[WikiEN-l] Usernames (was: Re: welch and consensus)

Nick Boalch n.g.boalch at durham.ac.uk
Thu May 25 09:43:54 UTC 2006

Steve Bennett wrote:

>> Again, he can't do that while he is blocked,can he? Please let's not
>> get into the Islamophobia arguement again. Saladin might be a common
>> Arabic name for all you know.
> Offensive names are offensive names. Whether you actually intended them that
> way isn't relevant.

We do need to be a bit careful about this, I think, or we do run the 
risk of thoughtlessly impose Anglo-US values on an international project.

For instance, the username policy forbids using the 'names of religious 
figures', but in many parts of the world it's common for people to be 
named after such figures: off the top of my head, I know several 
Spaniards called Jesús.

'Offensive names are offensive names' is either categorically untrue or 
essentially empty of meaning. (Either it means that there is some 
absolute standard for what is offensive, which there isn't, or it means 
that any name that could be found offensive by anyone, anywhere in the 
world should not be permitted, which, given the apparent ability of 
people to get worked up about nothing, would probably lead to all of us 
getting socked with indefinite username bans).



Nicholas Boalch
School of Modern Languages & Cultures       Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 3456
University of Durham                        Fax: +44 (0) 191 334 3421
New Elvet, Durham DH1 3JT, UK               WWW: http://nick.frejol.org/

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