Commons:Username policy

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If an organization wishes to have a Wikimedia Commons account to share among members of the organization then it can if it follows the rules below.

Precedent in Wikimedia projects

Role accounts are Wikimedia accounts which could be shared among a group of people who serve a common role. For other popular communication websites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others, companies set up company accounts on those platforms and have their staff share them among whomever is serving in that role.

In Wikimedia projects including Wikimedia Commons there is no definite policy prohibiting the use of the accounts, but in practice, this kind of account has never been allowed anywhere that the community has considered the issue. Currently there seem to be no active role accounts allowed on Wikimedia Commons, although for many years people have discussed the possibility of having them.

Persons who are considering setting up a role account would be wise to instead set up an account for use by a single person and to not create an account which is named to be used by an organization.

Company/group names

Using Commons for promotion of a company or group is not permitted and accounts that do this will be blocked. Use of a company or group name as a username is also prohibited. For example: a username such as "Microsoft" will be blocked unless the contributor can show they are official representatives of that company or group, via e-mail to Usernames that are similar to website addresses, such as "" or any other kind of "domain" will be blocked.

Famous people

Editors registering under the names of famous people may be blocked unless they can show they are that person or it is their real name, via e-mail. You can do this by sending an e-mail to; be aware that the OTRS system that handles e-mail is operated entirely by volunteers, and an immediate reply may not be possible.

Inappropriate usernames

Usernames that are inappropriate for editing on Wikimedia Commons may be blocked. These names include an attempt to advertise, such as a company or group name, or names that are intended to disrupt.

  • Promotional usernames that are used to promote a group or company.
  • Disruptive usernames, this includes outright trolling or personal attacks, or show a clear intent to disrupt.
  • Misleading usernames that may give the impression that the account has authority it does not have. Usernames should not contain the terms "administrator", "bureaucrat", "steward", "checkuser", "oversight", "developer", "bot" or similar terms meaning the same thing like "admin", "sysop" or "moderator".
  • Offensive usernames that make harmonious editing difficult or impossible.

Note - Commons is a multi-lingual project. Names of users in one language may appear offensive in another language, but are perfectly acceptable if they make sense in the language of the user's speaking.

Inappropriate usernames do not need to be reported or blocked if the user has made no contributions; most user accounts that are registered are never used. When there is no evidence that an account was created in bad faith, administrators should explain the exact reason why they have blocked the user in either the block log or in a message on the editor's talk page and include a link to the appropriate part of this policy.

Well established use

If the user has been registered before this guide was written and the username is widely accepted and well known in the community and a rename would be difficult, no action should take place.

Inappropriate usernames

If you have encountered an inappropriate username – in particular, a username that is misleading, promotional, offensive, or disruptive as described above, you have several different options for how to proceed. You should choose one based on the severity of the problem, and based on what resolution would be the best for Wikimedia Commons. Use common sense when making your choice.

Usernames that are obviously inappropriate may be blocked on sight by any administrator.

  • Usernames that are clearly unacceptable for use on Commons, but have no obvious disruptive intent may be blocked indefinitely, but the block should only affect that account (disable autoblocks, and disable "prevent account creation"). If your account has been blocked for this reason, don't take it personally; the block is intended to disable the username you chose, not to prevent you from contributing. Please read this page carefully and choose a new and more appropriate name.

Note - Commons is a multi-lingual project. Names in a non-English language may look offensive to English speakers, but are perfectly acceptable if they make sense in the user's own language.

  • Disruptive usernames that have been created only to cause trouble should be blocked indefinitely. Here the administrator will usually also prevent anonymous editing and stop any further accounts from being created (enable autoblocks, and enable "prevent account creation"). Such disruptive usernames may contain harassment or personal attacks, or be easily identifiable as a previously-blocked vandal.
  • Any block based on a user's behavior may take their username into account if it is adding to the problem. These blocks may be indefinite blocks, to disallow the username.

Confusing usernames

The purpose of a username is to identify contributors. If your username or your signature is unnecessarily confusing, editors may ask you to change it. Usernames like "Dasdpoieqdmcoiaq" that are random characters, or are too similar to other contributor's usernames, or confusing for other reasons can be blocked, but the user should usually be allowed to register under a new name.

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 policy violations such as disruption or vandalism, if their confusing username contributes to the disruption. As with all other blocks, admins should use their discretion and common sense.

If an otherwise good-faith contributor ignores requests to change their username, and goes on using a name that other editors agree is too confusing, then that username may be blocked. (Though this is best avoided if possible).

Note - Commons is a multi-lingual project. Names in non-English languages may look confusing to English speakers, but are perfectly acceptable if they make sense in the user's own language and are not disruptive or confusing as described above.

Changing your username

Usernames can be changed by bureaucrats. Requests should be made at Commons:Changing username. User accounts with few or no edits will not normally be renamed, as it is quicker and easier to simply create a new account.

Once a username has been changed, existing contributions will be listed under the new name in page histories, diffs, logs, and user contributions. Signatures on discussion pages will continue to use the old name; while these can be changed manually, it is not recommended unless a contributor wishes to remove as much information as possible about their previous name for privacy reasons. In such situations the old name will still be available in old versions of discussion pages. Username changes are listed in the user rename log.

Deleting your account

It is not possible to delete user accounts. One reason for this is the need for all contributions to be assigned to some identifier; either a username or, in the case of anonymous contributions, an IP address. However, you may request that your user page and user talk page be deleted using the {{speedydelete|Your reason here}} tag and have your account renamed as described above.