| Under review.
This page is under review as a candidate for a new policy, but has not yet been formally adopted. Refer to the Talk page for more information.
Using multiple accounts is not always bad. When people use sock puppets, it is recommended that they link to their original account. It will be easier to know the status of an account. Some people feel a Wikian should not have more than one account. Some others feel if sock puppet accounts are used for good purposes, then it is fine (e.g one creates a sockpuppet to edit on public computers). See this page for information on how sock puppetry affects other online communities.
Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts
Alternative accounts should not be used to edit in ways that would be considered improper if done by a single account. Using alternative puppet accounts to split your contributions history means that other editors cannot detect patterns in your contributions.
"Good hand, bad hand" accounts
A bad hand account is one that you would use to make bad edits, such as vandalism while keeping your good hand account clean of any edits that might reflect negatively on you. A good hand account is an account you use to make good edits to the project. It is never acceptable to keep one account "clean", while using another account to engage in disruptive behavior.
Legitimate uses of alternative accounts
Alternative accounts have legitimate uses. For example, prominent users might create a new account to experience how the community functions for new users.
Segregation and security
Some editors use alternative accounts to segregate their contributions for various reasons:
- Since public computers can have password-stealing trojans or keyloggers installed, users may register an alternative account to prevent the hijacking of their main accounts. Such accounts should be publicly connected to the main account.
- Users with a recognized expertise in one field might not wish to associate their contributions to that field with contributions to articles about subjects in which they do not have the same expert standing, or which they consider less weighty.
- An editor might use an openly declared alternative account to carry out maintenance tasks in order to simplify the organization of such tasks.
Doppelgänger is a German word for a ghostly double of a living person. In the context of a user account, a doppelgänger account is a second account created with a username similar to one's main account to preemptively prevent impersonation by vandals. Such accounts are permitted and should be redirected to one's own userpage). Doppelgänger accounts should not be used for editing.
Clean start under a new name
If you have a negative track record and you have decided to make a genuine, clean, and honest new start, and do not wish it to be tarnished by your prior conduct, you can simply discontinue using the old account(s), and create an unconnected new account which becomes the only account you then use, and is used in a good manner.
Discontinuing the old account means specifically that the old account is not used for editing ever again. If the old account is later used in addition to a new account after supposedly being discontinued, then it has not been discontinued and would fall under the policy for alternative accounts, above.
When an account is discontinued, it is recommended that the old account be noted on its user page as being inactive, in order to prevent the switch being interpreted as an attempt to abusively sock puppet.
Repeated switching of accounts is usually seen as a way of avoiding scrutiny and considered as a breach of this policy. This option is also not available to users with permanently blocked accounts, who are prohibited from editing Phineas and Ferb Wiki altogether, either anonymously or under any user name.
Editors who operate bots have to create separate accounts (and request they be marked as bot accounts by contacting wiki bureaucrat Webly), so the automated edits can be filtered out of recent changes.