John Erling Blad wrote:
>In some cases it would be a lot easier and/or better if it was possible to
>identify and not just authenticate an user. This could include such things
>as turning on real name for identified users, or limiting elevated rights
>to them, thereby avoiding renomination of banned users.

Are you familiar with Twitter and Facebook's use of blue checkboxes for
"verified" accounts? Are you discussing something similar to that?

>In a lot of countries it is now possible to get access to systems with
>highly trustworthy identification. This is at least possible in several
>European countries, and I bet it will be quite common in the coming years.

Sure. A relatively easy option for "identifying" users, which has been
discussed previously, is requiring the use of a credit card or a phone
number in order to edit. These types of proposals have not been popular.

There's also <>,
which has a somewhat interesting implementation and execution history.

For users who are well-known public figures, we have OTRS or Twitter or
Facebook, where people can send an e-mail or make a post to
cross-reference their accounts/identities.

>Some pros;
>- reclaiming user accounts would be somewhat easier
>- real names could be used (no impersonation)
>- user verification of various public departments
>- proofs of identity for copyright claims

I've said this previously elsewhere, but I think the focus should be on:

* supporting case-insensitive user names, so that "Brian" and "BRIAN" are
  the same when logging in;
* supporting display name configuration, so that user "__bradley__" can be
  referred to as such in page histories and elsewhere; and
* supporting self-renames, so that it doesn't require another user to
  change your username, which is just crazy.

I see a lot more to gain from these features than I do from focusing on

There have also been thoughts around affiliations and groups and better
supporting those within MediaWiki. Currently, people often have a personal
wiki account and an "official" wiki account, but managing the two can be
difficult and tedious. Instead, you could have a way for users to join,
for example, the group "Wikimedia Deutschland" and tag their
contributions as being part of that group, instead of having "User:Herman"
and "User:Herman (WMDE)" wiki accounts. GitHub does this pretty well.


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