Commons:Username policy

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This policy describes what kinds of usernames are acceptable on Wikimedia Commons. In most cases you will be able to use the same username and password to log in to other language Wikipedias and other Wikimedia Foundation supported projects, see Help:Unified login on Meta-Wiki.

Usernames requiring identification

Use of the names of "organizations" is prohibited unless you provide evidence that you are or represent the respective organization. Do not edit under a name to imply that you are (or are related to) a specific, identifiable person, unless it is your real name. If you have the same name as a well-known person to whom you are unrelated, and are using your real name, you should state clearly on your userpage that you are unrelated to the well-known person. If you want to verify your account (in case you represent an organization or you are a well known person), use an official e-mail account (if available) to send an e-mail to, stating that the account in question belongs to you or the organization you represent. Please be aware that the OTRS system that handles e-mail is operated entirely by volunteers.

Using Commons to upload promotional material that is outside of Commons' scope is not permitted, even if the account has provided identification to OTRS. Unambiguously promotional accounts may be blocked.

Inappropriate usernames


Usernames that are inappropriate for editing on Wikimedia Commons may be blocked. These names include attempts to advertise, mislead, or disrupt. Please note that 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.

  • Promotional usernames that are used to promote a group or company.
  • Disruptive usernames, this includes outright trolling or personal attacks, or otherwise clearly disruptive intentions.
  • 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.

If you have encountered an inappropriate username, 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 and may be reported at Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/Blocks and protections.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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).

Changing your username

Usernames can be changed by Global renamers. Complicated requests should be made at Steward requests/Username changes, while simple renames can be requested via this form. 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.

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