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Better display warning text on Special:CreateAccount
Open, Needs TriagePublicFeature

Description

At Special:CreateAccount, the English Wikipedia community displays an interface message (loaded from MediaWiki:Signupstart) that warns users signing up about privacy and anonymity:

Your username will be public.
Consider using an anonymous username, not your real name.
If you use your real name as your username, your real name will not be private and will not be able to be made private later.

However, this message is poorly displayed and flows quite badly with the rest of the page. The hardcoded and user-defined portions of the page are visually very different, which is off-putting. Improving the visual design would make the signup process smoother and more pleasant.

Please design Special:CreateAccount to allow local communities to display warnings that are visually well displayed. Also, consider adopting default text similar to the English Wikipedia privacy text.

Event Timeline

kostajh added a subscriber: kostajh.

Thanks, we will discuss how and if it could fit into our work.

If I were a wiki admin, I'd just change "Username" (MediaWiki:userlogin-yourname) to "Public username" and remove the top text which is mostly just stating the obvious.

@Tgr that would be an insufficient response. It may be stating the obvious to you, but to the *many* editors who have come to functionaries in very tough situations (harassment or even legal trouble) after using a publicly identifiable username who registered prior to this message, it certainly was not. This was what prompted us to post this message in the first place.

Do you think this is because users didn't understand that their username would be public, or because they didn't sufficiently consider the potential implications? Did the extra warning reduce the incidence of username-related harassment?

How does this work on other websites that host user-generated content? All that I can think of make the username public, but I can't think of one with a similar warning. Facebook even has a realname policy (granted they aren't exactly a role model in how to handle harassment risks responsibly).

Do you think this is because users didn't understand that their username would be public, or because they didn't sufficiently consider the potential implications? Did the extra warning reduce the incidence of username-related harassment?

How does this work on other websites that host user-generated content? All that I can think of make the username public, but I can't think of one with a similar warning. Facebook even has a realname policy (granted they aren't exactly a role model in how to handle harassment risks responsibly).

One difference with other sites that host user-generated content is that on Wikipedia it's very difficult to permanently delete content you've made in the past. The username probably wouldn't be such a big deal if you could edit your own edit history, if needed.

As I requested at T282494, I think the best solution is to move the advice about usernames to just below the username field, just as the advice on choosing a password is just below the password field.