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I'd like to run an instance with non-ASCII usernames #8417
Mastodon usernames are currently restricted to Latin characters.
I'd like to have the option to run an instance which allows usernames like "莎士比亚".
I'm not saying that it should be mandatory that every instance allows every Unicode character in a username. But I'd like to run an instance which allows Chinese characters in usernames.
https://oulipo.social/ forbids usernames with the letter "e" - so please can a change be made so I can run an instance which forbids the Latin alphabet?
To address the likely objections:
It's too hard to type those weird characters
Most systems make it easy to swap keyboards and use "strange" characters.
What about impersonation?
As mentioned in #225 - this is already a problem with Latin character restrictions.
BOB can be B0B (zero and oh), Bill can be BiII (Capital i and lower L) etc.
In addition, anyone can copy "your" username and use it on a different instance.
A sensible policy might be to disallow "mixing" scripts. For example, banning
Do you want to bring back Emoji.li?
There once was a social network which only allowed Emoji usernames.
I think it should be up to the instance owner to decide on username policy. I would really like to see Mastodon adopt a more international approach to usernames.
Well... Not quite! #1121 discusses this. At the time, Japanese users said that they wanted only ASCII characters. I'm saying the issue isn't quite as clear cut as that.
It's not easy even on PC. To use Chinese keyboard on Windows, you'd have to install a special system package or a virtual keyboard. There're guides on that.
And we're not talking about Chinese, we're talking about full UTF-8 range, with RTL marks and combining characters. Imagine a problem "I or l" but on a scale of "is it é or è or è or é?" (those were two letters and two combined diacritics), then add hieroglyphs to that.
This makes sense considering the large asian userbase.
I think the biggest trouble would be typing usernames per hand (e. g. search). Due to western roots every computer is capable of typing latin characters. Personally I cannot enter non-latin.
@Someone please check if full unicode support might hinder report flow
this feels a bit unreasonable. Having unicode-ready handles feels like a worthy goal. Forbidding latin characters might be bit hard since mastodon as a western product is sort of latin-first and all sorts of weird side effects might occur if latin entry is no longer valid (?? I'm not an AP dev)
Unicode does not promote Impersonation: Agreed. You correctly showed that homoglyph attacks are already trivial with the latin charset.
very nice goal!
Well written ticket btw
Both great comments.
If you don't know how to type 你好 then you can copy and paste - which is what existing users have to do. Or, click through on a username. Or just don't interact with them.
There are already loads of international domain names. I run https://莎士比亚.org/ and you can visit that without being able to type in Chinese.
Regarding whether someone could register bòb, bôb, bõb, bøb, bób etc and cause confusion. Yes, that's a possibility.
Please see resolution of #1121: