|This page is an official policy on DCCWiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Feel free to update the page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect consensus, before you make them.|
When you create a new account, so you can log in, one of the things you'll have to do is pick a username. This page gives some advice on this.
What are usernames used for?
Your user name will be attached to all your edits, while you're logged in. This is partly for reasons of accountability. It's also helpful from a copyright perspective: if someone wants to use your contributions in a way not allowed under the DCCWiki copyright, they can ask you on your talk page, for example. Also, the GFDL encourages giving appropriate credit to authors, and your username is used to give that credit. Other reasons can be found at DCCWiki:Why create an account?.
Choosing a username
The best username is typically your real name, a longstanding Internet pen name, or a new name that you use only for DCCWiki, depending on how much of your anonymity you want to preserve whilst editing.
Please pick a username that helps us to write an encyclopedia. That means picking a name that you're comfortable writing under, but it also means picking a name that others are comfortable seeing and collaborating with. Remember that a controversial name may color other users' perspective on your own credibility or political viewpoint. In addition, DCCWiki is a world-wide source book, so take care to avoid anything that might cause offence to someone from a different culture, religion, or ethnic group.
DCCWiki recommends that users avoid
- names of politicians, military or religious figures or events;
- any other names that may be seen as potentially offensive, or endorsing or opposing the politics, policies or beliefs of a public figure.
People should be able to judge you purely on your contributions, not an emotional response to a potentially controversial nickname. Avoiding such names is in your own interest. So do please be careful. Remember you are working as part of a community. Show everyone else the respect for their beliefs that you expect them to show yours.
Real names versus pseudonyms
Historically, many wikis have encouraged users to use their real name as their user name, e.g., UseRealNames, in their belief that a user will offer constructive contributions to the project if they are more likely to be accountable for their actions. Most DCCWiki users choose to use pseudonyms, although many disclose their real names on their user pages.
DCCWiki editors, especially administrators, have occasionally been subject to harassment outside of DCCWiki due to their contributions or vandal-fighting activities on DCCWiki. Some people have ended up switching from their real name to a pseudonym and perhaps regretting not using an untraceable pseudonym from the start. If you choose not to use your real name, you are welcome to use a name-like pseudonym instead (avoid impersonating any well-known persons or fictional characters, though).
If you wish to use your real name, but it appears that it might violate any of the rules on inappropriate usernames, please contact an administrator. A mutually acceptable solution can very likely be found.
DCCWiki usernames are case sensitive and, for consistency, the first letter of all usernames will be capitalized when you create an account. This means that if you request the username "your name", the account created will instead be: "Your name".
If your username will consist of more than one name, and you'd like your signature to be internally consistent, you might prefer to capitalize each one when you create the account. This conforms to the widely accepted rules of capitalization: usernames are, after all, proper nouns. Examples would be "Your Name", "Your Middle Name", and "Your M. Name".
Inappropriate usernames include both clear and masked names. Fairly or unfairly, the line between acceptable and unacceptable user names is drawn by those who find the username inappropriate, not by the creator of the name. Please don't try to find this line.
DCCWiki does not allow certain types of usernames, including the following:
Confusing, misleading, or troublesome usernames:
- Names that can be confused with other contributors. (If someone else is using a nickname that you wish to use, please consider using either an alternative pseudonym or your real name instead, or simply do not use a nickname. In the unlikely event that someone else is editing DCCWiki with your real name, please add a middle name or initial or some other way of distinguishing between you and the existing contributor)
- Names that include commonly used DCCWiki software or community terms, or imply an official position on DCCWiki. Prohibited username components include, but are not limited to words resembling the following:
- "Administrator", "Admin", "System operator", "Sysop", "Moderator", or any other name which implies an official role or role greater than that of a standard user.
- "Rollback" or "Revert", "Edit war", "POV", etc.
- "Delete", "Upload", "Pagemove", "Redirect", or other editing processes or abstractions
- "Vandal", "Hacker", "Spammer", "Troll", or other names that may give the impression that you intend to cause trouble
- "Bot", "Robot", "Script", "Initialize", "Automated", "Daemon", etc., unless the name is intended as a designated bot account. Names that imply bot accounts may be blocked, and the user may be requested to contact an administrator to confirm that the account is indeed a bot account.
- Any visible toolbar buttons, namespaces, or other technical terms which may be confusing to inexperienced users or otherwise imply a capacity different than that of a normal user.
- Also, beware that the letters capital i and lower case L, and the numeral 1 look exactly the same (I/l/1) in certain fonts, as do upper/lower case O and the numeral 0 (O/o/0). This should be taken into account, and creative use of one in place of the other (I where L would be expected and vice versa) is discouraged, given its past misuse
- Names of well-known living or recently deceased people (e.g. Chuck Norris, Kenneth Lay)
- Names that consist of random or apparently random sequences of letters and/or numbers
- Names that are extremely lengthy
- Names that look like an IP address, including "invalid" IP addresses (like xxx.xxx.xxx.xx.xx or xxx.xxx.xxx.xx)
Inflammatory usernames: DCCWiki does not allow potentially inflammatory or offensive user names. Inflammatory usernames are needlessly discouraging to other contributors, and disrupt and distract from our task of creating a DCC encyclopedia. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Names that promote or imply hatred or violence
- Names that are recognised as slurs or insults
- Names that refer to symbols of hatred, including historical figures or events that are widely associated with such
- Names that refer to or imply sexual acts or genitalia, including sexual slang, innuendo, and double entendre
- Names that refer to or allude to reproductive or excretory functions of the body
- Names that promote or refer to violence or otherwise illegal real-world actions (e.g terrorism, organized crime)
- Names mentioning or referring to illnesses, disabilities, or conditions (e.g. AIDS, Amputation, Asperger syndrome, etc.)
- Names that contain profanity, obscenities, or other potentially offensive language (including non-English profanities)
- Names of religious figures such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah", which may offend other people's beliefs
- Names that promote a controversial or potentially inflammatory point of view
- Misspellings, or spellings of any of the types of names above with "cr34+1v3 sub5717u710nz]]" (creative substitutions)
Harassing or defamatory usernames: Harassment and defamation in any form is inappropriate on DCCWiki; your username is not an exception. In particular, your username is not a vehicle to attack other users with whom you have a disagreement. Your username should not be used to insult or mock other users, usernames, articles, or actions. Additionally, a username should not be used to defame other people, companies or groups, regardless of whether they edit DCCWiki. Nor should usernames divulge the personal information of other users. This can include parts of a name formatted similarly to a telephone number, social security number, or street address.
Names with non-Latin characters: Unfortunately, most of your fellow editors will be unable to read a name written in Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or other scripts. Many of them will also be additionally burdened, as such names may be displayed for them only as question marks ("??? ??"), squares ("□□□ □□"), replacement characters ("��� ��") or worse, nonsense or mojibake ("Ã!%ôs*"). If your name is usually written in a non-Latin script, please consider transliterating it to avoid confusion, and allow easier access to your talk page by typing your name in the search field or URL bar. However, feel free to use other alphabets as alternate link text in your signature.
Usernames intended for spamming or advertisement: Accounts with usernames that advertise a particular website, company, etc. (e.g. "visit name of url" ) are discouraged and may be blocked.
E-mail addresses: Using your e-mail address as your username is not a good idea. DCCWiki content is copied to other sites. Any edit you make on DCCWiki will have your username attached to it, and using your email address will make you a tempting target for spammers. Additionally, usernames containing "____@DCCWiki.com", etc. are blocked on sight, as such a name may misleadingly imply that a user is a member of the DCCWiki staff. There is no official policy regarding whether to block non-"DCCWiki" email addresses, so it is left to the discretion of the blocking admin.
Trademarked names: Trademarked names, especially sports teams like the Miami Heat, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the New York Yankees (whether it's whole or just the team) should not be used in a username.
The primary purpose of usernames is to identify and distinguish contributors. This facilitates communication and record-keeping. The username is not a forum to be offensive or make a statement. No one has a right to any particular username. While colorful, interesting, or expressive names may add to the pleasure of DCCWiki, they are not essential. This might include legitimate names and long-established internet pseudonyms that can be misconstrued.
Through the Preferences, one can choose a nickname used in signatures, independent of the actual user name (connected to a User: page). In general, the same rules apply for signatures as for usernames. A signature should not be misleading.
For more information on signatures, read the official guideline at Help:Sign your posts on talk pages.
Changing inappropriate usernames
Neither complaints nor name changes should be arbitrary, but user names that are offensive to a significant number of people will be changed, not without notice, but without appeal.
Co-operative contributors should normally just be made aware of our policy via a post on their talk page. Voluntary changes (via DCCWiki:Changing username) are preferred: users from other countries and/or age groups may make mistakes about choosing names -- immediate blocking could scare off new users acting in good faith.
Where a change must be forced, we first discuss it. This can take place on either (A) the user's talk page, or (B) a subpage of the user's talk page. The user should also be made aware of the discussion.
For uncontroversial cases where the user is actively editing, the decision can be taken in a day or two. For more controversial cases where the user is less actively editing, a week is more appropriate. For highly controversial cases, or cases whether the user has left DCCWiki, discussion might well take a month.
After an appropriate time for discussion, a sysop can take a judgement on the name in question. They should only take action if their judgement is that a "rough consensus" has arisen that the username is inappropriate. This will involve blocking the inappropriate username, for which see DCCWiki:Blocking policy.
However, administrators may block inappropriate usernames on sight. Reports of obviously offensive usernames should be posted at DCCWiki:Administrator intervention against vandalism.
Where inappropriate or borderline inappropriate usernames are coupled with vandalism, the username may be blocked indefinitely on sight: again, see DCCWiki:Blocking policy.
Usernames that are designed to impersonate legitimate users may be blocked immediately. The IP address of these users should be left autoblocked.
Using multiple user accounts
It is recommended that users not edit under multiple usernames, unless they have a very good reason. See DCCWiki:Sock puppet.
Deleting your user account
Accounts with contributions cannot be deleted since this would allow another user to create the account, and claim authorship of those edits. It is not possible for your edits to be removed entirely. They can only be reassigned to something else so as not to violate the GNU Free Documentation License.
If you decide after creating an account, particularly if you did so using your real name, that you would rather be anonymous, you can have your account renamed. You can request this at DCCWiki:Changing username, or by contacting a Bureaucrat with the ability to change usernames. When this is done, your contributions list will be assigned to the new user name.
You may also request your user and talk page be deleted as explained at Help:User page.
Any talk pages that you have signed will still display your former user name. These need to be changed manually by editing the pages concerned. If you feel strongly about your name no longer appearing on the site, you can edit these pages to remove your signature. The easiest way to find these is by clicking "what links here" from your user page. There is currently no means of removing signatures from old revisions in the page history.
- See also: Right to vanish