Wikipedia talk:Username policy

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exemption to "stale/no recent edits" for impersonation accounts?

A recent case has brought to my attention hat I think is a flaw in the way we handle some username reports. A user was using a name that suggested they were a well-known living person. (in this specific case it was a close adviser to the President) They had edited content related to this person. Even worse, the press had picked up on it and was reporting it as possible whitewashing by the actual person in question.

Here's the twist: the press was just picking up on it now, but the account was active four months ago, so when it was reported at UAA it got declined as Stale: This account has not been used in the last 2–3 weeks.. I generally like that rule as it cuts down on useless reports, but I think we should ignore it in the case of impersonation of a notable person. Just having those edits in the history of the article can harm their real-world reputation, blocking it and leaving a big banner on their talk page that says "prove you are really this person or pick a new name" mitigates that potential. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:46, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Beyond using IAR to close that loophole, perhaps there is a way we could add an exception to the stale criterion, involving BLP coverage in external sources or what have you. Andrevan@ 21:51, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, I had hoped for a bit more input, but per WP:SILENCE, I'm going to add this to WP:UAA/I and other relevant pages. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:17, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

"Real name"

Is there an established consensus for how the policy applies to stage names? I've seen a few reports declined where a stage name is a variation on the person's real name (eg. User:SIMO-ICE). Today we have User:BLVCK LAG00N, which has been reported as a promotional name (and their user page has been deleted as blatant advertising); this is someone's stage name. What's the consensus on how to handle these? GoldenRing (talk) 15:52, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

I believe the current interpretation there is that if they aren't really notable and just trying to get some free publicity it's functionally the same as using their actual name. We had a discussion a few months back about all the "official" accounts and YouTube names we've been seeing and that was pretty much how it shook out, this is basically the same thing. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:53, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, though it seems a bit wrong-way-'round. Essentially we're saying that if there was any possibility that what they contribute about themselves might be notable enough to keep in the encyclopaedia, we'll block them; if all they're ever going to contribute is a non-notable social media profile that's going to get tagged with G11 in seconds, we'll let them carry on. I can sort of see the sense in it, in that it's only the notable cases where COI is then going to become a problem, but it looks pretty counter-intuitive at first sight. GoldenRing (talk) 12:45, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
The general idea is to keep UAA from getting backlogged with reports that aren't really about usernames but rather editing. If they keep posting the same spam, they can certainly be blocked for that alone regardless of their username, but in my experience the majority of such users go quiet once it is made clear to them that Wikipedia is not social media or a place for self-promotion. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:01, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

"Poop/shit" usernames - always blatant vios?

It occurs to me that "poop" and "shit" usernames may not always be blatant UPOL violations. Sure, usernames like "IEatPoop" or "EatShit" are obvious vios, but I remember one instance when I reported a username which was something like "Poo01234", and an admin declined it. They explained to me that "poo" is not always offensive per se. Meanwhile, in a more recent RfA discussion, an admin opposed because the candidate had recently reported a "POOOOO" username to UAA, which they said was not a blatant violation. Nevertheless, a different admin had blocked the user, deeming the username a blatant violation. A third admin stated that it has, for a long time, been standard practice to block all "poo/poop" usernames on sight as obvious references to faeces. However, I'm also not too sure if this is right.

For example, my mum and dad say "I am poop/pooped!" quite frequently (it means "tired" or "exhausted"). Also, in Disney's Alice in Wonderland, when Alice grows very large during her trial and is attacked by the Queen of Hearts' card guards, she exclaims in disdain, "Oh, poo! I'm not afraid of you! Why, you're nothing but a pack of cards!" The character Winnie-the-Pooh's name is generally not considered offensive either. As far as "shit" usernames go, the issue with personal names containing the string "shit" is easily dealt with, but apart from that, "shit" is usually considered offensive. But in phrases like "Shit happens", it's not as offensive.

This got me thinking that if it is true that it is practice to block all "poop" and "shit" usernames on sight, it may be time to relax this guideline a little, limiting only to obvious references to faeces and not blocking borderline ones immediately, or at least, generate a clear consensus on what generally falls into which category. Linguisttalk|contribs 00:34, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

  • There's no hard guideline that states that any username with "shit" or "poop" needs to be blocked on sight. How hard this is enforced, as you've seen, varies from admin to admin. The policy on inappropriate usernames asks us to use common sense. Of course, what is common to one is not common to another, and vice versa. It's a judgment call in each case. Some cases are blatantly obvious. Some are borderline. Some are clearly not violations, even if they contain those words. It would be hard to codify a guideline on what falls into what category. The creativity of the people wishing to create offensive usernames knows no bounds. --Hammersoft (talk) 01:32, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
That sounds about right. As always, context is important, but I would add that in my experience "poop" is a very good indicator that someone is up to no good. That being said, I don't think a block is in order in most cases where there are no edits, unless it is extremely egregious. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:31, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Don't forget "shit" is very common part of surnames for India, these type of instances can not be penalized. - Mlpearc (open channel) 20:01, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a constant thing at UAA. Unless I see a clear reference to defecation in the name I usually decline these without further review. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:45, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
There is no string which we need to block all accounts containing. I once found a legitimate account with the word "troll" on the list, for example. Human common sense is essential - which is why we don't have a bot blocking usernames here, only reporting. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 04:08, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
We don't even have that lately... Beeblebrox (talk) 19:12, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
  • When I was young, the main meaning of English "poop" was "the stern of a ship", likeliest via French or Mediterranean languages from Latin "puppis" la:puppis. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 15:44, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Is this the right place to ask about an addition to the word filter?

Having seen a violating username appear here recently (which turned out to be an LTA), I was wondering if the word "autistic" could be included in the word filter. Whilst I appreciate that some users who use this string may well be on the autism spectrum (like myself), the word could be used with offensive undertones, particularly by trolls, or long-term abusers. I was thinking DQB could flag these names with a comment along the lines of "do be aware that some users who use this string may genuinely be autistic - please be careful and make sure you are dealing with a vandal/LTA first". I am unsure if this is the correct place to ask, however. Some thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks, Patient Zerotalk 10:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

@Patient Zero: This is the right place. Being autistic myself I support this filter and all of what you've said above. Linguisttalk|contribs 14:20, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Linguist111. I am going to ping DeltaQuad here, as I think she may be able to help. :-) Patient Zerotalk 10:11, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit filters are sufficiently more expensive than an entry on the username blacklist or my bots blacklist. That said, I haven't managed what's on the blacklist for a long time now, and usually happens at User talk:DeltaQuad/UAA/Blacklist. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 17:58, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
 Done. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 04:06, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks DeltaQuad and Od Mishehu. :-) Patient Zerotalk 09:00, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Template message for UAA reviewers

In a recent discussion I stalked, Beeblebrox posted quite a nice WP:UAA message for when users with no edits are brought to UAA. I've seen stuff like this used over the years, so I thought it might have been an actual template. Turns out it's not, but if there's general support Beeblebrox could most it to template space for general use. Thoughts? Primefac (talk) 01:13, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm fully behind this. I've used his boilerplate message a number of times after realizing that it does a better job of explaining things than I could ever hope to do, but I do sometimes have trouble recalling the name of the subpage. Everything the notice says is supported by policy or established protocol, and spurious reports of inactive accounts are a common problem, so I can't imagine there would be any objections. – Juliancolton | Talk 03:47, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
I'll be supportive of this for general use. There is a template for dealing with possible ORGNAME vios with no edits ({{UAA|np}} = Not a blatant violation of the username policy. For a username to be blatantly promotional, there must be a link between the username and the user's edits. Consider re-reporting if a connection becomes clear through the user's edits.), and this one will take care of the rest. Linguisttalk|contribs 04:02, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Looks like Juliancolton has created {{no edits}} which transcludes the message. I'll work on cleaning it up to make it a "proper" template. Primefac (talk) 18:38, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not 100% on the last sentence. The message, yes, but the wording is a bit clunky. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:56, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Our just-established local consensus may be overridden by a change in global policy

As some of you may know, there was two recent entries WP:RFC/N, probably the most widely attended ones of recent years, in which a consensus was arrived at that we will in fact allow unicode characters and emojis as usernames. And now all of the sudden there is a discussion at m:Talk:Global rename policy to make it a global policy that emojis cannot be used. Thought the community should be made aware of that. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:23, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

On the contrary, I think it might have been noce for the folks at Meta to let us know they were having a discussion that, given the timing, seems to be a direct response to a decision here. I did it anyway though, even though I can't find a meta equivalent to our policy on canvassing. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:36, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
The emoji username issue was discussed on the global renamers mailing list since April 26. Since emojis in usernames are blacklisted by the software, global renamers are not sure that they should be taking it upon themselves to override the blacklist upon request. Since renames are global they might fall afoul of one project (e.g. plwiki) in processing the request even if enwiki decided that such usernames are okay. So I would say that the proper consensus enwiki or the global community would need to establish to really 'allow' emoji usernames would be to remove them from the blacklist. Otherwise global renamers do need direction on if these requests are acceptable. –xenotalk 16:48, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
  • As a general point of note, the recent closure at RFCN was not that "all emoji names are allowed." It was that particular rename that was allowed. The close specifically mentioned that this wouldn't affect en-wiki entirely, and that a new RFC would be needed to "officially" allow/disallow emoji usernames. Primefac (talk) 17:13, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
  •  Comment: - The recent RFCN did not allow all emoji names. It called for further discussion. Since all names are global it is logical the discussion continues on meta. If all projects decide individually the users who have these names may be blocked on half the projects very soon. This is not a situation you should want. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 05:07, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Is having a similar username to a real person offensive?

Champion kept reporting me for supposed libel and threats against a real person named Donald Trump despite the fact that I actually use the names "Donny" and "Donald" in real life, and my surname is Trung. I have never claimed to be D.J. Trump, though I joked about being his Vietnamese cousin, this was then noted by the above user as "an attack page", the police (s)he noted for speedily deleting my page didn't name false familiar relationships or harmless jokes are reasons, are there rules that only admins can read that I'm missing out on somewhere here? Donald Trung (talk) 15:06, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, this is a policy related question as I can't find a single policy that states that my username is not permitted. Donald Trung (talk) 15:06, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
The only relevant policy is the one forbidding names which seem to be calculated to be mistaken for a real notable person's name. When you name looks like it could be a fake/joke name riffing on a real one, jokes about that very person can easily give a vigilant editor the wrong idea. --Orange Mike | Talk 21:05, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
A bureaucrat has given their opinion at Wikipedia:Usernames for administrator attention. Combined with the answers above this should be sufficient answer. Further discussion is not needed and this discussion can be closed. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 05:26, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Global names need a global policy

This policy still says that in "most cases" your username can also be used on other Wikipedias. However, all accounts have been global since the 22nd of April 2015. As of that date, there are no more local accounts on English or any other Wikipedia. This means every username must now simultaneously comply with all 65-ish existing local Wikipedia username policies. Clearly, this is not a reasonable situation. It would make more sense to abolish the local policies and have a central username policy coordinated on Meta-Wiki (where it should be a translatable page). Comments? – McDutchie (talk) 23:34, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

You don't have to be compliant with every site, just the ones you actually edit. Strongly opposed to a global policy on this, projects should be able to determine their own standards. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:44, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Current practice is that an account is automatically created locally on another Wikipedia the moment you even read a page there while logged in. Anyone could be unwittingly in violation of a Wikipedia's policy simply by visiting it. How is that a desirable situation? – McDutchie (talk) 23:48, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
What exactly is the problem? Worse-case, you get softblocked on a few Wikipedias that you never wanted to edit anyways (if you want to, you will have to pick a compliant username). TigraanClick here to contact me 16:14, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Just another reason to wait until the user edits in most cases. Gestrid (talk) 15:59, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Stage names

In the discussion WT:CSD#Requested clarification of G11 an editor suggested that a user posting under his (apparently) stage name was promotional because it referenced commercial performances under that stag name. There is no sugestio9n that the state name does not uniquely identify a single individual, or that there is any shared use of the account, actual or implied.

I believe that such a sugestion is already contrary to this policy, but I would like, for the avoidance of doubt or confusion, to make this explicit.

I propose to add, under the Promotional names section, the following text:

Users may use their stage name, pen name, or other nickname as their username, provided that it uniquely identifies a single person. This is not considered promotional, even if commercial performances or publications are made under such a name. However, a user may not use someone else's stage name as a username, as per the § Real names section of this page.

Does anyone object to such an addition, or want to suggest alternate text for it? DES (talk) 21:23, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

DES, my very consistent experience is that an account under a name like User:DJ Slimy Slim or worse yet, User:DJ Slimy Slim Official, almost inevitably has been created so that Fred Kroebler, a/k/a "DJ Slimy Slim" in his YouTube videos and self-released iTunes singles, can publicize himself: create articles about himself and all his mixtapes, link himself to everybody who ever recorded in the same studio as he, etc. User:Fred Kroebler is a perfectly cromulent name; but stage names are a very strong sign that they are here to publicize, not to contribute to the project. We exist, alas, in a hypercapitalist environment where shameless "personal branding" is urged upon creative workers of all kinds (don't get me started on new writers who get onto panels at science fiction conventions to pimp their books, because some clueless mundane agent misinformed them that this was acceptable practice). --Orange Mike | Talk 01:15, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Beeblebrox and GoldenRing might have something to add on this. --Orange Mike | Talk 01:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

One of the rules is ambiguous and needs examples

The category "confusing names" leaves the reader with no understanding of what a confusing user name is, other than a real long one might be confusing. But it doesn't define "too long", and I'm sure short ones might be confusing too, like a string of random letters.

It needs examples of confusing user names.

I don't want to change my username or create another account; I'm just curious about what illegal user names are.(Note: the tilde key on my keybd doesn't work so I can't sign this, but I'm verdana bold. Maybe the sine bot will sign it for me) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Verdana Bold (talkcontribs) 2017-06-06T00:13:31 (UTC).

A litte off topic @Verdana Bold: but in the edit box there is a button you can use to "sign and datestamp" for the future. — xaosflux Talk 02:16, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Xao!  :-) Unfortunately, you can't use the visual editor on talk pages. I'd love to know why someday! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Verdana Bold (talkcontribs) 13:21, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Verdana Bold: On the line immediately below the edit box I'm using now, there is the text "Sign your posts on talk pages:" with a button showing the four tildes. : Noyster (talk), 10:23, 9 June 2017 (UTC) There, just used it
AHH! THANK YOU, @Noyster:-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-) VerdanaBold 11:03, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
  • The Donald Trung name above :: what if it is also his correct official name outside Wikipedia? I saw on British television about a man named Robin Hood because his inherited surname is Hood and when he was born one of his parents thought it clever to give him the forename Robin. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:01, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

RfC at Wikipedia talk:Changing username

I invite you to an ongoing RFC discussion about allowing global stewards/renamers to process usurpation requests. Please comment there. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 00:05, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Promotional usernames

A discussion at AN has made it clear that there is a difference of interpretation between admins of the section of the username policy dealing with promotional usernames. The parts of the text in question are these:

The following types of usernames are not permitted because they are considered promotional:

  • Usernames that unambiguously represent the name of a company, group, institution or product ...

A user who both adopts a promotional username and also engages in inappropriately promotional behaviors in articles about the company, group, or product, can be blocked.

And further down:

Remember that blocking a new user is not actually something we want to do, it is something we do when it is needed to protect Wikipedia from harm. Generally, editors whose usernames are a technical or borderline violation of the Username policy should be given an opportunity to discuss the username and how they may register a new username. However, users who are reluctant to register a new username and are otherwise showing a positive history of contributions to Wikipedia should be allowed to continue editing in a positive fashion and the matter should be dropped. But this exemption does not apply to editors who have a clearly offensive username, disruptive or vandalizing edits, or edits that show a history of problematic bias or conflict of interest.

I have interpreted this to mean that an editor with an unambiguously promotional username who has not yet edited can not yet be blocked according to this policy - and the proliferation of Wait until the user edits responses at UAA seems to show this is a common interpretation. However, others have clearly interpreted it to mean that, since those usernames are '"'not permitted", they can be soft-blocked to require them to obtain another username. The interpretation that others have put on this seems to me more reasonable, but not in line with the letter of policy. Can others clarify or give an opinion, please?

Pinging @BU Rob13:, @Beyond My Ken:, @Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: and @RickinBaltimore: as those mainly involved in the other discussion. GoldenRing (talk) 11:59, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the ping. #7 below is what I referred to on AN; whether I agree with it or not, this is a pretty bald statement with no wriggle room regarding soft-/hard-blocks. Bearing in mind this is advice for the ordinary editor, who has probably has little interest in the sort of block the account is subject too- that, frankly, is admin arcanery  ;) and of little interest to an editor who just wants spam removed and isn't particularly concerned with / involved in the processes that achieve that end. No offence to admins or their arcanery of course  :)fortunavelut luna 12:08, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
En~wiki UAA instructions
(ec)Thanks for the ping GoldenRing (I'm a poet and didn't even know it). I've read the policy with regards to promotional names as this: promotional name and no edits = soft block to allow a name change, as the name is going to need to be changed regardless. Promotional name and promo edits = hard block. RickinBaltimore (talk) 12:10, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing, the issue is that there are hundreds of thousands of accounts registered that are never used to edit. If editors were to report every potential violation to UAA, admins might not have time for anything other than (soft-)blocking (as yet) unused, potentially promotional accounts. –xenotalk 12:34, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Ah- but what's promotional- the username, or the account? — fortunavelut luna 12:39, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
A wikipedia username, not being used to edit, has next to zero promotional value. –xenotalk 12:46, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
So what if it has a promotional username but edits in a different area- does that devalue the promotionalism? — fortunavelut luna 12:53, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
In that case I would definitely try to avoid over-zealous enforcement and at most gently suggest they change their name. (If they are contributing good edits, I personally care rather little what their username is, save for offensive/abusive things.) –xenotalk 12:58, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Exactly. And really, that's the nub of the conversation taking place here (and the one it originated from)- what starts off as a hard and fast rule -or at least having the appearance of one- is actually quite subjective, as it depends not solely on the rule but rather, on its interpretation. No wonder X-amount of administrators etc. can't agree amongst themselves- so what hope have the rest of us got? Retirement time, I think! — fortunavelut luna 13:04, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Personally I think the use of "promotional username" falls into the same bracket as "deliberately triggering the edit filter" - a nonsense block reason used in the block dropdown and therefore used by many admins. Sure it can happen, but it's extremely rare. I consider a username such as "ACME offer the best widgets!" as promotional. A username of "ACME" is not promotional unless they are making promotional edits. Instead it merely indicates a shared account, and a claim of representation which we can hardly endorse. All this is not permitted and they may all be blocked of course, but admins like to differentiate an account which is actively spamming from an account which is shared. In any case it is polite (non-bitey) to make the users aware of the problem with their behaviour, which they're very unlikely to be, before blocking. Policy is fairly clear about that. I think it's also relevant to point out that certain rules exist at both AIV and UAA to prevent violations being dumped onto admins, when they can probably be dealt with in other ways. This is so that admins don't have to deal with stuff that they don't have to deal with. -- zzuuzz (talk) 13:01, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  • "Don't report to UAA" =/= "Don't block". Just like AIV is for obvious vandalism, not all disruption, admins can (and sometimes should) block for things that shouldn't be reported to the streamlined noticeboards. This is also a matter of conserving admin time; if an account never edits, there's really no point in reporting the account. Still, the username is against policy and a soft block is warranted. ~ Rob13Talk 14:32, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

I do a lot of reporting of corporate/organization names. Some years back there was a dispute about whether we should even warn corp/org usernames who had not edited. A section of an RfC on the matter supported warning them even in the absence of edits. Continuing from that, I routinely warn obvious corp/org names, and then wait to see if they edit. If they edit promotionally, I report them. I don't think a soft block does any harm per se. Some admins prefer to wait to see if they edit, others prefer to block. I think I'd prefer waiting to see what they do, Either way, in obvious cases they can't continue under that username. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:40, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Oh come on, a block is a block. Even a soft block, if it's undeserved, is one of the most bitey things we can possibly do. --Bongwarrior (talk) 20:10, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Not necessarily. I said I prefer to wait, and would if it were my call (which it isn't). That said, I can understand why an administrator would block an obviously promotional account under a soft block. If an editor were to make User:HSBC Holdings, and subsequently be soft blocked from editing before they started editing, we are doing a few things that are favorable; (1) preventing edits that stand an extremely high chance of being reverted anyway, thus reducing work, (2) preventing an obviously biased account from introducing edits that might never be reverted, (3) making the holder(s) of that account aware of our conflict of interest guidelines and paid editing, (4) preventing them from doing things that harm wikipedia and then subsequently being blocked for those harmful things (which happens quite a lot actually), and (5) since we never rename such blocked accounts to avoid public scrutiny, we prevent leaving a mark for all the world to see about how the company behaved badly here. Again, I'm not saying I agree with it. I'm just saying I can understand why. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:49, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Pop quiz time. Which of these usernames should be immediately blocked as promotional, even if they haven't edited?

  • Vandelay Industries
  • Oceanic Airlines
  • Cyberdyne Systems
  • Wayne Enterprises
  • Pendant Publishing
  • Initech
  • Prestige Worldwide
  • Aperture Science Laboratories

The answer, of course, is none. All are fictional companies, and anyone choosing to use one as their username is probably just a fan of the television show, film, book, or video game in question, but that might not be readily apparent if we happen to be unfamiliar with the television show, film, book, or video game in question. That is one reason why it is usually a bad idea to warn, block, or report a "promotional" username that hasn't promoted or edited. A long time ago, someone reported Vandelay Industries to UAA. I don't think the user had edited yet. I had to politely point out the Seinfeld connection - if I hadn't, I suspect the user would have been blocked. --Bongwarrior (talk) 20:10, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

  • I would think any administrator would check to see if the company exists first before taking any action. I know I check promotional usernames for the existence of a company before giving them a warning. I think admins would do the same. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:49, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Personally I prefer that admins would soft-block all promo and hard block all egregious violations regardless of activity. When I can be psychic enough to look at the username creation log, and determin who will be indeffed as a VOA within 6 hours something is wrong. L3X1 (distænt write) )evidence( 03:20, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Aperture Science really? Chell03:24, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Echoing a lot of the above, I originally added #7 back in January as there were a lot of reports to UAA where the account had never edited. Bar clearly disruptive usernames, as many editors above have pointed out, there is no real need to report the account if they are yet to edit. That's not to say they don't get blocked (I've blocked more than a couple of promotionally named accounts with no edits - some of which respond to the block notice, change their username and go on to make promotional edits), but filling up the noticeboard with likely-never-to-be-used users just results in the AN posts about UAA being backlogged -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 13:19, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Excuse me, I'm lost. Is the discussion centered on reporting or blocking? Tiderolls 19:17, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
    • I think it's covering both, given FIM mentioning #7 below is what I referred to on AN; whether I agree with it or not, this is a pretty bald statement with no wriggle room regarding soft-/hard-blocks (which admittedly only refers to reporting, and not blocking) -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 08:02, 26 July 2017 (UTC)


I have almost no contact with this aspect of policy. I find Royal Society Biologist to be a misleading/confusing username, and potentially promotional, but it doesn't seem to neatly fit into the outlined examples of usernames that should change, so I'm not making a formal administrative report about it. The user's page self-declares that the editor is a high-school aged person, who clearly is not a Royal Society biologist, but the user has been requesting taxonomic template changes as if a professional in this field, e.g. here. Due to prior experience in the area, I had the sense to go ask Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life if this change made sense (and the answer was no), but other TemplateEditors or Admins might not, and might assume that an actual biologist was requesting the change.

Anyway, I'm more concerned about the gaps in the username policy than this particular username; this sort of case seems to fall into a grey area, though maybe it seems less grey to people who spend a lot of time here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:59, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

RFC about disallowing non-language characters in usernames

Should emoji and non-language unicode characters be acceptable as a username? Primefac (talk) 18:26, 4 October 2017 (UTC)


We have had three recent cases where a username with an emoji/unicode username has been brought before WP:RFCN (Special:PermaLink/778328432 and Special:PermaLink/803943220 (updated to permalink now that discussion has ended)).

Each time the core issue came down to the fact that we simply don't have a rule regarding this; the closest WP:IU has is "confusing usernames" and "seem intended to provoke emotional reaction" neither of which really encapsulates the issue. Other arguments were ones of accessibility (actually seeing the emoji), convenience (hard to type and/or copypaste), intention (it's essentially a trollface), etc.

Thus, I think we should determine a consensus on whether to allow emoji/unicode usernames, and propose we put the following in a subsection of WP:IU:

===Non-script usernames===

Due to the difficulty with some web browsers in viewing non-language unicode characters and emoji, as well as concerns regarding the suitability of these characters as names, users are not allowed to have the following usernames:

  • Usernames containing emoji
  • Usernames that are considered to be emoticons or otherwise "decorative" usernames
  • Usernames that use any non-language symbols. This includes:

Users with such names should be offered the opportunity for renaming their account or creating a new one (see #Dealing with inappropriate usernames below). Before blocking, disagreements as to whether a particular username is acceptable should be discussed at WP:Requests for comment/User names.

Note that this restriction does not affect signatures, which are governed by Wikipedia:Signatures.

I am amenable to minor changes being made to the language/wording if something is not clear (or could be more succinct).

Please note that per the exceptions listed at USERNAME, if this proposal is accepted existing usernames will be grandfathered in, but if the name has not been brought for discussion it's fair game. Primefac (talk) 18:26, 4 October 2017 (UTC)


  • Support as nominator. My browser can handle about 85% of emojis, but every once in a while I just get a box. We have a relatively small set of users using emojis/unicode and I'd like to see it kept that way, if only so I don't have to start questioning who or what is talking to me. Primefac (talk) 18:26, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per my thoughts at this RFC. Multi-character versions of these names make pinging next to impossible on either your mobile or your desktop depending on what the specific character is. That is disruptive to a collaborative project. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:34, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I don't think we need this kind of flare to exist within the user account names themselves, as @Primefac has stated, the signatures will suffice for fulfilling this function of personal expression. The two systems are indeed distinct. - Wiz9999 (talk) 18:39, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. We should always aim for making usernames unambiguous and functional/legible. postdlf (talk) 18:48, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    • Your rationale sounds like support for User:♥︎player, who likes to play the card game Hearts and whose username will be unambiguous and legible for almost everyone, and a ban for User:ᚱᚢᚾᛟ, who likes to write about ancient writing systems, but whose username will look like square boxes for most editors. That is the opposite of the proposal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:19, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support largely per the accessibility concerns. Emoji and whatnot in signatures is fine, but as a username shouldn't be allowed. ansh666 18:48, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. This project needs to promote conventions that aid communication. Tiderolls 18:50, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Qualified support for the first point only (no emojis), because they are not universally supported and many are rendered as vastly different icons on different systems (see this discussion for a related example). These have the effect of making a user possibly appear as multiple users to users on different systems, or who (like me) frequently switch back and forth. Yes you can copy-paste a username for pings or whatever, the problem is it's visually difficult to track a conversation with users whose username appearance changes unexpectedly. However I strongly oppose all of the other proposed changes as a solution in search of a problem. We already allow usernames in non-Latin language scripts which means that at least some of us have to copy-paste usernames anyway, so these arbitrary restrictions don't solve anything. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:52, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    Ivanvector, I specifically worded it so that non-Latin language scripts are acceptable. I'm not talking about things like 雲‍水, I'm talking about things like ℞ or ⨁. Primefac (talk) 18:58, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes that is how I read the proposal, but I'm against that point. As long as a username uniquely identifies a user and has a reliable appearance across platforms, I see no reason to impose restrictions, and "language vs. non-language" is fairly arbitrary. To me, 雲‍水 is nonsense moreso than ℞⨁: the latter two have the appearance of stylized Latin characters whereas the former two are just random shapes which convey no information to me. I imagine you could make sense out of a username like Ivanvect⨁℞ even if you can't easily type it. I̡̡͜͡͞v̶̴̶̡͠a̡̡͘͞ń͘͟͟͡v̴̷̛͘҉e̕͢c̕͢͞t̢͘͝҉ǫ̵̛͡r̛͠͏̷ (T̨a̢̕͟lk/E͡͞d̸i͜t̸s̴̵̡) 19:24, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
So you're saying a username of I̡̡͜͡͞v̶̴̶̡͠a̡̡͘͞ń͘͟͟͡v̴̷̛͘҉e̕͢c̕͢͞t̢͘͝҉ǫ̵̛͡r̛͠͏̷ should be allowed? That's of benefit to Wikipedia? That looks less like nonsense to you than 雲‍水 which is merely in another language? Foreign languages don't strike me as nonsense. In fact there's nothing at all disharmonious or confusing to me about strings of letters/glyphs/whatever in a foreign language but garbled scribbles are definitely confusing. Writing systems are designed to clearly convey information, they intrinsically have a legibility to them. I'd rather deal with an emoticon than the chicken scratch version of your name. —DIYeditor (talk) 15:28, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the statement above just cracks me up so much... @DIYeditor that nonsense in Ivan's username should not exist anywhere! let alone in a username. It is such an extreme eyesore. I certainly hope I never have to deal with an actual user that has that garbled nonsense as their username. Foreign language scripts are so much more legible than that nonsense chicken scratching around the text. - Wiz9999 (talk) 16:44, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
The constructive observation is that you could tell whose signature that was even though it was mangled with non-language characters - it still conveys information. Other than being kind of displeasing to look at (a matter of opinion) it's less disruptive probably than the other two Latin-ish O and R symbols which mess with line height in the editor. Yes, the foreign language characters have a meaning in the foreign language, and I could plug them into Google Translate to determine their meaning (Google insists these are Indonesian and won't translate them), but so what? If I'm to refer to an editor with this username in conversation, I'm going to be copying and pasting their username anyway because I can't type these characters, and if I'm doing that anyway then it doesn't matter one tiny little bit that these are language or not. The set of characters uniquely identifies this user account (the same way that the arrangement of characters in "Ivanvector" uniquely identifies mine) and everything beyond that is decoration. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:25, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Note to closer - in reviewing this discussion, please review whether they many bolded "support" comments are in support of excluding all of the types of usernames listed in the proposal, or in support of excluding only emoji from usernames. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:18, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose with a question One, I think username policy should be determined on global level given that we don't have separate accounts for this project and the global one. Second, I don't see a point in singling out emojis or other icons - names in other alphabets have the same issues and "but they are in an actual language" has nothing to do with any problem. I think that emojis are a bad idea as usernames but not one that needs a policy to fix. I am not sure how widespread the "different display" problem is, though. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:57, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    Jo-Jo Eumerus, a Vice article gives some pretty good examples of how one emoji can look wildly different. There was also discussed (in the first RFCN I linked to) the issues with "crying face" and "crying laughing face" and "laughing face" potentially being confused.
    The main reason I set aside language things like Kanji / Arabic is because some users use them as their usernames (because they edit in multiple languages) and it's not fair to prevent someone from editing en-wiki simply because they're (for example) Japanese. Primefac (talk) 19:01, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    To reply to your last point, which I missed, the entire reason I created this RFC is because there is no policy. At the original RFCN that I closed the consensus was essentially "we don't have a rule for this, so why not". You're not alone in thinking that emojis are a bad idea as a username, but if we don't have a rule/reason/consensus on it, we'll just end up debating in circles about it. This way, whichever way the consensus goes, we can point to it and say "see, we (do/don't) allow these usernames". Primefac (talk) 19:06, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    But does that matter? The fact that the emoji that I always see on my Mac is different from the one that some other editor always sees on his Windows box is not going to stop me from recognizing it on my Mac, or stop him from recognizing it on his PC. And if you choose to switch back and forth between systems, then you are already aware of the limitations of the systems you use, and you can adjust for it (in just the same way that you will adjust for the fact that you will be able to read User:ᚱᚢᚾᛟ on some computers and not on others). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    Probably not, but I was answering the question posed. Primefac (talk) 19:20, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    Take 🙄 for example: What can look like a slightly annoyed look, with rolling eyes, will look like happy face on some devices and a confused face on others (check the Emojipedia entry for examples). Now you are switching devices and don't know that manufacturers implement Unicode differently: How will you know that this is the same user as this or this? Regards SoWhy 14:32, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    I see an empty square. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:36, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    Check the link for how it should look like. But then you see the problem, no? I see the emoticon but you don't, so how can you identify a user with such a name? Regards SoWhy 12:33, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
    Yes, I was meaning to illustrate the problem. On systems where these are variably supported readers all see different things, but on what is still the vast majority of systems which don't support these character sets at all, all of the characters look exactly the same. Every character in this set is the same empty box. You can't differentiate between different characters in the set, and by extension one cannot differentiate between different users who use characters in this set to compose their usernames. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:35, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support (edit conflict) as they are not universally the same (unlike a username); the fact that they could be seen differently on one broswer to another seems to be unnecessarilly looking for a dispute (if only between those who see it one way and those who see it another). Would we have to start taking into account the cultural differences that may see some emojis causing offence- UAA or not- who'd be to judge? The one with the latest browser or? No admins with Gingerbread or below may apply :) Language's not relevant. Whatever our colleagues who put themselves down as believing in the Force or speaking Klingon may assert in the latest census (and I don't say they do- they're probably too sensible- or that we have any, hastilly) emoji != language. — fortunavelut luna 19:03, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Honestly, I have no idea how to ping someone who's name is an emoji, and if I found myself in a situation where I needed to, I would probably just post on their talk with a link rather than trying to figure it out. I wouldn't have any serious misgivings about grandfathering people into the system, if those who already had one of these names feels strongly about retaining it, since AFAIK the overall number is very small. But I think it's constructive at least to keep that number from growing large. GMGtalk 19:10, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, purely for technical reasons. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 21:01, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support One of the most fundamental purposes to have designated user names on any online medium is to facilitate communication between users. If there are any technological barriers that prevent such communication, the lack of universal rendering and lack of screen-reader compliance are two such examples, then the user name fails in this purpose. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 21:05, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per nom's well-reasoned case. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:28, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - These appear in histories and logs and are commonly part of URLs when using tools and links. For technical reasons and because this is en-Wikipedia, it would even be best if they were restricted to ASCII alpha+numeric in my opinion, but I understand that this would now be problematic with unified user names and that it is out of the question. One thing that has not been addressed above is how many users would now receive a rename notice (to evaluate and time the effort of fixing existing names). Another is if the user creation code will enforce this in the future instead of constantly needing community attention. —PaleoNeonate – 21:52, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose because what's written is too sweeping, and because of the number of people this could harm. Did you know that one of the Wikipedias has a history of blocking people for having numbers in their usernames? You don't even have to make an edit there. All you need is a username like Wiz9999, and to click one of the interlanguage links to that wiki while logged in, and then you can get blocked if one of the admins decides that your use of numbers is annoying ("annoying" is the actual policy justification). You don't even have to make an edit. Another wiki bans usernames that are "too long", including Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi|'s. IMO we need less of this in the movement, not more. We should not have a policy of banning usernames that aren't actually hurting anyone. When and if an individual username becomes a problem – maybe if the editor actually sticks around, unlike 99% of newly created accounts – then we could talk about it on a case-by-case basis, but let's not waste time pre-emptively policing the artistic style of usernames. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:17, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support – These usernames are already borderline on several parts of the username policy, including the "emotional reaction", "disruptive", and "confusing" clauses. I'm generally opposed to non-latin characters being in usernames for decoration only, as the intent of WP:NONLATIN always seemed to be to allow names and words in non-English languages, and it talks about "usernames that are not spelled using the Latin alphabet", not "usernames that user characters outside the Latin alphabet". I would clarify that the policy does not prohibit the use of punctuation from the "Basic Latin" character block (other than # < > [ ] | { } / @, which are banned for technical reasons). --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 22:19, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia relies on collaboration and I am one of a significant number of editors who find it difficult to think about or communicate with someone using squiggles for their name. The motivation of an emoticon editor is not relevant, but the fact remains that such names often come across as trolling. If you are here for the encyclopedia, please do not use a decorative name. Johnuniq (talk) 00:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't think it's helpful when a username shows up as a string of boxes on something that does not support emoji. —MRD2014 Talk • Edits • Help! 00:23, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, they also should be allowed in signatures. Kaldari (talk) 01:34, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Should be allowed, or should not be allowed? Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 01:44, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No point in singling out emojis compared to other non-Latin characters. Emojis are Unicode characters and can thus be typed just like any other language character. Side note: I am appalled by the short length of WP:UUN or attempts to shorten it, this doesn't bode well for the goal of countering WP:BIAS. feminist 02:56, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    @Feminist: Care to elaborate? After all, the proposal does exclude actually used scripts, so I fail to see how this is a WP:BIAS problem. Regards SoWhy 12:37, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support The allowance of non-Latin character is necessary, because of global user names--a person who edits primarily on a non-Latin-alphabet WP will have a name in the characters of that language, and the name will therefore be the same here as on their home wiki. There is no WP written in emoji. There is thus no necessity for these names. Many users and editors find them confusing, and they add nothing helpful. DGG ( talk ) 05:10, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • support this is a working community and being able to cite someone's username is an essential part of communicating. Jytdog (talk) 05:32, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: Emoji usernames are an issue for computers that don't support emojis. KGirl (Wanna chat?) 12:04, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per most of what was said above, especially the points about a11y, making it harder for collaboration to happen and problems with output on different devices. Regards SoWhy 14:24, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per GMG, DGG, and others. shoy (reactions) 14:35, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support It's great for users to have an opportunity to be creative with their names but ultimately they are used for identification by and communication with other editors. We are here to build an encyclopedia. The reason for allowing Unicode characters in general should be to provide for other languages which is a no brainer. Extending that to purely graphical (or entirely nonsense) usernames doesn't make sense - seeing ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡o) come up in my watchlist, with its punctuation marks, is annoying and confusing unlike purely foreign language names - which are a series of language characters and not annoying or confusing at all. And what of someone who wants to make an even longer string of characters as an emoticon or worse as pure nonsense? Perhaps added to "emoticon" should be "or nonsense jumbles of punctuation or symbols". Users can make their signature whatever they wish anything that is not confusing; they are free to put emojis or other characters there which is fine. We shouldn't be forced to deal with decoration in usernames themselves. Please nip this problem in the bud. —DIYeditor (talk) 14:43, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support on technical grounds - While I understand that there are people who want to have some fun with their usernames, it could pose technical problems, both to readers (who may be unable to see symbols), and to the users themselves (wouldn't it be hard to log-in using such usernames?) As a compromise, maybe in the future, the use of emojis could instead be directed at user signatures instead (and indeed, many users already do so). Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 16:12, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose If characters are going to be arbitrarily banned from usernames just because people WP:DONTLIKEIT, this should be a global user name policy on Meta rather than a local policy to trip up anyone who comes here after establishing their name on another wiki. Anomie 17:21, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    • +1. We need a global policy to address DONTLIKEIT problems. "Your username is okay at your home wiki, but you'll get blocked if you go to this other one" is not okay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:50, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
      • How is that different from a circumstance where "Administrator" or some such has been accepted on a foreign language Wikipedia because they didn't recognize the problem but it can't be allowed here? A global policy would be great but this is a start. —DIYeditor (talk) 18:29, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    • I'm also somewhat amused by the support reasons that complain about usernames that would be allowed by this proposal, e.g. "I̡̡͜͡͞v̶̴̶̡͠a̡̡͘͞ń͘͟͟͡v̴̷̛͘҉e̕͢c̕͢͞t̢͘͝҉ǫ̵̛͡r̛͠͏̷ " that abuses diacritics (which are language symbols) or "( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡o)" where the only characters that might be considered non-"language symbols" are parentheses and a tilde. Anomie 17:21, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
      • ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡o) has no natural language meaning even if it does have language characters. I think common sense would win the day here. 比萨 (pizza), بيتزا (pizza) or any other username that was meant to convey something in an actual language would still be allowed, while (<ت.ت>), a face I randomly pieced together by copying one section of the Google translate of pizza in Arabic above would not be. Any usernames that were created on other wikis and are in line with their naming policies should obviously be exempted. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:02, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
      • ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡o) would be disallowed as an emoticon by the second criterion and I̡̡͜͡͞v̶̴̶̡͠a̡̡͘͞ń͘͟͟͡v̴̷̛͘҉e̕͢c̕͢͞t̢͘͝҉ǫ̵̛͡r̛͠͏̷ might fail decorative although as I said the wording could use some expansion to include general abuse of language symbols. If the proposal doesn't go quite far enough that can be further amended once it's clear if there is support for the basic idea. —DIYeditor (talk) 18:29, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What do you mean it has no natural meaning? It's clearly a set of winking eyes and a nose, and intended to represent that. I don't think anyone with any language background is going to see that set of characters and think it's a dump truck or something. It's 比萨 that conveys no natural meaning, unless you are familiar with that language or someone tells you that it's pizza. I also don't get a face out of the characters you picked together without you telling me that's what it is, I thought it was a boat. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:36, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I suppose it might be better to say whatever the face is can't be vocalized in any language without being gibberish. Its a face, but it doesn't serve the essential purpose of names (whether IRL or on the internet) of allowing us to have something we can easily and recognizably call someone by, unless we are told what to call them. That's the difference between it and a made up name like "FlubsterWubster". The latter conveys no meaning at all, other than something thats easy for anyone who speaks English to pronounce and recall.
The pizza characters don't have meaning for someone who doesn't know those languages, but we can pretty readily assume that it means something in a language that is/was spoken and that they're likely trying to contribute on My boat/face/whatever was more of a point to common sense: it has language characters in it, but if it was created by someone on we'd likely know it was meant as an illustration, not as a name from a language that uses a non-Latin script. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:13, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - emoji etc names are confusing, hard to communicate with, and generally not conducive to collaborative work here. I also agree with Anomie, that this would be better implemented at the global level, but at least something can be done about it here. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 17:24, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support as long as non-latin alphabet names that are global, and come from other wikis are allowed. Emojis, "cute" characters or Ivan's extreme example obviously should not be allowed. -- Alexf(talk) 17:26, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    • What if another wiki says that "User:🏈fan" is a perfectly fine username? Are you going to block that user for daring to edit the English Wikipedia without first requesting a global name change? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:50, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
      • That is using a cutre emoji type character. What I said is non-latin alphabet. That is not alphabet but cute emoji characters. Not the same as thew 比萨 example above. -- Alexf(talk) 18:43, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Not all emojis work on various browsers and then we have I̡̡͜͡͞v̶̴̶̡͠a̡̡͘͞ń͘͟͟͡v̴̷̛͘҉e̕͢c̕͢͞t̢͘͝҉ǫ̵̛͡r̛͠͏̷ which for me looks like an utter mess, in short if you want to contribute here in a helpful manner then you can pick a username like the other 20 million people on here, Non-latin usernames should be exempt as not everyone is English. –Davey2010Talk 18:51, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Per nominator, collaboration hurrdles and my previous comments here and here - FlightTime (open channel) 18:58, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A solution in search of a problem and another example of instruction creep. Anne drew Andrew and Drew 20:42, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose As noted by others, usernames are global across all Wikimedia projects and so local ordinances would be disruptive and might lead to incompatibilities if other projects retaliate by deciding that they don't like the latin alphabet. Andrew D. (talk) 22:58, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • The proposal is to prohibit decorative (junk) characters—characters from non-English languages are fine. I hope קיפודנחש does not mind me using their name as an example of someone who is based at hewiki but is also active here—that is no problem. I see some comments above that non-English should be prohibited but that is not in the proposal and will never happen due to single user login. Johnuniq (talk) 00:36, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Johnuniq, I think my comment above might be what is being referred to. I am 100% opposed to any prohibition on non-English language characters. The point I was trying to make is even if the language in this proposal is ambiguous, it is easy to determine through looking at something whether or not it is decorative or language. Clearly we shouldn't be prohibiting non-Latin usernames that are the standard script system in other language Wikimedia projects. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:02, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support The proposal in its entirety. Irondome (talk) 23:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support For mentioned reasons should not be a complex technical task to just write a user name. Wikipedia's misguided effort to make itself more technically user friendly consists of dumbing down the level "2" stuff to level '1" while ignoring that it has piled on level 8 stuff to basic editors. We should avoid making that worse. North8000 (talk) 00:24, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support ASCII is enough for English. I get that Unicode exists to represent other alphabets, and a certain amount of disruption is necessary for encouraging unified usernames cross-project, but things that aren't valid usernames in any computer system elsewhere shouldn't be encouraged at Wikipedia, either. Jclemens (talk) 04:52, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Can't see legitimate uses for such names. (But what about users who may have registered such names on other projects and are being migrated here?)  Sandstein  10:09, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
    • Sandstein, that's what the penultimate clause is for - if someone creates a nonconforming username on another wiki, and then starts editing -en, the issue would be discussed with the user, then at WP:RFCN, and then blocking would be considered. In other words, there are a lot of (semi-)peaceful ways to resolve the dispute before it comes to a block. Primefac (talk) 12:01, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support as they can't be pronounced or in some cases easily written. Signatures are a different story. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:37, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Names that cannot be displayed consistently can cause a variety of confusions, and there are plenty of options for conforming usernames in a wide variety of languages. --RL0919 (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Names that cannot be easily typed/used cause an unnecessary complexity to the entire community for the sake of satisfying one editor's vanity. In particular I'm thinking about a certain prolific editor who name changed to a specific symbol that caused so much problems that people had to set up convienence templates that they could converse with the editor. Unfortunately that editor would be grandfathered in, but that doesn't prevent us from trying to prevent others from doing silly things. Hasteur (talk) 18:06, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support the rule against usernames that may be difficult to enter or render. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:43, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per Jclemens and DIYeditor. I was not swayed by the opposers' arguments. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:45, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per every "support" reason above. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 21:26, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination, mainly to avoid difficulty copying/writing usernames with unusual characters. Name goes here (talk | contribs) 23:59, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination. Names like these are disruptive and makes things difficult if one wants to mention or discuss with the user. I'd even go as far as to getting rid of the grandfather clause for this, but that would (currently) be against consensus. SkyWarrior 03:27, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. We are happy to adapt, to cut and paste characters in language, so that all editors may use any reasonable name in their native tongue. Emojis are not a language, so there isn't any expectation of a right to use them. The unusual characters are not universally supported on all platforms, making collaboration more difficult. Dennis Brown - 10:55, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support all as written. Having emoji, emoticons, or symbols with no linguistic properties is very unhelpful. Emoji are also fairly recent, and may not be supported on older systems. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 15:20, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support To hell with emojis. Those are a technical nightmare / impossible to even type on any keyboard or pronounce in any language. I'd extend this to wingdings/dingbats and other non-pronounceable things. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:12, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. There are literally billions of billions of usernames that can be made with just numbers and the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Any potential editor should be clever enough to figure out a username from that selection. bd2412 T 22:22, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - [There is no point if] non-Latin characters are still to be allowed, and it would be silly to disallow other language characters because of the Single Unified Login system. Foreign language characters pose all the same problems as symbols/emojis etc. [(i.e. non-language characters; e.g. I cannot pronounce or type Japonic, Sino Tibetan, or Eastern Slavic language characters any better than the most arcane symbols/emojis)]. Furthermore, this would only ban [symbols/emojis etc.] locally. If a contributor who creates an account [with symbols/emojis etc. in their username to edit another language Wikipedia] after this request for comment were to close as successful and becomes well established there, then begins editing here, they would be forced to change their username or receive a block. That is not right. This should either be implemented as a policy for all language versions of Wikipedia or none. It does not make sense to just implement it locally. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 04:14, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Note: this is not about non-latin characters but about specific unicode ranges like emojis, which are not part of language scripts. —PaleoNeonate – 05:42, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  • That oppose is not relevant for this proposal which happily permits user names such as קיפודנחש (from my example above of a user active at hewiki and enwiki). This proposal prohbits non-language symbols such as 😈 + 🙏🏻 + ⚱. Johnuniq (talk) 06:51, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
@PaleoNeonate and Johnuniq: It is highly relevant. I merely did not state it clearly which led to misinterpretation. I've clarified with brackets. Regards, — Godsy (TALKCONT) 15:52, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Godsy, as I mentioned above, blocking is the last course of action to take in your hypothetical "other wikis first" scenario. You discuss with the editor, then go to RFCN, and then block if necessary. It could very well be that the issue is resolved in steps one or two. Primefac (talk) 15:59, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
If, for example, User:👽 creates an account at and makes a few thousand edits to de:Wikipedia over a year or so then begins contributing here they should never asked/forced to change their username (because it affects the identity they have built there) or be blocked (because it is unjust). I cannot support a proposal where either of those things is a possible outcome. On a side note, there would be no grounds to ask, for example, User:靑瓷陽印刻ისნაირებისა草象嵌牡丹ორებლებ文銀釦대접, which is actually egregious, to change their username. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 16:18, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
One could absolutely ask the latter to change their name. That's what WP:RFCN is for (never mind the fact that you've mashed up Chinese and Georgian in a rather pointy/gibberish example). It might not be technically covered under this proposal, but as far as "disruptive" or "confusing" usernames go it's certainly up there (and those two are covered by existing policy). Primefac (talk) 16:23, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
@Primefac: Gibberish perhaps, but not pointy. There is no need for characterizations like that which only serve to drain civility from a discussion. I certainly hope we would not discriminate against Korean-Georgians (or vice versa) wishing to use characters from both languages in their username (as long as we allow foreign language characters). — Godsy (TALKCONT) 16:35, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, per the support arguments above. I too suffer from the emoji-as-box problem and would rather forestall the possibility of running into a discussion between two users with two different emoji usernames that both render as a box for me. What a nightmare. ♠PMC(talk) 01:58, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "confusing username" is often confused. This bit of policy was created to prevent users creating names such as "AdminBob" or "BotAnna". A username is not confusing in itself - otherwise we'd have to ban non-latin usernames. We really don't need to police usernames so heavily. There are enough policies to prevent names that are problematic, and if a name is created in order to cause problems it is the behaviour, not the name, that needs to be addressed. I need to stress how unfriendly the username policing is. Imagine you sign up for a username, make some good faith edits, and then get a warning about your username posting you to a meta discussion board where you'll have to defend your name. It's incredibly hostile to new users, and it's ridiculously bureaucratic. DanBCDanBC (talk) 11:37, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • It wouldn't be asking much to get rid of emojis from names. We would certainly welcome, say, writing out what each emoji in the name is and using that as a username instead. That being said, I can see an argument, though I still disagree with it, for having a name that's mostly not emojis, with maybe one or two thrown in - as long as the rest can be used to identify the user such that if just that portion or even a nickname based on it were used in a wiki conversation it would be very clear to whom the speaker is referring. The policy might have been made for the exact cause you describe, but it also goes a long way toward clarifying discussion and making fellow users easier to refer to. e.g. Just plucking a random user out of the air here, but it might be kind of touchy for Stifle to log on and see someone calling his or herself "The Real Stifle" and commenting in the same discussions as the aforementioned Stifle. Perhaps case-by-case would be useful. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 02:41, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as a solution looking for a problem. If passed, I would expect a grandfather clause for usernames previously existing. Full disclosure: I occasionally use the alternative account User:✄. Stifle (talk) 16:00, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
    Given that the last sentence of the proposal is that existing usernames would be grandfathered, I'd say your expectation has been met. As for the "solution looking for a problem" - I brought this discussion up because at least three times now "we don't have a policy on this" was part of the reason username discussions resulted in no consensus/no change results. Primefac (talk) 16:04, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose — Only unambiguously hostile usernames should be disallowed. That some people's computers don't work well with non-letter symbols is their computer's problem. We don't erase everything written in Arabic in the encyclopedia because some ancient Window$ 95 doesn't show it right, instead we link to information about the problem. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}}|✝️|ze/zer|😹|T/C|☮️|John15:12|🍂 23:06, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
    Genuinely out of curiosity, does that mean you're opposed to WP:ORGNAME, WP:MISLEADNAME, WP:UNCONF, and WP:ISU? Because none of those fit your description either. Primefac (talk) 23:33, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
    Primefac: ORGNAME and ISU I oppose because they're redundant to WP:SHARED: it's a matter of semantics, but don't block the users because of their usernames; block them because they are a shared or organization account (which could be noticed because of the username). UNCONF I oppose because it similarly seems pointless to me: excessively long usernames should be controlled by a limitation on the sign-up page, if doing so is desired (the policy isn't clear regarding what it prohibits beyond that). MISLEADNAME I oppose because, yet again, it's redundant: everything in it seems to be prohibited by non-username-specific rules to be civil and collaborative, and rules against impersonation of other users (honestly, upon further reflection, I'd chuck the "hostile" prohibition I suggested above into this bucket as well). Since usernames are global, anyway, having project-specific username policies seems silly, and since there are general conduct policies for ENWP, this just seems like redundant overregulation that would be better covered as examples in the guidelines for how a user's level of civility and collaboration should be assessed. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}}|✝️|ze/zer|😹|T/C|☮️|John15:12|🍂 20:14, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support the spirit of this proposal, though given some of the examples given above (e.g. emoticons created with only language characters), perhaps minor revisions may be necessary to make its letter coincide with its spirit. (For one thing, what exactly is a "decorative" username? Would anyone have much of a problem with User:*^* Double sharp *^*, since it is rather easy to type despite its slight silliness?) Double sharp (talk) 05:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support it's sensible and hard to type out. jcc (tea and biscuits) 16:38, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Emojis rendering as boxes in particular is extremely disruptive. Having two or more people like that in a discussion would be unreadable, and trying to identify one of them across different discussions would be prohibitively difficult. I also welcome attempts to establish common ground for global usernames at Metawiki. Alsee (talk) 08:52, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: Actually any responsible/prospective editor who is here to really help build encyclopedia will surely choose decent, meaningful and readable username. --Ammarpad (talk) 11:28, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per many of the above reasons and my past explanations on the topic. These usernames make communication harder. ~ Rob13Talk 13:31, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Not allowing emojis will improve accessibility. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:44, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposal seems a bit too open-ended and I don't see good justification overall. Yeah, it seems like there could be problems down the line but that's not a reason to stamp out creativity, no matter how reflexive that may be nowadays. The creativity might not be needed if we didn't have a huge number of dead usernames no one ever used... If need be, the type specimen (͡ ͜ʖ͡o) may suggest a less restrictive alternative - format altering characters ("combining" characters, RTL and so forth) potentially could be an issue in a way that ordinary "emojis" may not be. I could also certainly see recommending plain language usernames without requiring them. Doc James' argument comes closest to being persuasive but I would need to hear someone with those issues actually tell us it is a significant problem - AFAIK there are a lot of issues with screen readers and I don't know if this rates top billing. Wnt (talk) 10:39, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support While I do not see an aggravated usage of such usernames and not even that their use are disruptive, I agree with the points stated here, also if an user were to have their homewiki with a different username local policy which allowed such, I'd oppose any sanctions on them. --QEDK () 07:33, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - the user name exists partly to allow reference to the user; use a name which isn't readable to most local users, and you're disrupting the user interaction system here. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:39, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the simple fact that since WP:SUL exists, consensus for such an issue cannot be delegated by one sole Wikimedia project. Steel1943 (talk) 05:21, 17 October 2017 (UTC)


  • For what it's worth, there was also a discussion on meta that had general support for the proposal, but I do not intend on this being a meta RFC; it's just for en-wiki (for now). Primefac (talk) 18:26, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    • The discussion there seems rather different. The idea was to ban changing an existing username to an emoji-only username. So creating new accounts with emojis would be fine, and changing usernames to something like "User:🏈fan" (because that's emoji-plus-letters) would be fine, but they would refuse to change an existing username to just "User:🏈" . Your proposal is much more sweeping. In fact, I'm not even sure that your proposal, as written, permits punctuation in usernames (e.g., @Kralizec!:, @Tim!:, @Marine 69-71: or **dave**), although I hope that's not your intention. Maybe you should provide some examples of usernames that exist and that you think should be banned. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing: Well; they've already said it doesn't apply to existing usernames, so I don't suppose that's possible. Cheers — fortunavelut luna 22:10, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing: !, -, and * are part of the "Basic Latin" character block, and are therefore related to a listed writing system and not in the symbol block. This policy shouldn't disallow those names, although it might be worth clarifying. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 22:19, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) Which would doubtless create a lot of problems with fairness ("He can have that name, which is much worse than yours, but you can't, because he created his account two days before you did, and we changed the policy in the meantime"), but doesn't answer the questions at hand:
    1. Where is the evidence that there is an existing problem with usernames? We don't normally write policies for WP:CREEPy reasons.
    2. What kinds of usernames are intended to be banned, and what kind of usernames are intended to be kept? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:21, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
    WhatamIdoing, this is a genuine question: did you read through the discussions linked in the nomination? There's a huge amount of concern about emoji usernames mixed in with the support/indifference towards them. And yes, this is preventative, because it's better to decide we don't want emoji usernames when there are only two dozen, then try to retroactively realize that fact when we're awash with hundreds of accounts.
    Of course, this is a consensus-building opportunity, so if the consensus is "let's wait and see" then we would wait and see. But there have been more than one heated discussion about this topic, and the outcome so far has been "we don't have any rules so we cannot do anything", so... let's make some rules? Primefac (talk) 00:00, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    I didn't read it, and I don't expect any enforcing admins to dig through the archives to read it before they start hassling people for having the "wrong" kind of characters in their usernames. The change you want to make to this policy needs to contain all of the necessary information, without referring to previous discussions, and it doesn't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
    I may not be remembering things correctly here, but as I understand it emoji names are de-facto banned for new users by entries in the title blacklist. The reason the meta discussion was for renaming to emoji names is because stewards/renamers can bypass the title blacklist when performing renames. That said, we should have a global user naming policy, but there would be enough "but muh local project [email protected]@" stuff going on that I don't imagine the discussion would go anywhere. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 17:29, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Could this RfC be renamed to something more descriptive, like "RFC about disallowing non-language characters in usernames"? --Pipetricker (talk) 14:34, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
No-one objected, so I'm changing it. --Pipetricker (talk) 08:07, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  • I see a lot of people complaining about emojis being untypeable, unrecognizable, unpronounceable, or rendering as boxes. But all that applies just as well for many English speakers to names in obscure non-Latin-based writing systems. For example, do "𑨢𑨆𑨏𑨳𑨋𑨆𑨬𑨳", "𑩴𑩖𑪌𑩜𑩖𑪒", and "𛆁𛈬" show up for everyone, and does everyone else know how to type them and pronounce them? Assuming I didn't make any typos and whoever made the linked images didn't either, those are all words in languages. I can see characters there for the first two (the last shows up as boxes with numbers for me), but I don't know how to type, recognize, or pronounce any of them. Anomie 13:29, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
    • I think there may be support for a software fix here: allowing per-project nicknames as mostly proposed in phab:T154177. — xaosflux Talk 14:46, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
      • If you're talking here about users from other language Wikipedias, even if they occasionally stop by here, it's something we must tolerate on grounds that on their local wikis these names are certainly readable. Any non-language symbols or emoji are different in that they are not written in a language of an other Wikipedia (or other sister project), so the user can't say that "my user name is more readable where I come from than the user name type you want me to use". עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:45, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
        • While it's probably tongue-in-cheek, I see http://😃 offers to teach the Emoji language in 5 minutes per day. ;) More seriously, I'm trying to point out that certain arguments being frequently repeated here apply as aptly to things those people do support keeping. Even as names created locally and not just as coming from another wiki. (And yes, I'm aware from previous discussions that you personally would support banning all non-English characters in user names.) Anomie 19:02, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
          • As I said, for users from other wikis, non-English characters something we must tolerate - which means that I clearly do not like the idea. The comment you linked to was explicitly about some local admins. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 04:52, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have no opinion at this time, but If I recall, there's an editor named 😂. Steel1943 (talk) 03:54, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
    Update. Steel1943 (talk) 05:21, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Filter 148

Is this filter working properly? Activity on it seems to be greatly reduced since mid-September. --Drm310 🍁 (talk) 16:25, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

@Drm310: filter 148 isn't really about usernames - you may want to follow up at WP:EFN. — xaosflux Talk 16:34, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thanks, I will take it up there. --Drm310 🍁 (talk) 16:35, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
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