[Foundation-l] Sigh, problems with non-Latin usernames again

Marco Chiesa chiesa.marco at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 12:20:18 UTC 2007

David Gerard wrote:

>On 30/01/07, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen a gmail.com> wrote:
>>What you call unrealistic is basically something that is something that
>>people do not do anyway. People on the English Wikipedia can read my
>>name easily enough, they cannot pronounce it properly, they do not know
>>if there is a meaning to my name. The only thing they need to do is
>>register that the characters in my name exist. That is all that is required.
>Yes, but that's easy for users of Latin characters because your name
>is written in Latin characters. That's not an example of the problem.
>- d.

Let's make some practical examples of users with bona fide non-latin 
usernames (choosing a different script only to look cool may be another 

Some (maybe most) will practically only add interwikis - they may or may 
not speak English, they won't care about the community, maybe in the 
past they would have put the interwikis anonimously and with SUL they 
find a reason to edit with a username. Basically they just help, they 
don't cause trouble and pretty much who cares if you don't recognise 
them. If they add at a vaguely fast rate, patrollers will easily realise 
that it's always the same guy. If you use CDVF you may just whitelist 
them so you won't be bothered in future.

A few (very few, hopefully) are vandals, they will just vandalise pages 
like any other vandal. You block them indefinitely, there's nothing 
racist in it.

Some of them will occasionally contribute a bit more substantially, they 
may occasionally put a signature on some talk pages. You may ask them to 
do something to be recognisable, they may or may not do it.

Finally, some of them will be really active contributors. I would find 
rather fair that these people are asked to put something that makes them 
recognisable in their signature. If they're active users, the request 
would probably seem quite reasonable.

Now, I guess it would be more useful to have something that makes 
usernames recognisable from the Recentchanges or Histories, rather than 
signatures. If you want to appear as someone else, you would make your 
signature very similar - and with non-Latin characters it's even easier. 
ID Numbers are pretty ugly, it would still be quite hard to recognise 
12345678 from 12354678. Automatic transliteration is not really an 
option AFAIK, and ask the user to provide a version of the username in 
another script is unrealistic (I wouldn't have a clue on how to write my 
username in Arabic or Chinese - nor I would actually see a reason to do 
so, although I occasionally have added a couple of interwikis on these 
projects). Personally, as soon as they don't choose the local equivalent 
of User:F**k, I don't really care how they call my username in a funny 

Marco (Cruccone)

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