Username Guidelines

The Society’s Community Name and Username Policy and Guidelines


This policy outlines our approach to the use of members’ names and identifying people in The Society’s Community. This includes the reasons for showing members’ real names, and it also describes which usernames are acceptable, and how we’ll resolve issues of unacceptable or questionable usernames. It also emphasises that a user account should be used only by the shareholder and member of The Wine Society.

1. General Guidance

1.1 The Display Name used on the site is the public version of your actual name that you’d like to display in public. This can, but does not need to, include your title(s), first name or other information, and can also include your preferred version of your name (e.g. ‘Becky’ instead of 'Rebecca’).

1.2 A Username is a nickname that will identify your account and all of your contributions here on The Community. Your username appears on your posts and links to your other profile information and contributions in The Community.

1.3 In general, the content published in The Community will be visible to the public and to search engines so that others can benefit from the knowledge and interests of Society members.

1.4 However, members’ details, including display names, and the other personal details members choose to add to their profiles, will only be visible to other members of The Wine Society who have logged into The Community.

1.5 A username can be almost any string of alphanumeric characters; but to make sure it’s a name other members will be comfortable with we have a few limitations. See section 4 for info on the types of usernames we’ve disallowed.

2. Setting your Display Name

2.1 We’ll default to using your title and surname which is used as the salutation on the website and in correspondence - e.g. Dr Smith. This is different to the full legal name that will be used for your share.

2.2. Your interaction with other Society members in The Community will probably be less formal, so you might prefer to use a different form of your name. For this reason, you have the opportunity to amend your Display Name either during the registration process, or at any time via your user preferences. - e.g. Jane Smith / J. Smith / Jane / Janie instead of Dr. Smith

2.3 We believe it’s helpful that members should be able to see other members’ names so that participation is open, honest and frank – but also responsible and attributable. Please note that for privacy reasons, access to members’ Display Name information is restricted to those who have logged in – in other words, other members of The Society and its staff.

2.4 If you’d like to report another member for content or behaviour that goes against our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, they should follow this procedure:

  • In the first instance, flag the relevant post. Please mark the flag as Inappropriate, Spam or Something else (and provide details).

  • If the issue requires more immediate attention, you could then send a Private Message to @Admin_Team with further information.

  • Finally, if you feel the issue hasn’t been resolved properly, you can go through The Society reporting process by emailing Member Services at Please remember to include your share number in this message.

2.5 For more information, read about Real Names

3. Choosing your username

3.1 When you first sign up to The Society’s Community, you’ll be asked to provide a username.

3.2 This username must be:

  • unique (we allocate names on a first-come-first-served basis)
  • between 4 and 20 characters long, and
  • take any form that is acceptable within the guidelines below

3.3 This will be how you’re permanently identified here on The Community, so please choose carefully. You have up to 72 hours to edit your username by going to your new Community profile and updating the username field, but after this period you’ll need Staff help to change a username.

3.4 Please note: The Society reserves the right to require that a username be changed, to delete a user’s account or to block a user from accessing the site where a username is in breach of this policy (see ‘Dealing with Inappropriate Usernames’ below).

3.5 We might occasionally change this policy by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 20th June 2018.

4. Inappropriate Usernames

4.1 This section lists the types of usernames that we consider inappropriate on this Community. These lists are not exhaustive. We rely on you using common sense in applying these rules (for example, a word that may seem offensive in one context may have another, more benign meaning in another context). For guidance on how to report inappropriate names, please see ‘Dealing with Inappropriate Usernames’ below.

4.2 Misleading Usernames

The following types of username are not allowed because they may be misleading:

  1. Usernames that impersonate someone else.

  2. Usernames that give the impression that the account has permissions which it does not have, for example by containing the terms ‘administrator’, ‘moderator’, ‘admin’, ‘system’, ‘Discourse’ etc.

  3. Usernames that appear to refer to The Wine Society if it gives the incorrect impression that the account may be officially affiliated with The Society.

  4. Usernames which contain only numbers.

4.3 Offensive or Disruptive Usernames

The following types of usernames are not allowed because they may be deemed offensive or disruptive:

  1. Usernames that are likely to offend other contributors here, making polite conversation difficult, for example by containing profanities.
  2. Usernames that contain or imply personal attacks.
  3. Usernames that seem intended to provoke emotional reaction (‘trolling’).
  4. Usernames that otherwise show a clear intent to disrupt The Wine Society.

Please note that usernames that are inappropriate in other languages, or that may represent an inappropriate name with misspellings and substitutions, or do so indirectly or by implication, are still considered inappropriate.

4.4 Promotional Names

The following types of usernames are not allowed because they are considered to be intended for promotional purpose:

  1. Usernames that clearly consist of a name of a company, group, institution or product (e.g. BrandXYZ)
  2. Email addresses and URLs (such as ‘’ and ‘’). While plain domain names (without domain extensions) are sometimes acceptable, such as when the purpose is simply to identify the user as a person, they are inappropriate if they promote a commercial website.

Please refer to the Community Guidelines concerning promotional activity in the Community.

4.5 Exceptions

Some usernames that may appear to be in breach of this policy could have been allowed to stand by The Society after discussion with the member. If you find an apparently problematic username you should flag it (see ‘Dealing with Inappropriate Usernames’ below). However, it is possible that the matter has already been reviewed and discussed so it is possible that no further action will be taken.

5. Dealing with Inappropriate Usernames

5.1 To notify us about a possible inappropriate username, you have two options:

  1. Visit the ‘About’ page to see a list of the Admins, and send a team member a private message with details of the account in question.
  2. Click on an individual post made by the user in question and select the ‘privately flag this post for attention’ option at the bottom. Select the option ‘something else’ and give a brief description of the issue, referencing the username.

If we are notified of an inappropriate username , there are a variety of actions an administrator might take:

  1. Review the complaint but leave the username as it is
  2. Send an informal message requesting the username is changed
  3. Send a formal communication demaing a change in username, including possible temporary suspension of the account
  4. Delete the Account

5.2 Removing accounts is not something we do lightly, but it might be required to protect The Society and its members from harm.

6. Other Username Considerations

6.1 Real Names

The Society encourages the use of Real Names for a member’s Display Name where possible, since this is a place for open, civilised and constructive interaction between members of The Wine Society and only these members are entitled to contribute.

There may be cases where individual members don’t wish to use their real name as their username for public, anonymous, viewers to see. We urge you to consider the benefits and drawbacks of making substantial contributions under your real name and decide for yourself.

However, if you do use a name, it should be your own name. While there is a flexibility in how names are displayed, The Society reserves the right to check that the Display Name matches the member’s share, and if these are different, to ask for it to be changed.

Please do not post using a name that is likely to imply that you are (or are related to) another specific, identifiable person, unless it is your real name. The Society reserves the right in these circumstances to suspend accounts temporarily if we need to get proof of identity.

If you have been temporarily suspended, please don’t worry; we’re trying to prevent somebody from impersonating you (or impersonating someone you share a name with).

6.2 Non-Latin Usernames

There’s no need for usernames to be in English; however, usernames that are not created using the Latin alphabet may not be allowed.

6.3 Changing Your username

You may access the username change feature in your [User Preferences] in The Society’s Community.

Usernames can be changed by you within 72 hours of registration. For technical reasons, changing a username at a later stage can cause data to be lost and links not to work, so members are greatly encouraged to select a username they will be happy with as soon as possible.

Hiya Laura

That’s no problem but only your 1st name is shown.

Hiya @Sparkypaws - thanks for this

If you go to your profile ‘preferences’ you will be presented with these options.

(1) In the ‘Display Name’ box you can enter how you want your name to appear, but we ask that this is a full name with a first name or title and a surname - that way we know how to address you in personal messages other than as ‘sparkypaws’ (as fun as that would be)

(2) Don’t forget to click ‘Save Changes’ when you are done

1 Like