Wikipedia:Single-purpose account

A single-purpose account (SPA) is a user account or IP editor whose editing is limited to one very narrow area or set of articles, or whose edits to many articles appear to be for a common purpose. If you are in this situation and some editors directed you to this page, pointing out that you made "few or no other edits outside this topic", they are encouraging you to familiarize yourself with the Wikipedia guidelines about conflicts of interest and advocacy. This is because while many single-purpose accounts turn out to be well-intentioned editors with a niche interest, a significant number appear to edit for the purposes of promotion or showcasing their favored point of view, which is not allowed.

Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee has determined that "single purpose accounts and editors who hold a strong personal viewpoint on a particular topic covered within Wikipedia are expected to contribute neutrally instead of following their own agenda and, in particular, should take care to avoid creating the impression that their focus on one topic is non-neutral, which could strongly suggest that their editing is not compatible with the goals of this project."

For these reasons, experienced editors often scrutinize the editing activities of new editors and single-purpose accounts to determine whether they are here to build an encyclopedia (perhaps needing help and advice), or whether they are editing for promotion, advocacy or other unsuitable agendas. Although the community seeks to attract new and well-informed users knowledgeable in a particular subject, Wikipedia is not a platform for advocacy.

  • New editors have the right to be treated with respect and civility; but they should also be aware that, while courtesy and a warm greeting will usually be extended, they may be subject to more scrutiny in the early stages of their editing as other editors attempt to assess how well they adhere to Wikipedia standards.
  • Existing editors must assume good faith concerning the user account, act fairly and civilly, and to not bite newcomers. Remember that every editor on Wikipedia was new at some point. Care is needed if addressing single-purpose accounts on their edits.

The SPA tag may be used to visually highlight that a participant in a multi-user discussion has made few or no other types of contribution. However, a user who edits appropriately and makes good points that align with Wikipedia's communal norms, policies and guidelines should have their comments be given full weight regardless of any tag placed on them.