Wikiquote:Username policy

Exquisite-opera.png This page is an official policy on Wikiquote.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.
Please do not make significant changes to this page without prior discussion.

When you create a new account, you will have to choose a username. This page defines the rules for what constitutes an acceptable username.

What are usernames used for?

Your username 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 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License‎ (CC-BY-SA), they can ask you on your talk page, for example. Also, the CC-BY-SA license that is used on Wikiquote and other Wikimedia Foundation projects encourages giving appropriate credit to authors, and your username is used to give that credit.


The primary purpose of usernames is to identify and distinguish contributors. This facilitates communication, recognition and record-keeping. The username is not a tool to be offensive or make a statement. No one has a right to any particular username. While colorful, interesting, or expressive names may add personal expression, they are not essential to our goals. 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 username (connected to a User: page). Unless stated otherwise, the same rules apply for signatures as for usernames. A signature should not be misleading. In no circumstance should a signature be used to impersonate another user: in particular, a signature should not be identical to the actual username of an existing user. While not an absolute requirement, a signature should at least somewhat resemble to some degree the username it represents.

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 Wikiquote, depending on how much of your anonymity you want to preserve while editing.

Please pick a username that helps us to write a reference guide. 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. Take care to avoid anything that might cause offence to someone from a different culture, religion, or ethnic group, as well as 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 based purely on your contributions, rather than on 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.

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.

Username capitalization

Wikiquote 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".

Names with non-Latin characters

Some editors on this Wikiquote will be unable to read a username written in Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, or other scripts, and for some editors, names in these scripts may be displayed only as question marks ("??? ??"), white squares ("□□□ □□"), replacement characters ("��� ��") or mojibake ("文字化け"). If your username is written in a non-Latin script, you are encouraged to provide a transliteration in your signature (which you can set in your preferences) either instead of or next to your username, and a link to your userpage in your signature to allow other editors to contact you easily. Alternatively, you can place your transliterated name on your userpage, where editors will see it when they click on your name.

Inappropriate usernames

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.

Wikiquote does not allow certain types of usernames, including the following:

Confusing, misleading, or troublesome usernames:

  • Usernames 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. In the unlikely event that someone else is editing with your real name, please add a middle name or initial or some other way of distinguishing between you and the existing contributor).
  • Wikiquote terms. This includes commonly used software or community terms, or names implying an official position. Prohibited username components include, but are not limited to words resembling the following:
    • Usernames that imply an official role or a position with access to additional tools not available to a standard user, such as "Administrator", "Admin", "System operator", "Sysop", "Moderator", "Steward", "Bureaucrat", or "Developer".
    • Usernames that contain the word Wikiquote or the name of any other Wikimedia Foundation project such as Wikipedia, Wikispecies and Wikibooks. However, the prefix Wiki in conjunction with any other word is not inappropriate as the prefix itself is not specific to the Wikimedia Foundation
    • Editing processes, such as "Delete", "Upload", "Pagemove", or "Redirect".
    • Usernames that imply bot accounts, potentially but not necessarily including "Bot", "Robot", "Script", "Initialize", "Automated", "Daemon", etc., unless the name is intended as a designated bot. 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.
    • Technical terms, such as visible toolbar buttons or namespaces. They may be confusing to inexperienced users or otherwise imply a capacity different than that of a normal user.
  • Misleading or confusing use of characters. The capital i, 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.
  • Usernames of well-known living or recently deceased people, such as Nelson Mandela, Céline Dion, Noam Chomsky, and Stanislaw Lem, unless you are that living person. If you are, please note this on your user page. These accounts may be temporarily blocked pending confirmation, if in an administrator's best judgment there may be doubt over the validity of the claim.
  • Extremely lengthy usernames.

Inflammatory usernames: Wikiquote does not allow potentially inflammatory or offensive usernames. Inflammatory usernames are needlessly discouraging to other contributors, and disrupt and distract from our task. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Usernames that promote or imply hatred or violence.
  • Usernames that are recognised as slurs or insults.
  • Usernames that refer to symbols of hatred, including historical figures or events that are widely associated with such.
  • Usernames that refer to or imply sexual acts, including slang, innuendo, and double entendre.
  • Usernames that refer to or allude to reproductive or excretory functions of the body.
  • Usernames that promote or refer to violent real-world actions (e.g terrorism, organized crime).
  • Usernames mentioning or referring to illnesses, disabilities, or conditions (e.g. AIDS, amputation, Asperger syndrome, Retard, etc.).
  • Usernames that contain profanity, obscenities, or other potentially offensive language. This includes non-English languages.
  • Usernames which consist primarily of the name of a religious figure (such as "God", "Jehovah", "Buddha", or "Allah") are prohibited. In addition, usernames that invoke the name of a religious figure or religion are prohibited should they be distasteful, provoke or promote intolerance, are blatantly disrespectful of the religion, or promote the ideology that one religion is superior to others (e.g. "ChristOnly", etc.). Usernames that are clearly expressions of faith are discouraged, however considered allowed unless disruptive. Should a username not be clear as to the motive, it may be reviewed.
  • Usernames that promote a controversial or potentially inflammatory point of view.
  • Misspellings or spellings of any of the types of names listed above with "creative substitutions".

Harassing or defamatory usernames: Harassment and defamation in any form is inappropriate on Wikiquote; 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 as a tool to insult or mock other users, usernames, articles, or actions. Additionally, a username should not be used to defame other people, companies or groups. 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.

Usernames that closely resemble any used by vandals: Any usernames that are similar to those that are known to have been used in the past as a signature by returning vandals will likely be blocked on sight.

Usernames that promote a company: Usernames of or closely resembling the names of companies and groups are discouraged and may be blocked.

Usernames that contain a domain or imply a web address. This may include usernames that contain .com,, .net, .org or any other top level web domain. These usernames will be blocked.

Unique trademarked names: Complex trademarked names that undoubtedly refer to the owner of the trademark, especially sports teams.

Dealing with problem usernames

If a username is inappropriate, please ask the user to change their name. Where a change must be forced, first discuss it. If the user will not voluntarily change their name, bring it up at Wikiquote:Village pump. The user should also be made aware of the discussion. The time this discussion can take varies upon how active the user in question is.

After an appropriate time for discussion, an admin can take a judgment on the name in question. They should only take action if their judgment is that a rough consensus" has arisen that the username is inappropriate. They should block the inappropriate username; see Wikiquote:Blocking policy for more.

Using multiple user accounts

It is recommended that users not edit under multiple usernames, unless they have a very good reason.

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 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License‎ (CC-BY-SA). Since the edits cannot be removed completely (even to free up server space in the case of deleted articles), removing the account would thus potentially violate copyrights by allowing for such authorship claims.

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 the Administrators' noticeboard. 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.

Any talk pages that you have signed will still display your former username. 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, except Oversight, which is only performed in extreme circumstances.

See also

Last modified on 29 May 2013, at 13:35