We don't allow tag wikis/excerpts to be copied directly from anywhere, including wikipedia. Unfortunately (IMO), not everyone checks for plagiarized content in every wiki edit, and sometimes bad content gets through.

For example, this wiki edit made it through this morning, and is lifted directly from Wikipedia without attribution.

There is no ability to flag the entry or otherwise bring them to a mod's attention. When we find instances of plagiarized content getting approved, what is the proper course of action?

  • 2
    Could you not edit in the attribution?
    – Valorum
    Aug 19, 2014 at 12:42
  • 6
    @Richard Yes, but even with attribution, we still don't want copy/paste jobs. Obviously, I could just re-write it, but I don't have the time/energy/drive/knowledge to necessarily re-write every bad one I come across.
    – phantom42
    Aug 19, 2014 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


I see four options, (roughly) in order of descending preference:

  1. Edit the tag wiki and/or excerpt so that it is no longer plagiarized content. Having good wiki descriptions helps the site, and is one of the least popular tasks, so if you're willing to do it, and have the time, please by all means do so!
  2. Create a meta discussion.
  3. If you don't have the time/ability to suggest an edit, ping a moderator in chat.
  4. If you don't have the time/ability to suggest an edit, and can't/won't use the chat system (only a small portion of users use the chat system), then click on the tag, find a question that has the tag, and flag the question itself for moderator attention, leaving a comment in the flag notes indicating that you are flagging because of the tag wiki/excerpt.
  • Option 4: raise it on Meta :) Aug 19, 2014 at 14:11
  • @DVK Doh! Not sure how I missed that one... I actually think that's better than pinging in chat, or flagging a semi-random question. I've edited my answer to make it #2; thanks!
    – Beofett
    Aug 19, 2014 at 14:20
  • Maybe I'm missing something, but what can we mods do when pinged about these? We certainly don't have time/energy/interest in being sole managers of tag wikis.
    – user1027
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:04
  • @Keen Pinging a mod is a fallback; I'm certainly not implying that you should be the sole managers of the tag wikis (and I think point 1 and even 2 support this). However, plagiarised content should be removed asap, and if the user who found it can't/won't do it, then at least moderators should be made aware. If the moderators can't do it, then they can pass it along to others that maybe can, or, in a worst case scenario, at least remove the plagiarised content until something better can be added.
    – Beofett
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:20
  • @Beofett We mods can't wipe out tag wikis ourselves. And honestly, we'd prefer a solution that's sustainable without our intervention. Given the lack of interest in tag wikis in general (outside of people c&p'ing Wikipedia), adding attribution seems like the 'best' solution.
    – user1027
    Aug 19, 2014 at 17:26
  • 1
    @Keen Moderators can't clear the tag wikis, but moderators can push through edits without depending on the review queue. As phantom42's comment on the question above points out, we don't want copy and paste wikis, even with attribution, and if a user doesn't have time or inclination to improve the wiki, slapping a "from wikipedia" attribution on it doesn't strike me as particularly sustainable, nor ideal. I'd prefer mods just remove c&p stuff, and put in something totally generic like "for questions on the Sarah Connor Chronicles" until a "real" wiki can be added by someone with time.
    – Beofett
    Aug 19, 2014 at 17:42
  • I haven't tried, so I'm not sure if it's even possible - can we just blank it out entirely? My gut says we can't.
    – phantom42
    Aug 19, 2014 at 17:56
  • @phantom42 Tag wiki - yes. Tag wiki excerpt - no.
    – user1027
    Aug 19, 2014 at 18:09
  • 1
    Maybe we should just keep a running list like the one here, so people can pick them off as they like.
    – phantom42
    Aug 20, 2014 at 13:48

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