Project:Username policy

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Summary: When selecting a user name, avoid names that may be confusing, misleading, disruptive, promotional, or offensive.

In order to edit articles on Catholic Commons, you must create a user name and then click on a link in an authentication message sent to the e-mail account you use when registering[1]. Your user name is attached to all edits you make and is needed for providing attribution for your contributions. This page provides Ignatian Wiki policy regarding acceptable user names and explanations of user names that are inappropriate.

Choosing a user name

The choice of user name might be based on your real name, a familiar nickname you use on other websites, or a new pseudonym that you use only for Catholic Commons. User names are case sensitive (e.g. Johnsmith is different from JohnSmith) and the Mediawiki software automatically capitalizes the first letter of user names. The majority of users select a user name that preserves some anonymity (see current User Names). If you choose not to use your real name, you should pick a user name that does not disrupt the community aspects of Catholic Commons. Choosing a good user name is in you own self interest since user names have an affect on credibility and reputation within Catholic Commons community.

It is possible to rename your account at a later date, but this can only be done by administrators with the user right of "bureaucrat". You request a name change by posting a message at Project:Request username change that indicates your old name and the new name you propose to use. If you have few edits, it may be easier and quicker to simply register a new account with a different name.

Inappropriate user names

Catholic Commons does not allow user names that are confusing, misleading, disruptive, promotional or offensive. The following five points summarize the reasons that a user name may be considered inappropriate under this policy.

  1. Confusing user names make it unduly difficult to identify users by their user name.
  2. Misleading user names imply relevant, misleading things about the user.
  3. Disruptive user names disrupt or misuse Catholic Commons, or imply an intent to do so.
  4. Promotional user names attempt to promote a group or company on Catholic Commons.
  5. Offensive user names are likely to make harmonious editing difficult or impossible.

In cases that are clear violations of policy, an administrator may immediately block the account or change the user name. In cases that are more ambiguous, the user may be asked to choose a new user name through a request on their user talk page.

Confusing user names:

  • User names that closely resemble the name of another Ignatian Wiki user and may cause confusion.
  • User names that confusingly refer to an Ignatian Wiki process, namespace, or toolbar item.
  • User names that consist of a confusingly random or lengthy sequence of characters (e.g. "ghfjkghdfjgkdhfjkg").
  • User names that are excessively lengthy and confusing (e.g. "Super Ultra Mega Bob of Waverly Drive from Mars146366").

Misleading user names:

  • User names that imply the user is an administrator or official figure on Catholic Commons. Terms that imply official status include, but are not limited to: "bureaucrat", “sysop”, “administrator”, "steward", "developer", and "trustee".
  • User names that match the name of a well-known living or recently deceased person (e.g., WarrenBuffet), unless it is possible to verifiably it is' your name. In this case, you should either put a note on your user page after creating the account with support for your identity or you should send an e-mail to
  • User names that imply an automated account, such as names containing "robot", "bot", or a variation thereof. Such user names are reserved for bot accounts that do automated process on the site..

Disruptive user names:

  • User names that are attacks on specific users.
  • User names that contain personal information about people, such as a telephone number or street address.
  • User names that allude to hacking, trolling, vandalism, legal threats, or computer viruses.
  • User names that include profanity, obscenities, references to genitalia or sexual slang, or to excretory bodily functions.
  • User names that are similar to those previously used by persistent vandals or banned users.

Promotional user names:

  • User names that match the name of a company, organization, or group (especially if the user promotes the name on their user page or edits articles related to the organization). Because of privacy restrictions on the site, we have no way of knowing if a user name like “Boston College VP” is really someone from Boston College or someone that might want to impersonate or embarrass Boston College. There are also potential trademark violations when using names of real organizations.
  • User names that are used for conducting public relations or marketing via Catholic Commons.
  • User names with e-mail addresses or web page addresses. This is to avoid use of such names to promote the person or company or drive traffic to their website.

Offensive user names:

  • User names that promote a controversial or potentially inflammatory point of view.
  • User names that are defamatory or insulting to other people or groups.
  • User names that invoke the name of a religious figure or religion in a distasteful, disrespectful, or provocative way, or promote one religion over another.
  • User names that offensively refer to real-world violent actions.
  • User names that refer or include allusions to racism, sexism, or hate speech.
  • User names that offensively include slurs or potential slander.
  • User names that refer to a medical condition or disability, especially in a belittling way.

Reporting inappropriate names

Clearly inappropriate user names should be reported at Project:Usernames for administrator attention and can be blocked by any administrator. Please note that this is for clear violations only including those that should not be in the page logs at all (i.e. obviously promotional, offensive, or with personal information). For less blatant violations, the starting place to discuss what you may believe are user name violations is on the user's talk page. Go to the talk page, edit it, and explain the problem, suggesting they change their user name. Remember that users may not be native speakers of English, and may be unaware of causing offense. If communicating with the user does not resolve the issue, then report the name at Project:Usernames for administrator attention, and notify the user that you are doing so. In this process, other users comment on the appropriateness of the name. If after discussion, consensus is that the name is inappropriate, an administrator can block the account. For such blocks, the option to "disable account creation" should not be used, allowing the user to pick another name.

Sharing accounts

For reasons of attribution and accountability, you are not allowed to share your account or password with others. If you do and this becomes known, your account will be blocked. "Role accounts" associated with an office, position, or task (e.g. CreightonMarketingDirector) are prohibited with the exception of roles directly related to Catholic Commons (e.g. IgnatianWikiTechSupport).


You are not allowed to create multiple accounts in order to make your opinion seem more prevalent than it actually is or to have a debate with yourself (Wikipedia calls these sock puppet accounts). Examples of such policy violations include attempting to vote twice in a poll, agreeing with your other account in a deletion discussion, and engaging in "revert wars" using multiple accounts. Sock puppet accounts that operate in violation of this policy should be blocked indefinitely; the main account may be blocked at the discretion of any administrator. Non-administrators may list the accounts at Project:Usernames for administrator attention. Difficult cases where the nature and extent of sockpuppetry is unclear and where there is an ongoing problem may be listed at Project:Requests for checkuser for investigation.


  1. This authentication step is required in order to prevent new users from entering e-mail accounts to which they do not have access (e.g., User names that are not authenticated within 14 days of creation are subject to deletion. Additionally, accounts with no contributions may be deleted earlier if there is evidence of spamming or bot creation of accounts.

This article uses some material from the Wikipedia article Wikipedia:Username policy. The authors are in the Wikipedia page history. As with this site, the text of Wikipedia is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For more information on legally using content from Wikipedia, click here.