I noticed this tag wiki had a proposed edit in the review queue yesterday. Knowing the submitting user and knowing their ability with English was far below the text I was looking at, I stuck it in Google and (as in previous experience with this user) found that it was a cut-and-paste from another source. Specifically, the excerpt was from Wikipedia and the main wiki was from the developer's site.

I rejected both with the custom reason that they're copyright/license violations. Sometwo else clearly approved the edits, not having done the same investigation I did.

I would normally flag something like this in an answer for deletion or edit it myself, but I can't reasonably do either for this: there is no flag feature on tag wikis, I don't know the game well enough to remove the offending copied text and replace it with my own words, and the tag excerpt (quite rightly) doesn't have room for properly attributing the text taken from Wikipedia.

So, a meta report for y'all. Three related questions: Is bringing this to meta is the right way to handle tag wiki issues that would otherwise just be a mod-attention flag? And more substantially, What is to be done about this specific case?

Lastly, but not as urgently, I'm concerned about users who behave like this in general. This one has been thoroughly warned, and continuing such abuses after repeated warnings is a bit of a minor problem that we don't seem to have any process to deal with. So question three, Should we have a policy for dealing with repeated copyright abuses? We don't have to police our text for copyright violation (since it's up to the copyright holders to send us DMCA takedown notices), but I loathe the idea that lots of copyright violations are creeping into the site without being noticed. That may just be me, though, so I'd like to get the wider community's consensus on whether that's a problem we need to bother about.

  • Hmm. This may be a UI failure. There's no way to tell why someone rejected something, if they used a custom reason. I know when I look at wiki edits, I usually post bits into Google and see what pops up. If it's from Wikipedia or something, I reject it with the "Copied Content" reason. And then post it in the Bridge for another reject vote.
    – Frank
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:12
  • @fbueckert Yeah, it does feel like a UI change would fix this, though I wouldn't be surprised if they've avoiding doing that to get more independent reviews. Aug 27, 2013 at 22:14
  • 2
    What it essentially boils down to is, "Don't blindly approve edits, people! Do some work!"
    – Frank
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:15
  • The ability to review doesn't take much rep (only 2k). I think that might be part of the problem. 2k is usually enough for questions and answers since they get a lot of attention (the edit bumps the Q and so people check it out for an extra review, for example). That kind of attention isn't paid to tag wikis, so 2k is pretty low to approve edits to them. Aug 27, 2013 at 22:17
  • 7
    Tag wikis take 5k. Just saying.
    – MBraedley
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:33
  • @fbueckert - The UI is a bit counter intuitive, but the custom reject reason is there. Tag Wiki->History->The 'Suggested' link on the user card brings it up
    – Robotnik Mod
    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:21
  • 1
    In the future, for situations like this, you can also always just flag a random question under the tag and explain the details in the custom field. Aug 28, 2013 at 2:48
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz Thanks! Not intuitive, but it would get the job done. Aug 28, 2013 at 3:40
  • The best place to check for duplicate content is copyscape.com
    – shanodin
    Aug 28, 2013 at 4:00
  • Also, I've edited the particular tag wiki to get rid of the copied content.
    – shanodin
    Aug 28, 2013 at 4:10
  • I was one of the approvers of the tag wiki excerpt suggested edit (not the tag wiki suggested edit). Sorry about that. Aug 28, 2013 at 9:07
  • @galactic I didn't name names because I knew I was being unusually suspicious of this user, so I don't think there's any real fault in the approvals. :) Aug 28, 2013 at 17:34
  • 2
    @Robotnik That's only available after the edit goes through. While waiting for approval, there's no way to see a custom reject reason. At least, none that I've found.
    – Frank
    Aug 28, 2013 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


I was one of the approvers - I was slightly wary of the advertisement-like style but considered it that user's style and let it slip - sorry for not being as thorough as I probably should have been :(

Had 7's rejection-comment already been visible I'd rejected it as well. Fortunately I later had the opportunity for a slight redemption, but nonetheless this hints at a flaw in the tag wiki editing system, or rather a potential :

  • Don't hide review comments on tag-wiki reviews - maybe show rejection reasons as comments so other reviewers can include that information into their judgment

Concerning your question "Should we have a policy for dealing with repeated copyright abuses?" I'd say Yes, and it might include a day in the box.

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