This section lists the types of usernames that are considered inappropriate. The same criteria also apply to signatures
These lists are not necessarily exhaustive. Use common sense
in applying these rules (such as a word that may seem offensive in one context may have another, more benign meaning in another context). For guidance on how to deal with inappropriate names if encountered, see § Dealing with inappropriate usernames
The following types of username are not permitted because they may be misleading in a way that disrupts the project:
- Usernames that impersonate other people (see § Real names and § Similar usernames below).
- Usernames that give the impression that the account has permissions which it does not have; e.g. by containing the terms "administrator", "bureaucrat", "steward", "checkuser", "oversight", or similar terms, such as "admin", "sysop", or "moderator".
- Usernames that could be easily misunderstood to refer to a "bot" (which is used to identify bot accounts) or a "script" (which alludes to automated editing processes), unless the account is of that type.
- Usernames including phrases such as "wikipedia", "wikimedia", "wiktionary", "(WMF)", or similar if they give the incorrect impression that the account may be officially affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation or one of its projects.
- Usernames that resemble IP addresses (as these are expected to designate non-logged-in users), timestamps or other names which would be confusing within the Wikipedia signature format.
- Usernames that appear similar to naming conventions used by community administrative processes, such as those starting with Vanished user (see Wikipedia:Courtesy vanishing).
Disruptive or offensive usernames
The following types of usernames are not permitted because they are disruptive or offensive:
- Usernames that are likely to offend other contributors, making harmonious editing difficult or impossible; e.g. by containing profanities or referencing controversies.
- Usernames that contain or imply personal attacks.
- Usernames that seem intended to provoke emotional reaction ("trolling").
- Usernames that otherwise show a clear intent to disrupt Wikipedia.
Note that usernames that are inappropriate in another language, or that represent an inappropriate name with misspellings and substitutions, or do so indirectly or by implication, are still considered inappropriate.
Usernames violating the BLP policy
Certain disruptive and offensive usernames (such as those containing contentious material about living persons, or those that are clearly abusive towards any race, religion or social groups) should be immediately blocked by administrators and suppressed from logs
by Oversighters to protect Wikipedia and the subjects involved from harm. Requests for removing attack usernames from logs should be reported to the global Stewards
team for evaluation and private removal from all WMF projects. This can be done either via IRC in the #wikimedia-stewardsconnect
channel or via email to the stewards OTRS queue at stewards
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 (e.g. TownvilleWidgets, MyWidgetsUSA.com, TrammelMuseumofArt). However usernames that contain such names are sometimes permissible; see § Usernames implying shared use below. (Usernames which represent the subject of a biographical article are not considered promotional; see § Stage names)
- Email addresses and URLs (such as "Alice@example.com" and "Example.com") that promote a commercial web page and don't simply identify a person. While plain domain names (without .com, .co.kr, etc.) are sometimes acceptable, such as when the purpose is simply to identify the user as a person, they are inappropriate if they promote a commercial Web page.
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
. In such cases, administrators should examine the user's edits to decide whether or not to allow them to create a new username. If there is evidence that the user would continue to edit inappropriately under a new username, the blocking administrator should enable the "autoblock
" and "prevent account creation" features. Otherwise, the user should be offered the opportunity to create a new account. (Before blocking, disagreements as to whether a particular username is acceptable should be discussed at WP:Requests for comment/Usernames
.) Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not
editing problematically in related articles, should not
be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username.
Because Wikipedia's policy is that usernames should not be shared
between more than one individual, the following types of usernames are not permitted because they imply shared use
- Usernames that are simply names of companies or groups are not permitted (these also fall under § Promotional names above).
- Personal usernames that imply shared access, such as "Jack and Jill", are not permitted.
- Usernames that are names of posts within organizations, such as "Secretary of the XY Foundation", are not permitted, as such a post may be held by different persons at different times.
- However, usernames are acceptable if they contain a company or group name but are clearly intended to denote an individual person, such as "Mark at WidgetsUSA", "Jack Smith at the XY Foundation", "WidgetFan87", etc.
Remember that promotional
editing is not permitted regardless of username. The conflict of interest guideline
advises all users to exercise caution if editing articles about businesses, organizations, products, or other subjects that they are closely connected to. If you choose to edit articles that are in any way related to your company or group, you will need to carefully follow Wikipedia's advice on editing with a conflict of interest
Some usernames appear problematic without fitting clearly into any of the above categories. This is often the case with confusing or extremely lengthy usernames, which are highly discouraged but which are not so inappropriate on their own as to require action.
Confusing usernames can often be a red flag for other problems. An editor with a confusing username or signature may be blocked sooner than usual for other inappropriate behavior such as disruption or vandalism, if their confusing username contributes to the disruption.
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 registering after 6 November 2017 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:
Note that this restriction does not
apply to signatures, which are governed by Wikipedia:Signatures
Some usernames that appear to be in breach of this policy have been allowed to stand by consensus because they were created before a change in the policy that would now prohibit such names (see grandfather clause)
. If you find an apparently problematic username being used by a long-standing editor, it is likely that the matter has been discussed before. Please search that user's talk page (and archives if applicable), and
the archives of the administrators' noticeboards
and requests for comment on usernames
, before deciding to take action as described below