[Foundation-l] Advertising; leading; advocacy; propaganda; advocacy; usernames on Wikimedia wikis.

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Mar 18 07:18:41 UTC 2007

Mohamed Magdy wrote:

>This might sound off-topic; but I had to ask here first before starting 
>on-wiki discussion in order to create a new official policy on the 
>Arabic wikipedia. also because the user who is the reason for this 
>requested no farther conversation with him/her until she/he gets a word 
>from the foundation about it.
It makes no sense to have this settled at the foundation level.  What is 
objectionable in a user name is very much dependent on the language and 
culture involved.  It is not for us English speakers to rule on the 
subtleties of the Arabic language.

>Simply, the issue is a case of advertising using a username, as you all 
>probably have seen it before.
>More detailed: a user of ours in ar.wp have choosen to contribute to the 
>  Arabic wikipedia and a three another wikimedia wikis(as s(he) mentions 
>in my talk page) under the name of صوت للبتراء, as you can see; this 
>name is translated as "Vote for Petraa", you can see here the imperative 
>form in 'Vote' and the advocacy/propaganda of saying Vote for 
>Petraa..for those of you who might haven't heard; there is currently a 
>project/event called the new 7 wonders of the world[1], the Petraa is 
>one of the nominees in this event[2]..I have nothing againest new 7 
>wonders or what so ever.. but I wondered, "Wikipedia isn't for these 
>kind of things" and "the users should not use such nicknames or it will 
>be a good tool for advertising whatever they need" and "Wikipedia isn't 
>a front to tell people to vote for something" and "it is annoying each 
>time I take a look at that nickname with its imperative nature" and such 
>thoughts etc.
While I personally would be tolerant of such a name, and would tend to 
allow him to keep the name, I am not a part of the ar:wp community.  
This is yourcommunity's  decision in accordance with the rules that you 
already have.  One point to be noted is that many people who start 
editing by having a controvery over their user nanes tend not to stay 
very long.  By the time you sort out your rules he may already have left 
out of boredom.

>So, I'm simply asking; is such usernames to be tolerated? and if it 
>isn't, can you please write something from the 'foundation' as 
>"User:Vote for Petraa" or "صوت للبتراء" says to say that? and if it is 
>really tolerated(it would seem strange though), would a consensus on 
>ar.wp of the active editors be sufficient to activate a policy so that 
>users will use non-advertising titles etc. in their nicknames/usernames.
If those are your normal practices, yes.


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