively well-known (as would be the case here), then a username with just the name of the organization is hard to describe as "promotional," especially when they restrict their editing to the article on their organization or related articles. Who is the username advertising to? The organization is already known to people who edit the page, probably. So, I would worry about a username like User:Microsoft mainly because it might act like an official representative of Microsoft without really being one... but merely being User:Microsoft and editing Microsoft-related articles doesn't seem like advertising. Now, if that user started making widespread contributions in other areas generally, I might take it as an attempt to make the company name appear in lots of places in order to promote it. And I would certainly have a problem with a slogan name like User:BuyMicrosoft. (Maybe we should go to WT:U?) Oh, also note meta:Role account, although that's really more about accounts that belong to an organization but not to any individual. Mangojuicetalk 20:25, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
This is certainly something that we should take to WT:U, as policy currently reads - the username infringes on it. I've got to say as well, that this does seem like a role account - I think the organisation are using it to edit their own article - these generally aren't allowed (although by the looks of things, they are in a couple of cases). Personally, if we disallow one username for being promotional, I think we should disallow all - as long as it's not too generic. Maybe the key is, what is promotional? Is stating the name of a company of group promotional? Or to be promotional should it actively encourage the group/company? It's a tough one! Ryan Postlethwaite 20:36, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Ok, moved the thread. I feel that we can maybe get around the "role account" worry (which per the meta page seems to be about multiple people using the same account) as long as the user confirms that only a single person will be using the account. I also think that we should explicitly discourage that user from participating in areas of the encyclopedia not directly related to their own company using that account, as it could be viewed as an attempt at promotion. What I worry about, though, is the precedent: it seems reasonable in this case, but tomorrow a similar account will pop up from a nn company or group and be blocked and sooner or later they'll find this precedent. We should probably make a codified, sensible set of rules for this type of account. Mangojuicetalk 21:06, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
It's clear Conflict of Interest stuff. We don't want representatives of organisations editing their articles. Secretlondon 23:05, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Except, we do allow it for certain things. For instance, we allow the subject of Wikipedia articles to edit those articles in a neutral way, and to repair factual errors. In any case, isn't it better to all the user to keep the official-sounding username and edit with a declared COI than encourage them to make the same edits under an innocuous username? Mangojuicetalk 23:58, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree. I think transparency is of utmost importance here. The alternative is corp. representatives to use misleading names. We strongly encourage some sort of standard username for companies, e.g. "[company] representaive" or "[company] employee". The current policy against "Usernames that match the name of a company or group" is based on flawed reasoning and is incompatible with WP:COI's promotion of transparency. nadav 00:10, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
It's in there for a reason, to stop users creating an account with a comapany name then desparging it, also it's spammy, it also implies a role account, oh yeah - it's a severe conflict of interest and there edits will be looked upon in that way. Ryan Postlethwaite 00:16, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Do we want to be bothered with ensuring that people editing under an organization (company or group) name are authorized to be public representatives for that organization? We require it for individuals. I don't believe that we cannot do the same for organizations. In my opinion, given the restriction on role accounts, it far easier to just ban organizational names then to ensure that it's a single person and that single person is an authorized person to represent the organization. -- JLaTondre 00:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

% symbol

Nishkid recently added a prohibition against usernames with the % symbol. Why? What do people think of this change? Mangojuicetalk 17:21, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Since the prohibition of the = symbol was not accepted by the community I think a consensus should be formed for this new rule before it is added, unless there is some urgent reason I do not know about. (H) 17:26, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, it probably screws some template up - but it's clear that putting 1= before a username in a template will make it work. That's the only reason I can think of. Ryan Postlethwaite 17:34, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Considering usernames with spaces mess up some template, I think template use is a poor reason for forbidding usernames. >Radiant< 08:49, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


Some admins appear to be somewhat too triggerhappy with respect to username blocks, so I think it may be good to add some counterexamples that are acceptable. One thing that comes to mind is a user with a "Pot" related name, that some people objected to as a reference to marijuana, irrespective of the fact that it could be a reference to pottery or any number of other things called "pot". >Radiant< 11:12, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Counter examples may be a good idea, but we must agree on them. Would someone like to come up with some examples? Ryan Postlethwaite 11:16, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
The examples could be endless- just tell admins to use common sense. GDonato (talk) 13:30, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
That's true, but the point is that some of them aren't. I've seen at least three admins in the past month that were overdoing it with respect to username blocks. Any thoughts on alleviating that would be appreciated. >Radiant< 13:35, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Not the best example, because even if a word like "Cannabis" with no other meanings is used, there is no rule against drug references(unless it is promoting it in a controversial way like "Smoke Cannabis through your ears!"). I am all for counter examples though. (H) 13:37, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the best way to avoid bad username blocks is to specify the policy less, not more. This is what I was aiming at when I rewrote this section to be more clear about the reasons for username blocks rather than the specific rules. Mangojuicetalk 13:47, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Refer to vs. "promote or endorse"

I commented on this as part of my change above at #Inappropriate usernames (section 33), and no one ever had anything to say about it. As I explained there, it's pretty obvious that a username that can be taken as promoting or endorsing violence will be "offensive" (that being the real reason for disallowing), but merely referring to a violent action is prone to stretching and in many cases would not be disallowed. Take "Kick" for instance. Or "Slam". What about User:Killswitch? I think it's clear that such names cross the line into offensive when the promote or endorse the action, or can be taken that way. So a name like User:Killerman would still be prohibited, because it makes it sound like this person approves of killing. But User:Don'tkilltheleprechauns - refers to violence but doesn't endorse it, and isn't offensive. Mangojuicetalk 14:36, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

  • This part annoys me because having it at "promotes/endorses" allows usernames that should be blocked and "refers to" blocks names that should be allowed, why can't we have "Usernames promoting or endorsing violence should be blocked, those simply refering to violence may be blocked if they could reasonably be considered offensive." GDonato (talk) 14:39, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • User:Don'tkilltheleprechauns does not refer to real world violence so it is not at issue, same with User:Killswitch. Names like "Cop punching" or "nun slapping" or "criminal shooting" do not promote violence, but the mere mention of that real world violence is plenty disruptive. The "refers" to rule is important. The distinction that will prevent harmless names from being attacked is the "real world" part, and of course common sense(failing that RFCN). I somehow missed the discussion about removing this, or I would have objected. (H) 14:45, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I think "refer to" is an important clause because in the absence of any qualifiers "No cop punching", just a statement of real-world violence on its own can be quite disruptive and even a tacit endorsement of the act in question. —dgiestc 18:00, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • GDonato got it quite right. His observation actually applies to all the specific rules here: we will never be able to write rules that disallow all bad names, but only bad names. So it comes down to a choice: would we rather block innocent newcomers with non-problematic names because of an overly restrictive rule, or would we rather allow a few bad usernames because the rule wasn't as restrictive as it could be? Personally, any username that's really bad would still be "offensive" so we're still covered. And if we let a few borderline cases in, (1) most accounts make a few edits and don't stick around anyway, (2) if they're here with bad intentions, we can always block them for their behvior, and (3) in any case, the name is borderline. I think the choice is obvious: we should write the rules to favor not biting the newcomers, as opposed to writing rules that will catch all offenders, because we stop the real bad apples anyway. Mangojuicetalk 18:09, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
What are these innocent names being blocked? Do you have examples? I think we use our sense fairly well when making decisions, it is not like admins are computer programs blindly following the letter of policy. (H) 18:22, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
They were theoretical, if the rule is rigidly "refers to" we risk blocking things like User:Punch, those promting and/or endorsing should certainly be blocked but names simply referring to violance should not always be blocked, however in other times they should, rather than being too reliant on the letter of the username policy all the time we can ignore it and use common sense when necessary- spirit over letter. GDonato (talk) 19:57, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree, we should use "common sense." Or, in other words, block the name for being offensive and not block if it's not offensive. See the previous section: I'm not the only one who sees a problem with people being trigger-happy. And in addition, it's not just those who ultimately enforce the policy that matter: we have a lot of well-meaning but at times overzealous non-admins who report possible violations at WP:UAA, and I would prefer to rein them in a bit. Mangojuicetalk 02:32, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
But it has been that way for a long time, and no examples are forthcoming, so I am not entirely convinced of these theoretical problems. I think we have been using common sense. (H) 03:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I have to agree with H. A username may not promote or endorse a violent action, but referring to it is just as bad. And, to echo H, common sense and the "real-world" aspect of the clause keeps the bite to a minimum. Besides, if it's really not clear, express concern and hope to get it changed. CASCADIAHowl/Trail 19:47, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
It's hilarious - this call for examples of non-offensive usernames that have been blocked! This from the same people who NEVER provide any examples of any disruption or offense caused by the names they fight so constantly to block. It's not rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic before it sinks - it's rearranging them over and over again on a ship that has never been in any danger of sinking. It's the same old crap no matter how many times these policies are tweaked - entrenched regulars (and always the same names cropping up) enjoying themselves by abusing newcomers with their beloved process and rules that end up serving NOTHING. The refer/promote/endorse dispute would shame the most hidebound Stalinist party hack. TortureIsWrong 22:39, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Instead of mocking our attempts to create policy, perhaps you have something constructive to contribute. (H) 22:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I think we can be lenient to borderline cases, because the people who mean their names in a "bad way" tend to get blocked for other issues, e.g. vandalism, in short order. >Radiant< 09:31, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Exactly. And those who are here in good faith with a questionable username will be open to communication about it, but will simply be alienated by being blocked or by demands that they change their name... especially over an arbitrary legalistic policy. And, while we're at it, I worry that username blocking in general is a form of giving recognition to those who are trying to provoke a response (see WP:DENY). Mangojuicetalk 14:37, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Non-latin usernames

In the discussion of a username made of korean characters at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names I tried to get this username disallowed, but I (and the ones who started the case) was met with : "From WP:U#Signatures: "Non-Latin usernames are allowed, but if you have one you are encouraged to customize your signature to include a transliteration." ". But I cannot read this username! Surely, it must be an argument that people can not read it? And there are two levels of not been able to read it: a) people get squares b) even if it properly rendered, it is of a set of letters we have never learned. Perhaps the policy was made with Russian and Greek letters in mind: letters of which it is about 50 or so, and they are easily learned for a person who has first learnt English. But here we are talking about opening up for thousands and thousands of charachters, from a totally different culture, and really a hopeless task to learn unless you spend the rest of your life with it. I urge you, we cannot allow this usernames: when you get more than just a very small handful of active users with this kinds of names, it will be hopeless to distinguish them. I may be culturally biased, but to me, this drawings is not a name in the English-speaking world at all. So I ask for someone to think twice about this. And I know they want to merge all the usernames: well, then we found a problem with that. Greswik 11:27, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

  • It's been discussed many times before, but the point is that not everybody in the world uses the English alphabet. A second point is that the Developers are working on "universal login", which would allow one user to use the same name automatically on all Wikipedia projects. Obviously, a Japanese name is valid on Jpwiki, so it would automatically be used here as well. >Radiant< 11:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I can understand the single user login requiring us to allow foreign characters, but latin transliterations should be used for a signature. (H) 12:47, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
    • And that's precisely what the guideline recommends, so what exactly is the problem? >Radiant< 14:26, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • No problem in my eyes. As long as a transliterated signature links to the userpage or talk page then it is fine. (H) 14:39, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Greswick, has this been a real problem for you or an imagined one? In other words, do you feel this could be a problem in interacting with this user, or have you actually tried to interact with users with this kind of username before and had big problems? From my own experience, any non-keyboard symbol can't be typed out, so a username like User:이주헌 really isn't any more of a problem than a name like User:Cortès: in both cases, I have to either find a link and click on it, or cut & paste the username into the search box. Now, if there were many different editors with usernames consisting only of asian characters I can't read all editing in the same place, I might have a hard time telling them apart, but as H points out, this could be solved by having good signatures. Mangojuicetalk 14:47, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • It has not been a real problem, I am thinking ahead here. My "feeling" is this will be a problem when we get many users with this kinds of names. They have very little recognition-effect: now, when we can read the names, names quickly turns into (at least for me) "that's a good editor", or "ouch, is this a sneaky vandal, or just someone with a very bad touch?". But it may be too late to start stopping this names if we end up regretting letting them in. To request a transliteration in the signature is a good thing, but when we only say "recommended", it is not mandatory, and we don't actually sign most of our work here anyway. And I must admit i don't like them 'cause I can't read them, they make me feel stupid ;-) - and I know thats a silly argument. Still, I am surprised people think allowing thousands of characters only an infinite fraction here can read is so OK.Greswik 16:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Why be surprised? Wikimedia runs over 700 projects, and en.wikipedia is only one of them. People from other projects need to be able to use their logins here too. :-) --Kim Bruning 16:09, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, to me, English wikipedia is the common ground- the one using the international language English. To enter it with japanese text is defamation. (I may come out stronger than intended here;-))Greswik 16:18, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes, to the average American, all Asians look the same, grumble grumble :) >Radiant< 16:19, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
(3x ec) You know, I've never had a chance to say this, but I think the whole "confusing usernames" thing is overemphasized in this policy. I mean, it's one thing if someone is going for impersonation, but can you imagine a user User:Grewiki? It's similar to your name... but if they're not following you around trying to impersonate you, it wouldn't create a real problem. Chances are they'd edit in a different area from you, and most discussions do not really have so many voices in them anyway. And even if it does happen once in a blue moon, it's not the end of the world. I guess that's why I'm not worried about non-latin characters: because I don't think usernames are ever really that confusing, except when it's on purpose. Mangojuicetalk 16:22, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Unified login would be complete bollocks without non-Latin characters, so what is the point of this discussion? In any case, I understand two selective comments above:
  • Signatures in Latin script should be mandatory.
  • Since not all our contribs are in talkpages (duh), there should be a mandatory transliteration and/or translation of the foreign username on the userpage.
Contribution lists, history pages etc should not be a problem, because the foreign name will be linkable to this information. That's my two non-Latin drachmae. Please comment. NikoSilver 16:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Now, you're talking. But the transliteration needs to be automatic somehow- and show up in every lists. This means users from the korean, japanese etc wikis should need to verify the transliteration first time they move from their own wiki to this. This also means there is no point in accepting usernames in non-latin (ie non-latin, non-cyrillic and non-greec characters, per above) into this wiki without transliterations verified by their user. (So, I don't give up.;-)) Greswik 16:47, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Not archiving

Is this page not supposed to auto-archive? GDonato (talk) 21:49, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Changed nutshell

I have changed the nutshell at the top to reflect the fact the policy does not say usernames have to be readable to English speakers. Indeed, it allows it: "Some editors on this Wikipedia will be unable to read a username written in non-Latin alphabets, such as Chinese. Non-Latin usernames are allowed, but if you have one you are encouraged to customize your signature to include a transliteration." Moreover, the nutshell formulation is not enforced: [1]. Instead of the readability to English speakers, I added "or promotional," since this occurs a lot and should be described in the header. nadav (talk) 07:44, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

The unintelligibility issue hasn't yet been resovled, so removing it from the nutshell is a little premature.
The reality is that several parts of the policy contradict each other. As can be seen from the discussion above, there is some support for requiring some kind of concenssion to readability (ie: requiring either signatures or user names to be in latin script so as to be readable by speakers of English). I don't think we should remove this part before some kind of agreement is reached. Additionally, the signature policy needs to be looked at in conjunction with any decision. Exploding Boy 16:26, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
This is a result of partial modifications for agreed principles. Non-Latin usernames are allowed for reasons out of our control, and that should have been reflected in every part of the policy. Unfortunately it was only partially included. I endorse Nadav's change (but endorsing it is already redundant as explained). NikoSilver 17:48, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I am surprised and disappointed that Exploding Boy has reverted my edit, which was thoroughly explained and is supported by current practice, majority opinion, and explicit statement in the policy. Exploding Boy, you should be pragmatic and not take an all-or-nothing approach, which at most will leave us with the status quo (i.e. users in practice having non latin character usernames). Even if you were to pretend that the current policy is that users with non-latin usernames have to change it, none of the 1000+ administrators will enforce it. Hence I am reverting the nutshell back to my edit. nadav (talk) 08:20, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


I just noticed a large number of retroactive username blocks, mostly for usernames created in early 2006. Has there been a recent change in the username policy that explains this?--VectorPotentialTalk 13:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

What kind of names are you talking about? -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 13:17, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Email addresses mostly, but I think I figured out why. Someone just reported a few dozen of these to UAA without indicating that they were created in early 2006. The only reason it even occured to me to double check these against the usercreation log is because usernames with the @ symbol have been blacklisted by the software since 2006, so they couldn't possibly have been created recently--VectorPotentialTalk 13:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I dont think that email addresses were a recent addition to the policy. That being said, I also know that they have not always been part of it so it could be that somebody just had some time on their hands and decided to peruse all usernames looking for violations? WHo knows. We should all spend more time writing articles. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 13:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
E-mail names created before the rule are exempt from it. Unless the rule is to prevent bad faith names, we normally do not retroactively enforce username rules. (H) 13:32, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Character names and other names taken from copyrighted works

I see above that there has been discussion of character names before, such as Captain America. My user name is also a character name, as someone pointed out to me recently. I'd like to check here what the current stance on this is. I've been browsing through random user names and admins, and found a few examples of character names. It wasn't something I thought of when creating my user name over 2 years ago (I was thinking then of something distinctive, yet still informative about me and my interests), but times change and I wonder what people think of this now? Note that a distinction probably needs to be made between works out of copyright, and those still under copyright, and between trademarked names and non-trademarked names. Also, this wouldn't just be about character names, as people also take on place names from books and films as well. Carcharoth 10:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

You have nothing to worry about. Company, and to a lesser extent, charachter, names are only usually blocked if they are promotional in nature. GDonato (talk) 15:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I'm aware there's no legal issue. --Deskana (talk) 15:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Using names from copyrighted works is not a legal problem, unless such names are trademarked (which, incidentally, most of them aren't). >Radiant< 16:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Almost any realistic name (i.e. "Thomas Claire", not superhero or sci-fi alien names) has probably been the name of a character in some novel or other, so it wouldn't be a practical rule to enforce. Also very difficult to prove that it wasn't the person's real name. --tjstrf talk 16:28, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Names that don't begin with a letter or number

Such as .x.princess4eva.x., a username I noticed was just created. The ".x." seems to be purely decorative. Exploding Boy 17:58, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

There's nothing in policy that states that these aren't allowed (I'm guess that's why you brought it here), and there's no reason why they shouldn't be allowed - they're not hurting anyone. Ryan Postlethwaite 19:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I know they're not hurting anyone. I'm just concerned about the potential for confusion with a period at the beginning of a name (or an underscore, for example). Exploding Boy 19:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Software blocks names like that. GDonato (talk) 19:42, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah I see what you mean, I'm not sure how the software would handle a username with an underscore as the first character. The major problems comes with templates, for example, a username such as _()(&*'-_@}} (Yeah, I know we wouldn't allow this because of random characters - I'm just using it as an example!) would no doubt screw up this template - {{Userlinks|_()(&*'-_@}}. There is a magic trick, which means that any characters can be used at any point within a template, you simple put 1= before the username and the templates work fine. So, for our example username, here you have it... _()(&*'-_@ (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)! Ryan Postlethwaite 19:45, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, by the looks of things, underscores at the start of a name screw it all up still, but as GDonato pointed out about - they're software blocked. Ryan Postlethwaite 19:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the issue with such names, you can have decorative elements to your name as far as I know. (H) 19:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Okidoki. Exploding Boy 19:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, no issue here. I can't imagine these being confusing, either... if anything, they help avoid confusing situations. Mangojuicetalk 20:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Usernames created with an underscore as the first character

Hmmmm, I just created the _Ryan Post username. The software automatically created Ryan Post (minus the underscore), wouldn't it better for the software to completely block all usernames starting with an underscore than to generate a new one for a user? Ryan Postlethwaite 23:55, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes; you should probably report that on WP:BUG. >Radiant< 08:11, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Usernames with percent symbol

A bit more than a month ago, I added to the username policy that usernames with the %(percent) symbol should not be created. On May 22, H (talk · contribs) undid this edit because I hadn't obtained consensus. I thought it was pretty straightforward reasoning, but I guess I was mistaken. For example, take a look at User:Fj5%JF (talk · contribs) (blocked now). If you go to the URL bar, and type in "", you get a 400 Bad Request Error. Since some people use external links to link to user pages or user talk pages, I thought it would be best to avoid any usage of the percent symbol in usernames. Tell me what you guys think. Nishkid64 (talk) 20:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

These should be software blocked as the "%" sign breaks URLs. (would need to be replaced by %25) GDonato (talk) 20:28, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
[ec x 2] Is there a way to use "%" that doesn't give a 400 (for example in the end)? If yes, then I'd agree re-adding with that exception. If no, I'd say the benefit of banning them altogether is worth the few who will be restricted in using it. NikoSilver 20:30, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
If you enter User:Fj5%JF, MediaWiki fixes it to ..../User:Fj5%25JF but entering direct or using certain templates will not work. GDonato (talk) 20:32, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the problem arises when you directly type the username into the URL bar. It doesn't automatically format it with the "%25". Nishkid64 (talk) 20:36, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't get it. Suppose a username "Niko100%", will that work for the url-bar since the percent symbol is in the end? NikoSilver 20:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It won't. Check out the link I provided above. If you type the % symbol in the URL bar, you will always get a 400 Bad Request that states "[y]our browser sent a request that this server could not understand." Nishkid64 (talk) 20:45, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
That's the message I get in Firefox. If you try it in Internet Explorer, you just get a "Page cannot be found" error. Nishkid64 (talk) 20:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Nishkid's proposed addition then. NikoSilver 20:49, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I used to support blocking these, but I don't anymore, why would you ever have to manually type in the username to the address bar? All templates work fine with it, and when the software quotes a username (such as in the article histories) there are no problems. Ryan Postlethwaite 21:30, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Most of the templates I've tried seem to work but I'd still support disallowing them. GDonato (talk) 21:36, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
But I don't get why. Unless you physically want to type the address into the address bar to get to his userpage - it works fine. Ryan Postlethwaite 21:39, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Ryan has a valid point: few would use the url-bar; and even those have a solution (add "25"). Can we verify that it works everywhere else? NikoSilver 21:45, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
But hardly anyone will know about the "%25" solution and it's bound to break some poorly-designed template, somewhere. GDonato (talk) 21:52, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Give me an example of one template it breaks. Ryan Postlethwaite 21:53, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Hehe ;-) Sounds like a challenge, off to search every user template. GDonato (talk) 21:55, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
It is! But also, the 1= feature exits on a template, so if a template doesn't work, try it with that. Ryan Postlethwaite 21:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

They seem to have fixed all the vulnerable ones with "fullurl". This is not a real template but something like what's in my sandbox would be broken. GDonato (talk) 22:06, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's see...

  • 95% someone uses WP searchbox or link to locate user --> Result: OK
  • 5% someone tries to use url-bar
    • of those, 5% know about "%25" and add it --> Result: OK
    • or, 95% don't know about "%25", and they see "Boo! 400"
      • of those, 95% have noticed that the url-bar frequently displays codes with "%" and try searchbox or link --> Result: OK
      • or, 5% remain puzzled --> Result: 5% of 95% of 5% still confused (= 0,24% vs 99,76% that survive the test)

Gah, the rationale above exceeds my personal success limit of 99.74% by 2 myriadths. On reflection I say we allow them. NikoSilver 22:10, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

The problem would not occur just for typing it in the URL. It occurs when you click on an external link to the user's pages (assuming you just copy and paste the username into the link). Nishkid64 (talk) 22:34, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
That's what wikilinks are for! Does it screw up diffs? Ryan Postlethwaite 22:36, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that's a stupid question - diffs are already formatted! Ryan Postlethwaite 22:37, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Policy should not be written/changed with every single "what if?" situation in mind. Do we need to protect users who clumsily generate URLs? No. At the risk of sounding like a jackass (not that it's stopped me in the past), if someone can't figure out how to properly make a URL, fuck 'em. :) EVula // talk // // 22:44, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm fucked. :( Nishkid64 (talk) 22:49, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, see [2]. I didn't notice that it was brought up for discussion here earlier. Nishkid64 (talk) 22:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
LOL, I hereby confirm I belong in EVula's afore mentioned group. NikoSilver 22:55, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
If you want to enter information right into the url, you need to understand url escaping or it will not work. (H) 23:06, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Clearly, Niko and I don't understand that. :-P Nishkid64 (talk) 23:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
How about we ban users who type in the url-bar instead? NikoSilver 23:11, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, I hate to see you two go, but... ;P EVula // talk // // 23:23, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Linking to WP:SPA

WP:SPA is an unofficial essay, unapproved by Wikipedia, but it is frequently touted as Wikipedia policy. One reason people may think it is officially confirmed by Wikipedia is the fact that official WP policy links to it. My proposal is to not allow WP policy pages to link to essays without an explanation as to what the difference between an essay and policy is, even though it's displayed on the essay's page, or to not allow the link at all. Having a link to an essay from WP policy condones it, when, in reality, an essay has been approved by "the few". - JNighthawk 02:16, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd suggest going to WT:POLICY if you have a problem with linking policy pages to essay page and try and get a consensus there. As it happens, the essay you quote is a very neutral essay and helps to understand what the policy is trying to talk about, in my opinion, it is best to leave it in. Ryan Postlethwaite 02:21, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest as a better option simply merging that page here. The concept is explained quite well on this page, imho, and doesn't need a three-page rant. >Radiant< 08:12, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing flagrantly wrong with WP:SPA, but the idea of merging an essay into policy... maybe after there's been a full discussion. - JNighthawk 13:11, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
The parts of it that are enforced are already de facto policy and could be listed here. The parts that are not are pretty much irrelevant anyway. >Radiant< 13:19, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
And that's the problem. People are "enforcing" an essay. It's not WP policy, it's merely one or a few editors' opinions. - JNighthawk 02:00, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you can't solve that problem by hiding the essay. Rather, perhaps this actual policy page should be clarified. Also, if admins are making wrongful blocks based upon whatever, please drop a note at WP:ANI. >Radiant< 09:06, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Tried that. If I can find it in the archives, I'll show you. User:AmendmentNumberOne was blocked for being a supposed SPA (in fact, he wasn't, it's just that his first registered contribution was in an AfD). His block was upheld by another admin. After a furor was raised at ANI, he was unblocked by the blocking admin, who admitted no wrong-doing. Three days later, he was blocked again by another admin because he hadn't made any edits to Wikipedia in those three days besides to his talk page or ANI. A few days later, he was unblocked by another admin that found there was no reason to have him blocked in the first place. The admins that unjustly blocked him were never punished or admonished.
The disgusting part is that over at ANI, it was about a 50/50 split among admins who thought it was a just block vs. those who thought it was wrong. People continuously and erroneously cited WP:SPA, as if it said anything about blocking supposed SPAs. So... yeah. Tried it at ANI, but the "thin blue line" that separates normal editors from admins means that nothing will ever come of it. It's the same reason I didn't bother posting an RfA for the entire incident: admins will side with admins, period. Don't get me wrong, not even close to all admins are bad, but enough are to make the entire process worthless. - JNighthawk 13:01, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
The story plays out on a few pages. User:AmendmentNumberOne has links to most, and the ANI is here. - JNighthawk 13:04, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
There's a lot more going on there than just SPA. A few other policies that come to mind: WP:SOCK, WP:DE, WP:POINT, et cetera. Mangojuicetalk 13:16, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Right, this isn't the place to argue out ANO's case again. What I'm saying is that official policy should not be linking to unofficial essays as if they should be given equal weight. Where would I bring up this proposal? - JNighthawk 02:10, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
You know, essays aren't always "unofficial," and I think the SPA one is a good example. Pages can't be guidelines or policies if they aren't "actionable," which means that they say to do or not to do something. SPA is widely, widely accepted, and is marked with an essay tag more because it's not actionable than because it doesn't enjoy a strong weight of consensus in terms of its principles. I think that policy pages should avoid linking to pages that are marked as essays but which are really attempting to be guidelines or policies that don't have support, without making it clear the page is an essay. But this is not that kind of case. Mangojuicetalk 18:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I had assumed that it wasn't supposed to be there, because it really doesn't make sense to me for official WP policy to be linking to unofficial essays as if it were a part of the policy. While I don't have a problem with WP:SPA per se, I've seen far too many abuses to new users at the hands of editors and admins claiming SPA. - JNighthawk 13:11, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


I was about to post the following comment in WP:ANI, but edit conflicted [sic] with Viridae closing the debate there, and prompting to use this page. So here goes:

  • FWIW I too think that we're too lenient with apparently [partly] offensive usernames. I consider the right of few not to be offended more important than the right of one not to change a name. Especially when those "few" become "many". I think the word "may" in the nutshell (and the policy itself) describes what I'm saying. Unfortunately, I am a minority in this interpretation, and it is interpreted that all have to be offended in order for action to be taken, or that "few"/"many" is not enough of a violation of WP:U... NikoSilver 00:00, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a suggestion that would give us a less blurred line? Few is pretty vague, should one person be enough, two? (H) 03:46, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
My general rule is a consensus. If a majority of editors appear offended, I have no problem blocking it. The problem is that most names are not black and white however the outcome generally is(I.E., there are differnt levels of offensive and the outcome is they are blocked or not). The sad thing is almost any name can offend somebody so it makes it difficult to make decisions. I think this is where interpretation of the policy is important, as well as attempting to gain community input WP:RFCN. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 03:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that we should go by consensus, like we do with everything else. (H) 04:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Consensus is how practically everything is decided on Wikipedia. I fail to see a reason to treat this any differently. EVula // talk // // 04:43, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Gentlemen, consensus must not be of the form "USSR is bad, let us nuke USSR" or vice versa. Those "few" may be 25% or 10% or even 5%. The are still many, yet they can hardly enforce their opinion when the rest oppose! When I express my opinion in RFCN, I do so by taking in mind what those few may think; not necessarily what I think. Sadly, I notice that others express their own perceived offensiveness/non-offensiveness. WP:U says "may", and it says so clearly. NikoSilver 09:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Other than that, I agree with H's comment that the line is blurred, so I think that no-consensus should default to "disallow", rather than "allow" that it does now. NikoSilver 09:46, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
To give an example, I think that the recent "ChicagoPimp's" username will be offensive for a sufficient amount of people so as to warrant forcing him to change it. I, personally, may not be offended by "pimp", or may actually see the good interpretations of "pimp"; yet some others (49% - 30% - 10% --I don't particularly care) will obviously find it offensive. They are doomed to accept it because the rest of us are simply more. I think this is bad. NikoSilver 10:25, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
That "no consensus" should default to rename is something to consider. However, I am perturbed by your suggestion that a small minority of people should be able to dictate sensitivities to the majority and the user concerned. I can see bad things in store for such policy. It's susceptible to the slippery slope, and I can easily image bad-faith name change requests getting more attention and weight than they deserve. I think consensus is still the best fundamental approach. nadav (talk) 10:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Please do not let me be misunderstood. Yes, consensus is the best approach, but practice shows that people do not consider the minorities in question when they cast their opinions. They consider what "pimp" may mean for pimp to be excused; not what "pimp" may mean for people to be rationally offended (not necessarily including them). "It doesn't offend me because there are alternative meanings too" is in my opinion fallacious. My approach would be "it may/may-not offend me, but some people are likely to be offended by one interpretation [the most prevalent in this case], so we cannot allow it". Unfortunately, that is not the case with the votes; people are saying what they think, not what others may think, even if they are few.NikoSilver 15:55, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I would find it detestful if minorities governed us. I also find it detestful that minorities are to be oppressed because sunk in our own biases we fail to take them into consideration. In a world where voters and admins in RFCN could speak for others, consensus would be correct. The case in practice, however, shows that everybody speaks for themselves, and minorities are bound to be oppressed. NikoSilver 15:55, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Getting offended on behalf of hypothetical other people, and using this as the basis to try to ban something, strikes me as extremely busybodyish. *Dan T.* 13:44, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
We run by consensus, that is not vote counting. If people said "USSR is bad, let us nuke USSR", then a proper view of consensus would ignore such opinions as not based in policy. (H) 15:59, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that would be the right thing. The question is, do you feel we are doing it? I don't. NikoSilver 16:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Recent discussions were tricky because they very quickly got very hot. Is this a problem with RFCN or policy? Maybe, partly, but there were problems with a few users too. Also, about policy: Offensive usernames that may make harmonious editing difficult or impossible, including but not limited to: [. . .] Usernames that refer to a medical condition or disability, especially in a belittling way seems pretty clear to me. So how does stuff like Ment4lbreakdown get closed in under an hour? Maybe the list of reasons for blockable names needs to be on the actual report page, so that people say why they're bringing the name for comment, and people involved in the discussion refer to what the policy actually is. Dan Beale 20:02, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Policy says "may"; we are practicing "mostly by far". NikoSilver 16:24, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I think we are applying policy with sense. If anything the policy should be changed to reflect our practice. How about "likely to offend"? (H) 16:58, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I find the policy as is to make great sense. I find no sense in our practice. I would love if our practice was changed to reflect policy. Offending many people over one's right to [borderline/lame/trollish/abusive] self-identification is wrong in my view. NikoSilver 19:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I think this is key to many of the username disputes. Personally, I think we're fairly strict on usernames, far more so than any other major website such as yahoo or google and I really don't think we should get any stricter on usernames. In my opinion, it would be best to open up the username policy a bit, allow a few to get through, I mean, come on - how is poop offensive to anyone?! Ryan Postlethwaite 19:39, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, "poop" is far better than "pimp". I think that we should enforce what we decide strictly, and what we decide must be correct. But making the policy to include too lame things in order to apply it leniently is wrong IMO. NikoSilver 19:54, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the policy is fine. I think we have been making username block decisions fine. I cannot see any decision I disagree with(other than allowing "everyonehateschris" which is just as bad as "diepauldie") in recent time. (H) 13:11, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I thought you wanted to change policy to reflect our more lenient practice. In any case, I don't want to be the one with the stick next to the horse carcass here. If most of you think it is OK to suppress the perceived (or not) offensiveness of users who share the view that e.g. "pimp" is offensive, because of the fact they may be fewer than the rest who don't, fine by me. I've made my point. NikoSilver 14:51, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I actually agree with Niko here. Exploding Boy 16:44, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes Exploding Boy, we actually agree all along in the general directions in both sections (here and above). We only disagreed on the procedural solutions for the same (or extremely similar) end results. I think that the new considerations of Mangojuice and Ned Scott above shed some more light as to what is actually feasible or not (regardless of Foundation statements; but also from feasible consensus). From my part, I apologize for assuming that your position in not taking Unified Login as an incontrovertible fact could hinder the #Proposal, and I would appreciate your explicit support there too, given that even if Unified Login doesn't go through as planned, it is highly unlikely that we can gain consensus for harder measures (including permaban/blocks for violators of my moderate proposal, not to mention banning of non-Latin usernames altogether, which some users above consider to be sine qua non). NikoSilver 14:04, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I think my proposal above almost emulates (indirectly) your required result, with only the history-pages left partly unsolved. (The latter could be solved also if the user number is also included as Bastique said would probably happen). You'll have a Latin username to refer to, to type and locate a user, and a way to call them. What do you say? NikoSilver 15:18, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I think policy does reflect practice. Pimp is just not that offensive, at least consensus did not find so. (H) 23:09, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I have distaste for the idea of letting a few over-sensitive people dictate the tastes of everybody else, as happens with on-campus politically-correct speech codes and with the FCC cracking down on so-called "indecency" on the airwaves because a few "morals groups" whine about it. Do we have to be another case of this ourselves? Cracking down on so-called "offensive" usernames is just another front in these endless culture wars. *Dan T.* 13:39, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to Clarify "Misleading usernames"

I think it should be added that well known fictional characters shouldn't be used, partly due to trademark/copyright issues, eg. a username of Naruto, or a possible confusion of connection between the name of a fictional character, and the actor or actress who portrayed the role, eg. User:Danieljackson and Michael Shanks. Apologies if this has been discussed and allowed, I have no emotional attachment either way, but this page should give or deny permission, which, AFAICS, doesn't do either. Irashtar 16:51, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I would have a problem with fictional character issue. I think real people should be allowed to use their real name, even if it is identical to that of a fictional character. Fictional character names have always been used on the Internet, for usernames in forums or for e-mail addresses. I've never seen any problems arise, so I don't think preventing fictional character usernames is a good idea. Nishkid64 (talk) 18:05, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Would J.K. Rowling have any case to sue User:Harrypotter? *Dan T.* 13:46, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Disclaimer regarding real names

Shouldn't the "create account" page feature a disclaimer regarding privacy and raise awareness to potential problems that may arise from giving away your real name? I'm not saying it should be decidedly discouraged, but some kind of warning could do no harm, but may prevent a lot, seeing what happened to user:H. Where would I go with such a proposal? —AldeBaer (criticise) 22:32, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

That's a very good idea, I'm not sure of the exact mediawiki text that would need to be edited, but I suggest we limit it to when users attempt to create an account, it highlights problems users may have when using their real names has usernames. Something along the lines of;
  • Be aware that using your real name as a username could lead to real life privacy concerns.

Ryan Postlethwaite 22:40, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I'd rather not. I mean, people know that if they've been on the internet more than a few minutes anyway. And those that don't, won't read the disclaimer. And having the text makes an implication I'd rather avoid: Wikipedia allows anonymity, but I don't think we should be explicitly encouraging it. Mangojuicetalk 01:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • And rather let the occasional unsuspecting, open-hearted person run into a stalker who harasses them and possibly (as has happened) threatens their life? —AldeBaer (c) 02:51, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I endorse this by all means, as I know of two examples of real-life harassment. NikoSilver 18:04, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

This seems like a simple and reasonable proposal. Support. Flyguy649talkcontribs 18:34, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
This seems good. With all the things Wikipedians may do to get on someone's nerves, we don't want that mad person to know your name. --(Review Me) R ParlateContribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 19:15, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Update: [3] The wording is ok by me. NikoSilver 21:33, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Imply a bot?

Can someone justify why we must block usernames that look like they might be bots? I was thinking about it, and I don't see a point. It's important that bots have usernames that imply they are bots, but what damage could a non-bot do with a bot-ish username? (If they weren't actually pretending to be a bot, or running an unauthorized bot, that is.) Mangojuicetalk 14:22, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

One idea is that users may tend to neglect browsing their watchlists (or even mouse hovering over in case of WP:POPUPS) for changes that seem to have been made by bots; thereby inhibiting vandal-patrolling. Reasonable inclusion of the -bot suffix has been allowed in practice in rfcn, but I'd definitely disallow a User:Niko-Bot. I think there's no reason one would choose such a name other than create trouble, yet I'm open to second thoughts. NikoSilver 14:36, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Niko's first comment is right, plus it inhibits communication. People, funnily enough, will not talk to users who they think are bots. Also, honesty and WP:AGF, why lie about such a thing? GDonato (talk) 15:33, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Length of names

The softwae has a hard limit on the length of usernames. Does there need to be a vague, undefined, soft limit on usernames mentioned in policy? Dan Beale 11:02, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

  • That name is already covered by # Usernames that consist of a lengthy or apparently random sequence of characters, e.g. "aaaaaaaaaaaa" or "ghfjkghdfjgkdhfjkg". So why do we need # Usernames that are extremely lengthy, e.g. "Super Ultra Mege Bob of Waverly Drive from Mars146366".' - especially as the example isn't (apparently) possible with current wiki software? Dan Beale 17:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I'd like to point out that I registered Super Ultra Mege Bob of Waverly Drive from Mars146366 (talk · contribs) just the other day. Quite possible to do (I logged out before creating the account, so there's no way my being an admin could have had an effect). EVula // talk // // 22:52, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
      • I'm sure I saw someone saying somewhere that there was now a 50 character limit on usernames. I can't remember where. If you managed to register SUMBoWDfM146366 the person saying it must be wrong. I'll try to find a diff. Dan Beale 23:52, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
        • I misread an entire conversation, especially a small comment in it. The software has changed to allow sigs of 255 chars. Someone said "AFAIK there's a 50 char limit on usernames" - which is obviously wrong. clicky linky — Preceding unsigned comment added by DanBeale (talkcontribs)

There are, however, existing users who have rather lengthy user names: as many as 7 or 8 distinct words. Exploding Boy 17:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I believe we could simply strike the point from the policy. Indeed, we seem to be quite accepting of e.g. The Prophet Wizard Of The Crayon Cake, or of Can't Sleep Clown Will Eat Me. >Radiant< 08:10, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree it can be removed entirely. In the meantime I added a caveat, because I know there are at least two admins with names over 20 characters long. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:05, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

255 is for sigs. The hard limit for usernames is 64. Now that we have captchas, you can actually test the hard restrictions easily by not putting in the confirmation code. The difference in error message gives it away: "invalid username" versus "missing confirmation code", or something to that effect. And hey, striking the rule entirely works for me. It's the short names that are sometimes hard to tell apart! Cheers, --Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 15:53, 4 July 2007 (UTC)


Numbers don't fall into WP:U unless the username has long random numbers. Certain numbers however, can be offensive. I think we should include numbers such as 88, 666, and 69 into the policy. Thoughts? ~ Wikihermit 00:12, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

There are already clauses for racist usernames, and usernames that may cause offence. 88 can be tricky, because it could be just a number, or it could refer to the racist org (I forget the details now) but it requires other evidence to make a decision. 666 is tricky; some people clearly find it offensive but others think it's daft to be offended by a number - but policy is clear "may cause offence" and 666 "may cause offence". I was born in 1969. I agree that numbers could be tricky, but I think they're already covered in the policy. Maybe a change in the examples given in policy to cover troublesome numbers? Dan Beale 09:53, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I find the number 654 deeply offensive. We should ban the Featured Article Director immediately – Gurch 10:59, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

(ry$$eo (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Since when are $ signs blacklisted? As far as I can tell they don't cause any problems with templates, and don't seem unnecessarily confusing. Maybe I'm missing something?--VectorPotentialTalk 20:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Which template to use?

There are Template:Usernameblocked and Template:UsernameHardBlocked. Which one should be used for which circumstances? --Edmund the King of the Woods! 11:13, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Username blocked is for when the account is blocked with account creation allowed and the autoblocker disabled, this is the one usually used. Hardblocked is for when account creation is blocked and autoblock enabled- this is used for particularly bad names e.g. User:AdminXisGay or User:WikipediaVandal etc. GDonato (talk) 11:36, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Some admins also use hardblocked when they see a username with gross vulgarities. I guess it looks like those type of users would probably have bad intentions here. Personally, I try to assume good faith and do hard username blocks only when it is absolutely necessary. Nishkid64 (talk) 20:26, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Agree, some people find different words offensive to different degrees. Hardblock should be used only when really necessary with usernames. GDonato (talk) 21:01, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Why there are so many usernames being blocked, yet only a small percentage of them have the template placed in their userpage!? And now, I see some of their userpages applied Template:Indefblocked instead.--Edmund the King of the Woods! 14:07, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Sharing accounts

At first glance, it looks to me like the "Shared accounts" section from the March 2007 draft revisions was added with very little discussion or explanation. Guy claimed that the GFDL prohibited this, but I don't see anything in the GFDL that says an "author" must be a single individual. The pre-Internet publishing industry had no problems with shared pseudonymous authorship (e.g., Franklin W. Dixon). I'm not saying this means we should role accounts or any kind of shared accounts, but I don't think we can just dump this on the GFDL without an explicit rationale. Or do we have a more substantive discussion somewhere that justifies this position? I'm actually more interested in the issue of two people (e.g., writing partners) who choose to be identified solely as a team. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:07, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it matters, but yeah, I think the GFDL text doesn't say an author must be a single person because that is what the word means: multiple people would be called "authors." So I do think the GFDL point is good. But beyond that, 1 person per account is very firmly accepted regardless, because of user behavior and communication issues. Mangojuicetalk 15:15, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we can assume that "author" is equal to "individual person". I believe "Franklin W. Dixon" is legally considered to be the author of The Hardy Boys novels, even though it's well known that there is no single person who is "Franklin W. Dixon". Any contract, no matter how well worded, includes implied meanings, and based on a reading of Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License, it looks to me like "author" has an unspecified assumed meaning. GFDL itself implies that there are "authors" identified for any licensed work without specifying how, and Wikpedia's use of it implies that a WP "Document" has identified its authors, also without specifying how they are identified. I would infer that WP's interpretation of "author" is "Username(s) that show(s) up in the Edit History of the Document", with the Capitalized Nouns all having explicit meanings within Wikipedia (no assumptions). That's three levels of assumption/inference, so I think my concern is reasonable.
None of this suggests any legal reason to prohibit the shared-pseudonym possibility in publishing, which is obviously even more likely in wiki publishing. (How could we ever guarantee that any username is a single person?) As I am not a lawyer, I'd really like a legal opinion on this. But we probably are better off arguing the policy from a pragmatic view instead of a legal one. That's why I'd like to find earlier discussions of the "evils" of shared accounts, especially for those not intended as "role" accounts. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:55, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Do you know of such a set of individuals who actually wants to openly edit, legitimately, as a group? Because yeah, in theory, such an account could be okay, but in practice, it's always some business who opens up an account in order to advertise themselves or, even worse, their clients. As for the conversation, I don't know if a conversation on this theoretical point has ever taken place. There are probably examples of accounts like these being blocked: you might try the archives of WP:SIGN or WP:AN/WP:ANI, though I realize that's not much help. There's also meta:Role account and its history, and User talk:Jimbo Wales, too. But I see absolutely no reason to revisit the issue unless there's some good-faith user being affected in a non-theoretical way. Mangojuicetalk 17:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Aphaia and I are having a discussion on her Wikiquote talk page about q:User:Mehmet Karatay, a self-identified couple writing cooperatively in a way that they claim makes it awkward for them to use two accounts. (They have made far more substantial WP contributions as User:Mehmet Karatay, so this isn't just a Wikiquote thing.) My idea is that, in the absence of a legal reason, good-faith editing from such an intimate co-writing team should not be treated any differently from co-authors of a book, whose contributions are not separately identifiable. (They're still distinct from everyone else's, of course.) As long as they jointly accept Wikimedia terms of use by using the account, I'm not sure we have a compelling reason to ban such activity. If they cause any of the specific problems that might arise from misuse of such an account, they may be warned, blocked, and/or banned on the basis of what they do, not what they are. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:21, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, common sense would dictate. Honestly, there's no chance of a lawsuit over this kind of issue, because who would be the injured party? The dual authors who later want to have their individual contributions recognized? If that happens, they would in any case have to find a way to specify who made which contributions if they want credit, and then we could retroactively achieve compliance anyway. If they aren't causing a problem in terms of their behavior (ie, they aren't blaming bad behavior on each other) I don't think it would hurt to make an exception. Mangojuicetalk 17:48, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Question re: names of well-known people

What does "unless you verifiably are that person" really mean? How is the user expected to verify it exactly?--P4k 23:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes we request a picture of them doing a specific thing that you normally can't find a picture of. --(Review Me) R ParlateContribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 01:39, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe you can email the foundation to verify you are the said person. ~ Wikihermit 02:37, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

"contains the word Wikipedia or the name of any other Wikimedia Foundation project"

Our {{UsernameBlocked}} template implies that usernames can be blocked if they "contain the word Wikipedia or the name of any other Wikimedia Foundation project", but this appears to no longer be the case. Previous versions of the policy (like [4]) used to have this exact wording, but now we disallow only "Usernames that confusingly refer to a Wikipedia process, namespace, or toolbar item." I feel this is a much different rule. Does anyone remember why we previously disallowed "Wikipedia", and why we have since relaxed that rule? (My guess is that "Wikipedia" was disallowed during time of the trademark ban, which has been lifted.) Anyway, I think we need to reconcile the UsernameBlocked template with the current policy. Is it sufficient to simply remove the "Wikipedia" clause from the template, or replace it with the current wording? -SpuriousQ (talk) 05:52, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I bring this up now because recently DAWikipedia (talk · contribs) was brought to RFCN and Not Wikipedia Administrator (talk · contribs) was username blocked. -SpuriousQ (talk) 05:55, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Looks like someone updated the template. -SpuriousQ (talk) 08:49, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I had the Template message changed on July 12 to reflect the wording change in WP:U (see Template talk:Uw-ublock#Block for "Wikipedia"). Flyguy649 talk contribs 15:21, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, I think the rule has been strengthened. In addition to not having Wikipedia in your name (it's a namespace), you also couldn't have, say, Username policy. I assume the prohibition on Wikipedia in names is to prevent users from appearing to be Wikipedia officials. — The Storm Surfer 18:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Email usernames

So, I'm a little confused here, because it didn't seem clear enough to me. Are email address usernames currently phrohibited or not? -- Reaper X 03:37, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes GDonato (talk) 22:57, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Well can I propose a change in wording so it's more clear? Under #4, the second bullet should maybe be changed to:

"E-mail addresses or web page addresses are generally considered likely to be promotional, and are currently prohibited. However, this policy did not prohibit them in the past, and therefore usernames created before January 1, 2007 that are email addresses are grandfathered under this policy and are not prohibited.

Does that sound okay? -- Reaper X 23:59, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Username blocking and discussion at WP:VPP

There's discussion at WP:VPP#Biting newcomers regarding the steps taken for breach of this policy. It would seem meet, at this point, to open a discussion on this; is it truly appropriate to block a new user with no warning, rather than talk to them first? SamBC 20:29, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

This policy on usernames is quite obscure - I started editing at the end of 2005, and I've only just seen it because I wandered into VPP. The policies that a newbie will see much sooner are 'be bold' and maybe 'don't bite the newbies'. I picked my current username, back then, after my first three or four choices were already taken, and I didn't put that much thought into it because I had no great commitment to the site then. That is probably the same for almost all newbies.
People are supposed to be given the power to block because they show good judgement. If someone is making good faith edits, on which we are supposed to give them the benefit of doubt, and their first interaction with another editor is to be blocked for choosing a random sequence of characters, for example, then they will feel that they have been told to fuck off. This is completely different from obscene usernames, and shouldn't tax the power of judgement of the blocking admins. For non-offensive usernames, nothing really need be done until they do something obviously malicious, surely? Immediately blocking newbies for having odd, but non-offensive, names is crazy. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 22:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I can understand why the policy allows blocking names on sight in "egregious" cases. If the name makes it clear that the person chose the name for the purpose of being disruptive, and not just that they're bad at choosing names, it makes sense to block them. An example would be if you see someone sign in as User:FUcK J1MBO or User:Aidepikiw Eziladnav I. It would suck if there had to be some sort of process to welcome such users and suggest they changed their names; that's just giving them time to vandalize.
However, having a loophole like that requires admins with common sense! We somehow end up with admins who think the purpose of the policy is to block people for having dumb names, and they decide to do so most efficiently by blocking as a first resort. They defend their actions with "I was only following the policy". How do we resolve this without more instruction creep? Do we have to put explicit references to WP:UCS and WP:BITE before the line permitting admins to block certain usernames on sight? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 23:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that the instructions regarding 'egregious' cases are in a section which identifies two types of case: borderline and egregious. It makes no suggestion of courses to take in between, and it doesn't even indicate that there is an in between. SamBC 00:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
We should not have to spell out that, in a case where a username is not offensive, but merely not a good idea in the long term, a comment on the talk page to consider changing it, and why, is far more appropriate than a block. Trollderella 03:03, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposed change

I'd like to change the "Reporting inappropriate names" section to clarify the need for common sense, as in "just because a username breaks one of these rules doesn't mean you should insta-block it". Here's one attempt:

Unless a username is a blatant infringement of username policy, do not report it unless the user has begun editing.
Clearly inappropriate usernames should be reported at Wikipedia:Usernames for administrator attention, and can be blocked on sight by any administrator. Judging whether a username is "clearly inappropriate" requires common sense; it cannot be reasonably defined on this page. Some examples of clearly inappropriate usernames are usernames that are obviously meant to impersonate other users, make threats against Wikipedia or Wikipedians, or announce an intent to vandalize. In such clear-cut cases, it is acceptable to disable account creation, as long as it is entirely clear that the username was created in bad faith.
The starting place to discuss any other questionable username, such as most usernames disallowed by the rules above, is on the user's talk page, explaining the problem and suggesting that they change their username. (continue as before)

One thing I'd like to add, but I'm not sure where, is that if a name is reported to WP:UAA, it is the admin's responsibility to make sure that the name was clearly created in bad faith. That is, admins should not block users on sight just because J. Random User put their username on WP:UAA. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 23:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh god, it's worse than I thought. I watched WP:UAA for a bit, and it's clear that people aren't using that page as a last resort but as a first one. There are bots that report usernames such as "Badassbassist" (which an admin summarily blocked without bringing it to the user's talk page) and "Kieran Talbot" (which I removed as an obvious mistake). Assuming we can't get these bots shut down for misusing WP:U, then we have to change the instructions to reflect the reality that most requests on WP:UAA will be questionable, not blatant. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 00:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Those weren't bot-reported, although I wouldn't be surprised if the human users Rgoodermote and Aarktica were either or both using some sort of semi-automatic help, through the IRC log feed or similar. However, the accounts aren't bot accounts, and one of the reports was even reported using WP:TWINKLE. SamBC 00:47, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, {{usernameblocked}} assumes good faith in that the user didn't know the username was against policy. I tagged with {{usernameblock}} as the user had no edits, and "Badassbassist" wouldn't seem to indicate that the user is here to vandalize or troll. As for Kieran Talbot, that was a vandalism-only account that was about to be blocked anyway. If it hadn't been vandalism-only, it would likely have been removed as okay. I see no problems here, unless the relevant template messages are being used improperly. --Coredesat 00:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
And what, exactly, is wrong with the name "badassbassist"? Is the word "ass" considered unacceptable? If so, why?? It can be a (relatively polite) bad word, and it can also mean "donkey". Even if it's a bad word, it's hardly one to cause huge problems for anyone. That making it borderline, shouldn't there've been discussion before blocking? SamBC 01:00, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Generally, usernames with "badass" in them are considered to violate WP:U and are blocked. Despite the alternate meanings, it's still profanity in a fairly large part of the English-speaking world. --Coredesat 01:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
And why is profanity in a username a more serious offense than, say, four instances of vandalism? This policy says you need to talk to the user before blocking them, unless you consider "badass" in a username to be "blatantly inappropriate". I sure don't. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 01:23, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
(conflict)I'm just not sure how well that matches with the spirit of the policy, as expressed in "The above policies also should not be taken as a moralistic restrictions - Wikipedia is not censored. Using potentially offensive or ambigious terms in your username should instead be avoided for the sake of community cooperation and etiquette."
Thing is, you might be describing what is done, what's commonly done, but the reason that rspeer and myself (and probably more people before long) are talking about this here is that the issue of (possibly) overzealous username-blocking came up at WT:VPP. SamBC 01:26, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It isn't ambiguous. It's profanity, which is expressly prohibited by WP:U. --Coredesat 02:53, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not just a question of whether the username is inappropriate. It's a question of whether the appropriate response, rather than bringing the problem to the attention of the new user and seeking voluntary compliance, is to immediately block the user and leave a very generalized template on his user page. -- DS1953 talk 03:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't see what in the policy would imply that badass is profane. Even the wikipedia article on the term doesn't suggest that it's profane. The policy doesn't even give any guidance as to what is to be considered profane. Applying common sense to the spirit of the policy (the letter of it can go hang for the moment), it would seem that profanity of that degree would only be a problem if it seems to be directed at someone unpleasantly, rather than directed at the user themselves. It doesn't seem obscene for someone to call themselves a 'badass', especially considering that wikipedia isn't censored. SamBC(talk) 04:30, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Wow, here's another serious bite of a newbie. User:Htrghsntrfgjh6trwhbtrf was indefinitely blocked by User:Acalamari with account creation blocked as well. "You can't come up with a good username? Sorry, you don't get to edit Wikipedia. Ever." WP:UAA is completely out of control. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 01:29, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

This was a good decision, upon review of the user's deleted edits:
   * 23:31, 7 August 2007 (deletion log) (Restore) . . User:Htrghsntrfgjh6trwhbtrf (←Created page with 'pooppoo')
   * 23:30, 7 August 2007 (deletion log) (Restore) . . Talk:A pretty stupid movie (←Created page with 'it really is')
   * 23:29, 7 August 2007 (deletion log) (Restore) . . A pretty stupid movie (←Created page with 'is a movie created by me')

-SpuriousQ (talk) 01:34, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

So, was the user formally blocked for username, or for vandalism? SamBC 01:36, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Does it really matter, though? It's a pretty obvious disruptive throwaway account. -SpuriousQ (talk) 01:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Clearly the most important thing is that the user is blocked; however, failing to state (all of) the correct reasons for blocking may lead to misunderstandings, both on the part of the blocked user and on the part of other editors reviewing admin activities; this is, of course, an important thing to happen, as admins aren't endowed with infallibility. SamBC(talk) 01:47, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
What I find baffling is that a bad username turns a 24-hour block for vandalism into an indefinite block, something normally reserved for serious cases, not a few instances of petty vandalism. Do you want to propose to the vandalism patrollers that they start indefinitely blocking people on the first block? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 01:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
That's a textbook example of a nonsense bad-faith account from stupid user name to stupid non-article with stupid non-talk page to stupid non-user page with pooppoo on it. You can't believe that having a heart-to-heart chat with that throw-away account would turn the 8-year-old kid behind it into a valuable contributor. I was honestly trying to buy into the username policy change (pledging not to do username blocks until something better is in place) but this doesn't help the cause's credibility. —Wknight94 (talk) 02:09, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Block for disruptive behaviour, not for borderline names. There are too many borderline names being discussed just because the editor was noticed for their poor behaviour - a bad name is a bad name even with a good editor. Dan Beale-Cocks 02:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I just fail to see the need of blocking usernames not obviously created in bad faith. Nice welcome, when a genuine newbie creates an account, makes a few edits, and after 5 minutes gets the message "Your account has been blocked indefinitely because the username may be rude or inflammatory [...]". Imo, we should reserve immediate indefblocks for obvious bad-faith accounts (which can often be blocked as "vandalism-only" as well), and when the name is too long or confusing or whatever, kindly point them to CHU and leave a welcome message. Melsaran 02:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I heartily endorse this event or product. Mackensen (talk) 02:56, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I have unblocked Badassbassist. --Coredesat 03:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is another example I posted earlier today on the Village Pump. Between 0:17 and 0:23, a new user Mrwilsonvaldez made a few edits to the article on Wilson Valdéz, a Major League Baseball player, updating information on his contract and making favorable comments about his agent. Then, at 0:24 - BAM - he was indefinitely blocked with the very helpful template that starts out "Your account with this username has been blocked indefinitely because the username may be rude or inflammatory ..." Time elapsed from first edit to username block: 7 minutes. The user may or may not have been Wilson Valdéz himself (from the nature of the changes, I would not be surprised if it was him), but the point is that there was no attempt to communicate on his talk page. Just block and throw up a template. Do you think he'll be back with that kind of a welcome? Skimming through the history of WP:UAA, I see literally dozens of examples where relatively benign violations were blocked without warning. We need to fix this. -- DS1953 talk 03:56, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
The user Mrwilsonvaldez's name seems to violate a section of misleading username. This has been referred to as silly block but 1. Misleading usernames
Usernames that match the name of a well-known living or recently deceased person, in this case Wilson Valdez unless you verifibly are that person, in which case please note this on your user page. The user did not do so. Their edits to Wilson Valdez were reverted were reverted by another. Impersonation of well known persons is unfortunately quite common here and we have to be mindful of WP:BLP also. I could be wrong so I have unblocked them. I have to be off to work now but will check this as soon as possible.--Sandahl 13:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
My point was not that that he should have been given a free pass. In my view, the appropriate response is to leave a message on his talk page pointing out the requirement of the policy and giving him some time to comply. Posting the message while he was probably still online would have been ideal. Even if he had not been blocked, there is a good chance that once he was finished, he would not be logging in again soon (only a very small percentage of editors are regulars, despite what it sometimes seems like in our small community). As to the reversion of his edits, that is another example of not leaving a talk message to alert a new user of policy but says nothing about his username. -- DS1953 talk 14:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

One cause of the problem here is that WP:UAA has strayed from its original purpose. WP:U indicates that the only reason to put a username there is if you've seen a username so blatant that it needs to be blocked, but you can't because you're not an administrator. Instead, we have bots posting to it when they see names that match patterns, and users posting every name that violates any one of the rules on WP:U regardless of whether it's blatant or not. And then certain admins feel entitled to block it indefinitely, because hey, that's what WP:UAA says it's for.

A simple reform I can think of is to divide UAA into "questionable" and "blatant" sections. "Blatant" usernames have to be in obvious bad faith, and can be indefinitely blocked if an admin agrees. "Questionable" usernames should almost always be warned, by an admin or non-admin, but an admin can use common sense to block the username if they have some particular background information (such as if it's following a pattern of vandal usernames). All automated and semi-automated reports should go under "questionable", along with the vast majority of run-of-the-mill WP:U violations. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 04:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

This seems like a very sensible suggestion. SamBC(talk) 05:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes (except the "questionable" section already exists at WP:RFCN). All I'm looking for is a clear guideline on what admins are expected to do, esp. in the case of less offensive names like User:Hkfsl73lrvhfsdludbxmaq. Are we supposed to leave an impersonal templated message? I'm not entirely convinced that's less offensive than being blocked. Then, what if they choose to ignore the templated message and start make legitimate contributions? Plus, they don't want to change their username. Do we just let them continue on and become established with the ridiculous username? If that's the case, then WP:U isn't particularly effective and should be modified. I can't tell which is flawed - WP:U or WP:UAA or both - but clearly people are upset and something needs to change. Let's just make sure the ambiguity is removed as much as possible. —Wknight94 (talk) 11:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Nothing says you have to leave a template. You can also write your own message. The template is just faster, something which seems to be important to many people here. Also, in the directions I rewrote for WP:UAA before they got reverted, I suggested that you could list a username there if the user had received the message and refused to change it.
Meanwhile, UAA is back to the way it was, for the reason that I was trying to make it do WP:RFCN's job. And now people keep putting names that belong on WP:RFCN there instead, and admins keep insta-blocking them. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 16:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
This looks like policy creep to me. If something is against the username policy it is that way for a reason. Since when does a name need to be created in bad faith before it is blocked? A nazi might in perfectly good faith choose a name like "Hitler rulez!", but it still needs to be blocked. A company owner may in perfectly good faith choose their company name as their username, we still cannot have them posting it all over.
A usernameblock is not an accusation of bad faith, nor is it a user block. The user is politely explained what went wrong and how to fix it. Until(1 == 2) 01:28, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Company names, in particular, are an example where I think it's wrong to block without a warning. Newbies don't know our stance against editing under a company name. Just explain it on their talk page and get them to change their name. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:02, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
But the user cannot be editing with that name, which is in essence an advertisement. A username block does not tell a user they cannot edit, it tells them they need to change their name. Policy is that such names are not allowed, it lists them under inappropriate usernames. It says clearly inappropriate names should be blocked on sight. So if a username is clearly a company name it should be blocked. We can disagree on this, our differences are well within the realm of admin discretion in this matter. Until(1 == 2) 05:14, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Reesper, if the user reads the account creation page, it specifically states that company names are not allowed. Flyguy649 talk contribs 05:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Editing under a company name isn't always spam, and it's bad faith to assume it is before they start editing. Meanwhile, newbies have loads of reading to do, and I'd forgive them if they miss a mention of company names while they're reading the tutorial on editing and skimming the pillars. It's not so painful to just leave them a note telling them to change their username. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:27, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
It is always promotional in that it always has the effect of promoting a company on Wikipedia. Bad faith does not enter into it. We aren't being mean to these new users, we give them a very polite note explaining that they need a different name. We are leaving the note, but we need to prevent them from editing in the meanwhile. If the user wants to do a name change there is even a template to get a name change unblock. I just don't see the problem here. Until(1 == 2) 05:35, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Biting newcomers

Copied from WP:VPP Melsaran 18:38, 9 August 2007 (UTC) I was disappointed recently to see a particularly unfortunate example of overzealous rule-enforcement drive off a harmless and potentially very positive newcomer Talk:The Discarded Image. Whatever happened to the 'Welcome Committee'? We seem to have thrown out the idea that we should welcome new users and try to help them figure things out in favor of trying to figure out how quickly we can delete their material and ban them. I'm saddened by this, and would like to see the idea of welcoming new users re-invigorated. Trollderella 15:15, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

That's quite distressing. I think username blocks are one of the most misused admin powers. The username policy emphasizes asking newbies nicely to change their name unless their name is "blatantly inappropriate", but here we have two admins who were willing to indefinitely block a newbie who was trying to contribute to WP, just for having an unclear username, without any warnings or discussion first. I consider both the admin who placed the block and the admin who declined the unblock to share the responsibility. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 15:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
In their defense, the reason for the name change (and the requested name) is hardly appropriate. That is not an excuse; just an observation. Adrian M. H. 16:11, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't block or decline the unblock, but I did have some interactions with this user about the content they were trying to contribute and I agree that there was perhaps less explanation than there should have been. But I think the username block was appropriate. When one has extended strings of characters it's impossible to tell the difference between Gggggggggggggg and Ggggggggggggggg (that's 14 g's and 15 g's in case you don't want to count). Autoblock was disabled, so they were more than able to create a new account.
Perhaps the bigger problem is whatever information people are given when their username isn't available. The user mentioned that they hadn't been able to think of a username that wasn't already taken, so they made a random name because they didn't feel like, in their words, "jumping through hoops" about a username. Perhaps we need a link to usurpation or something on the welcome screen, or a more newbie-oriented explanation about what to do if their name is taken. I think, though, that their requested name was probably fine. They just never came back to Wikipedia. Natalie 16:20, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
So, I just went to try to re-register my own username, to see what screen appears when someone requests a username already in use. The only thing that appears right in front of the users face is a box that says "Error: Username already in use. Please choose another name." (that may not be verbatim). Underneath the create account box was a generic list of things your username cannot contain, and some links to information about choosing one's real name. Repeating characters was not in the list of things usernames can't contain, even though it is verbotten in the username policy. So maybe that needs to change. 16:25, 6 August 2007 (UTC) And I suck and forgot to log back in. Sigh. Natalie 16:25, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for chiming in Natalie, my point is that I don't think blocking that user was in the best interests of building an encyclopedia. The risk of allowing that name to exist for a few days and discussing it with the user before blocking was small, and I am sure that they would have agreed to change it (indeed it seems they filed a name change request). Blocking them is such a blunt instrument, and causes resentment. A softer approach would have resulted in a better outcome.
I think the bigger issue is the attitude that any infraction of any rule must be dealt with by immediate blocking. Letting that username exist until the user was a little more established and understood a little more would do no harm. Trollderella 16:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Understandable, although I still think the same end effect could be accomplished if the blocking admin had written a personal message, if the unblock decliner had written a longer explanation, or if I had checked back with the user earlier (we had already interacted about the article they were trying to add). One important note is that this was before an admin could see a users deleted edits by username (a majorly helpful addition to the software), so the blocking admin didn't necessarily know that the user had been trying to contribute positively and was already irritated.
In my experience, most admins give quite a bit of leeway until they are burned too many times. Most of the rules have been set up the way they are because people have been abusing some loophole for 5 years. New users, though, don't necessarily know this, which is why I think the "create account" screen should have a little more information. We seem to assume that a new user has been editing anonymously or something, when they could be an academic who has heard of Wikipedia but never used it and in fact doesn't use the internet that much. Basically, I think the problem is that we assume that our processes are intuitive, when they really are not. Natalie 17:08, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't disagree, I just think that the most underused admin tool seems to be a polite and civil message on the talk page. We seem to jump to bans and policies, and forget that we are dealing with people. Trollderella 17:12, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Answer me this. Doesn't a username-blocked user see the {{Usernameblocked}} template expanded out? If so, doesn't that template give all the information they need - including a link to WP:U - all wrapped in a friendly message. Isn't that true? If so, what is the problem? Did the person not read the message? I fail to see what the problem is or why an admin now has to personally hold the hand of all 100 or so people that are username-blocked on any given day. If s/he was annoyed that their article was deleted, they should have written more of an article than a one-liner that could have been replaced by a single link on the C.S. Lewis page. —Wknight94 (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

What they see, as far as I can tell, is something instructing them to make a request for an unblock or for a name-change. It seems the user did this, and got more oblique responses. The question is not 'can these actions be justified in policy', but 'did these admin actions further the building of an encyclopedia'? It's pretty clear to me that they didn't. Trollderella 23:57, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Wknight, the user only sees those directions if you put them there. You didn't put them there, you put the template syntax in a plain old log summary, so all the user saw was the literal text {{usernameBlocked}}. But also, just because there are directions to fix an overzealous indefinite block doesn't mean that the block was a good idea. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:34, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The template does get expanded when they try to edit after being blocked (yes I confirmed it just now). Why don't you come up with a consensus for how much time we need to spend with our shoulder around the 100 or so people that create dumb user names each day - before we block them anyway of course. —Wknight94 (talk) 09:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Why are you so interested in blocking newbies for having dumb names? How does it help Wikipedia? If you don't like interacting with users with dumb names, you don't have to, so let someone else do it. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 16:06, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow. Are you now forbidding only me from blocking people whose names violate WP:U? Laughable. If you want WP:U changed, say that and stop singling me out, please. I'm just doing what has been documented as policy. Personally, very few people's names bother me. If someone wants to call themselves or User:Super Ultra Mega Bob of Waverly Drive from Mars146366, it wouldn't bother me but WP:U says it's not allowed so I block them. If you get someone to listen and change WP:U, I'll be happy to walk side-by-side with you unblocking all of the usernames that you want to keep. Don't blame the newbies if you don't want but don't blame the experienced people following the set policies either. —Wknight94 (talk) 17:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point. It's not that the policy needs to be changed. You're right that the user in question needed to change his name. I don't think that anydbody disputes that. What's being questioned is whether or not a block without any discussion is the best way to achieve that. I think the general consesnsus is that it is not, particularly for an editor who has been editing in good faith. -Chunky Rice 17:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the username issue was not handled well but I also think the user's first complaint, that his/her article was deleted because the editor hit "save page" after he/she finished 2 sentences, is an even bigger problem. I have seen this happen many times and I am sure it happens much more often, with the potential editor quietly throwing up his hands and walking away. There seems to be an absurd assumption that every brand new editor has already mastered the use of personal sandboxes and wiki markup. I don't know if it is because new page patrollers are afraid they will lose the "kill" to another editor if they delay, vandal-fighters are unable to put themselves in the shoes of someone actually writing an article or being too focused on keeping the dreck out that they can't see a valid stub, or whether the tools that the vandal-fighters and new page patrollers use are handy for nipping articles in the bud but less useful for finding week-old articles that never progressed beyond the one-sentence stage. The lack of explanatory talk page comments also hurts. Maybe we also must make it clearer that the editor should not save the page until he or she is satisfied that it it represents a good first draft. There are already a lot of instructions at the top of a 'new page creation' so it may be instruction overload. Does anyone have any suggestions? -- DS1953 talk 19:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Exactly. The whole idea of deleting a stub within minutes of its creation is totally counterproductive. New users especially need more than this. It feels like adminning is seen as something like World of Warcraft, where you gain experience by deleting articles and banning newbies. It's a shame that the goal of inducting newcomers gently has fallen by the wayside.
My suggestion is that we stop biting newcomers. I can see why you would ban vandals, but I see no reason AT ALL for banning a new user without discussion, or deleting good content within minutes of its creation without discussion. Trollderella 23:57, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I see a lot of evidence to suggest that the existing checklist is rarely paid any heed. "Do not write articles about yourself, your company, or your best friend" for example. I just don't know what can be done (if anything) for people who don't read instructions. A lot of people do that; it's not a phenomenon that is specific to WP. Personally, I like to be well informed, but that's just me I guess. Perhaps a "please read this" screen with useful tips and advice that appears once the user name has been created. We might already have that, of course; a bit hard to know without creating a new account. Adrian M. H. 00:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I went and looked. The article version that was deleted was "The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature is the last book written by C. S. Lewis." The reason given was "CSD A1: Very short article providing little or no context)". IMO opinion this was a valid stub that had sufficient context. In addition it had had two edits by its original creator within three minutes of its creation. It was deleted four minutes after its initial creation. Dsmdgold 03:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem arises when admins use banning and deletion as the tool of first resort, when it is obvious that the issue is that a new user does not understand the intricacies of every piece of policy. This was not a case of someone not reading the instructions, they were banned for violating a policy that is not in the instructions. A little common sense on the part of admins would go a long way. Trollderella 00:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem here wasn't that a newbie didn't read things. Newbies have tons of reading to do when they get to WP, and I'd prefer they start with the core pillars. WP:U is not a core pillar, and unfortunately it's worded vaguely enough that admins with no common sense can use it to justify a newbie-banning power trip. (It's also unfortunate that we have admins with no common sense, but I guess that's what we get for requiring them to edit 40 times per day before promoting them.) rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is precisely that we have no idea what the newbie had read. His stub, in the four minutes of its existence, was fine as far as it went. Whether he intended to turn out a full article we will now probably never know, since the article was deleted one minute after his second edit. For all we know he might have been halfway through a long edit when it was zapped. Are you defending this deletion? Johnbod 17:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
What makes you think I am? The deletion definitely helped turn this user's WP experience to crap, but I think that's out of the scope of this discussion. I'm saying that it is completely inappropriate to block a newbie on the assumption that they have read an obscure policy like WP:U, when the obvious reality is that they don't know they're breaking a rule. Also, trying to force newbies to read more rules through instruction creep is not the answer. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 23:23, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

With no comment on this particular case, I think the username policy is one of the most stupid and fucked-up things about Wikipedia. It completely sucks. It's worse than useless. I took this vile place and this one off my watchlist months ago, because username blocks serve no purpose other than to fill the logs of the blocking admin and the edit count of the twinkling moron who doubtless reported the supposed "violation". I do not understand why so many admins, when they could be doing far more productive things, waste their precious time blocking accounts that usually have not edited, and most likely never will edit. On the other hand, I understand perfectly why twinkling morons spend many of their useless hours combing through the user creation logs looking for poor, stupid bastards to block. It inflates their edit count and, lo and behold, makes more moronic admins who can do the blocking!

This farcical process serves no productive aim whatsoever. Poor, innocent newbies get blocked - which sucks, because with so many usernames already taken it's getting harder to find acceptable ones. Imagine getting blocked before your first edit - no matter how friendly the template - are you going to contribute again? Hell no! Our massive scale of username blocks, blocking accounts which most likely will never edit, also massively wastes the time of the blocking administrators, who could be doing far more useful things - like closing AfDs - or even writing the encyclopedia! Shock horror - the idea that anyone might write an encyclopedia, instead of doing interesting things like username blocks, positively chills my blood!

Indeed, where does username fascism stop? User:Can't sleep, clown will eat me? Too long! Block him! User:Makemi - that has to be "Make me", yes? Obscene! Block! My own username - obvious reference to castration - to penis! Obscene! Block him too! That's three admins blocked right there! A veritable triumph of the stupid! One admin even runs a username blockbot. Why?? Oh Why? Can't you see that this the biggest violation of BITE ever? Such a waste of time We should talk to people - ask them to change - not block the poor sods! When mostly they haven't even edited! And when they do - the way we troll them, rather than talk, is appalling. Moreschi Talk 17:52, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's a bit of a stretch to say there is no reason to block usernames simply on their content alone: is User:Rapeisawesome or User:JesusGayWithMohammed really something you want wandering around an edit history? But I agree that WP:RFCN is a clusterfuck of policy wonks and power tripping. If a username is borderline enough to need a discussion it should just be allowed until the user misbehaves. Natalie 18:11, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
if they've writing featured articles, why not? Who cares? Ok, I'm being silly now, but the point that mostly people don't care about supposedly "offensive" usernames. Certainly those outside our little clique don't - they never check who's writing - and those inside should care more about newbie biting and less about their twinkling edit counts. Moreschi Talk 18:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Definitely, I'm just saying we shouldn't get too reactionary. This seems to be a common Wikipedia trait: one person does something distasteful or what have you so we write an extensive policy forbidding that type of action and three other things that could be mistaken for it (*cough*WP:BADSITES*cough*). Then a small handful of people within Wikipedia make it their personal mission to enforce that policy by its strictest possible interpretation. Blocking all potentially offensive or otherwise problematic usernames is too extreme, as is never forbidding any usernames ever. Natalie 18:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Delete fucking TWINKLE and we would solve a lot of problems on Wikipedia right now. Nick 18:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Nah nah, TWINKLE is not the problem. It's a useful tool. Blocking the fucking TWINKLERS who abuse it really would solve problems. Moreschi Talk 18:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
How extremely immature comment (civility set aside) - do you also propose the we throw all kitchen knives into the river because they're sometimes being used to kill people? Please take your issues to the people that misuse the tool. Миша13 18:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
There's no questioning the usefulness of TWINKLE in the hands of those who know what they're doing, but at the moment, we're leaving kitchen knives around children when we allow totally new users to add TWINKLE into their monobooks and start making ill judged and ill informed edits. There needs to be some urgent discussion on how we proceed with such tools. Nick 18:56, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Moreschi said it all for me, basically. I just clicked the link to the Usernames for Admin Attention page. I saw a (bot-reported) user name: "Master Shriner for Humanity of Lady of Humanity". It is probably going to be blocked indefinitely soon. This may be an innocent newbie who thought that it was a nice name. I don't see a huge notice at the account creation page saying "TAKE A SHORT NAME OR WE WILL IMMEDIATELY BLOCK YOU". We should have better things to do with our time than blocking good-faith newbies. Melsaran 18:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

(ec) Holy hot damn. Who knew this was such a monstrous issue? I for one will pledge not to do any further username blocks - and even take WP:UAA off my watchlist - and hopefully everyone here can get the WP:U policy corrected. God willing, that will prevent further venomous messages in my inbox. —Wknight94 (talk) 18:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

When was the last time any of you actually typed a username into your address bar or the search box (right) rather than clicking on a signature. Longer usernames aren't as much of a problem as some people are making out. Nick 19:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Another example: today a user Mrwilsonvaldez made a few edits to Wilson Valdéz between 0:17 and 0:23 with updated contract information on a Major League Baseball player. Then, at 0:24 - BAM - indefinitely blocked with the very helpful template that starts out "Your account with this username has been blocked indefinitely because the username may be rude or inflammatory ..." Welcome to Wikipedia, newbie, we hope you enjoyed your seven minutes here! -- DS1953 talk 19:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Well yes, that's a silly block on someone with a very common name. The counterexample is the one above, User:Master Shriner for Humanity of Lady of Humanity. It was quickly followed by User:ALPHA DELTA PHI for Humanity of Lady of Humanity, User:ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA for Humanity of Lady of Humanity, User:ZETA PHI BETTA for Humanity of Lady of Humanity, and User:Ancient Pricess for Humanity of Lady of Humanity. Obviously someone up to no good whatsoever. That's not to say I will participate in WP:UAA any longer, don't worry. —Wknight94 (talk) 19:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I just took that name as an example, as I saw it as "bot reported' on WP:UAA. Still, many similar names are blocked indefinitely while they may just be genuine newbies. Melsaran 02:26, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I've now started a section on this at WT:U. That's a more appropriate place to discuss any change to the actual policy, and that seems to be a sensible way to fix the perceived problem. SamBC 22:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Really, the sensible thing is to apply some common sense before the ban-reflex kicks in. Trollderella 01:49, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

After a considerable quantity of discussion on WT:U and WT:UAA, I've managed to fix one thing: the section for "bot-reported usernames" now mentions that it's reasonable to warn a user instead of blocking them, if their username is unacceptable but not blatantly so. I'd say this includes cases such as confusing usernames, company names, or mild profanity that is unlikely to upset real people -- but that, like so many things, is ultimately up to the judgement of the admins. But this is better than the previous status quo, which implied that the only choices were letting them keep the name, blocking them, or fretting about it on WP:RFCN.

I'd like to encourage those who are unhappy with UAA to give it another try now. Things are getting seriously discussed there. You may be able to prevent future biting of newbies by setting a good example. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:22, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Usernames advocating potentially controversial political views

Are these allowed? I am inclined to believe that this is explicitly forbidden. -- Cat chi? 15:22, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

If we allow userboxes of that kind I don't see any reason why we should ban usernames. Kamryn · Talk 15:25, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
This is about usernames not userboxes. Also "other stuff exists" is a poor way to construct a rationale. -- Cat chi? 15:48, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
No it's not. "I support x" "x is the same thing as y" "therefore i support y". It's called not being a hypocrite. Kamryn · Talk 11:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
"Usernames that promote a controversial or potentially inflammatory point of view" are not allowed if they are offensive or otherwise inappropriate. So I guess it would depend on the individual case. Until(1 == 2) 15:30, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Would "long live" France/Nazi Germany/Palestine/Israel/United States/etc etc... be appropriate? Some o the terms are controversial to a lesser degree (such as long live "France/United States") but I would see it problematic to see a "User:Long Live United States" edit articles that relates to the United States in a controversial manner -- Cat chi? 15:48, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
When you are unsure, WP:RFCN is your best friend. Until(1 == 2) 19:20, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I did that, it was closed in less than 24 hours with minimal discussion: [5]. I do not believe my argument was given adequate consideration. -- Cat chi? 19:33, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
So... is this thread to be a 'RFCN Review' thread or something? C'mon, sour grapes and all. RFCN doesn't mean Respect For Cat's Notifications, sometimes the consensus is "No, you're being silly". I have plenty of experience in that department, it's part of working on a collaboration with lots of people. - CHAIRBOY () 22:20, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I do not make nominations simply to occupy server hard drive space. I see no consensus on that particular case. No real discussion for that matter. For me Kurdistan is an inflammatory term as is Nazi Germany (not that I am comparing the two). -- Cat chi? 21:57, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
That is that really. Until(1 == 2) 22:10, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
It'd be nice if all RFCNs could be left open for at least 24 hours. Even if they're really obvious. I agree that incivil snippy discussions are not useful and should be closed early. "LongLivePalestine" is not really a problem. A user called "LongLivePalestine" adding justifications for suicide bombing to all sorts of articles would be a problem. But then the problem is the user behaviour, which can be dealt with, and not just a username. This is a really long winded way of saying AGF. Dan Beale-Cocks 11:18, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Usernames should be allowed to edit any and every article without any kind of problems. If the user in question agrees to stay away from all articles related to Kurdistan, I'd be fine with it. However he demonstrates an interest on the topic. I would find it disruptive and trollish for a user:LinglivePalestine/user:LongliveIsrael to edit articles related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What kind of a message does such usernames send to a random person reviewing the people who wrote the article? -- Cat chi? 21:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • All political views are by definition controversial. This is too wide in scope. >Radiant< 09:39, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
    Indeed. Thats why we don't allow political views in usernames. If "long live Kurdistan" is fine, so is "death to Kurdistan". Imagine such two users editing Kurdistan. -- Cat chi? 21:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
    • So what should happen if you were to edit Kitten? >Radiant< 10:00, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree with the person who said on the closed RFCN that there's a significant difference between "LongLive" names, presumably wishing life to (or at least wishing a lasting memory of?) a people or region, and "DeathTo" names, presumably wishing death, genocide, violence to a people or region. A name that tried a wiggle-round around that by saying something like, LongLiveEthnicCleansing or LongLiveRacialPurity would fall into the latter category. Although I am commenting here on the policy talk page about what I think makes sense in terms of "live" v. "death" username policies, I'll add one thing that I would have put in the RFCN if I'd seen it while it was open. A name as innocuous as LiveKurdistan (especially since it wasn't even in English) standing alone just doesn't come across as hostile, whether it refers to the current Iraqi Kurdistan or to a larger cultural concept. -- Lisasmall | Talk 02:28, 21 August 2007 (UTC)