I had just noticed that the utorrent tag has no description or excerpt. So I was wondering if I could/should just copy the introduction text from Wikipedia. I don't see how I could give a better description of the application that what's written in the article.

I assumed simply copying content from somewhere else would be frowned upon, but is it?

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  • @slhck Thanks, I didn't think about checking Meta StackOverflow. Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 16:15
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    Note that copying without attribution also violates Wikipedia's license and therefore your agreement with Stack Exchange. If the SE team had balls, they'd kick the users who do this (quite a few, unfortunately) from the network.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 16:19
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    @DanielBeck I do not agree with banning a user for such a dumb little thing. Actually, a user that writes a tag wiki cares about the community, and was doing what he/she thought appropriate. Users should never be "discared" like that, and it has nothing to do with "having balls" (Having balls is what Reddit, Wikipedia, and countless other sites did on Jan. 18 of this year). Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 12:10

2 Answers 2


It is frowned upon and shouldn't be done.

You should make the tag wiki applicable to how it's used and relates to Super User. Lifting direct from external sources rarely is relevant.

But if the tag at this stage only needs a simple explanation or definition, it's no big effort to rephrase and distill external sources in your own words.

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    Agreed. In a hurry, I'd just write "uTorrent is a BitTorrent client for Windows". Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 11:41

In my perspective as a user of this network, I'd much rather see a Wikipedia copy-pasted intro than nothing, so if you really feel lazy that day, I for one wouldn't mind.

But if you have the time, something you write yourself would be best, not because it's not from Wikipedia, but because it should be more summarized and distilled than Wikipedia.

For example, if I see a tag called bwa-bwa, I'm happy to just know that it stands for "Business-ready Weird Acronym BuzzWord Application", I don't care if it was copy-pasted from Wikipedia.

I still think it's much better if you distill it, though :)

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    There's no need to copy the introduction of a Wikipedia article to explain in one sentence what the tag is about. And most users who copy from Wikipedia fail to provide proper attribution anyway.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 12:25
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    It's probably faster and easier to write "BuzzWord Application is a large enterprise business application by HAL, originally developed by GZK" than to copy from the Wikipedia article, remove the [1] references and cut out irrelevant information.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 12:27
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    @DanielBeck You're right, but sometimes people might search just when they write the tag wiki. For example; the user sees the NTFS tag with no wiki. Then he thinks "I know that NTFS is a filesystem!", but googles because he's not sure NTFS stands for "New Technology FileSystem". Then he reads the Wikipedia entry, gets carried on by reading it, and thinks "now that I'm here, why not just copy this?". My feelings as an user is that it's almost as good, since in both cases I'll have some descriptive text upon hover (albeit not quite as good). Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 12:34
  • I'd note, when i was trying to get sufficient tag edits for the SU competition, i'd read wikipedia, and use that to compose a tag wiki article myself. Its a good start but isn't the be all anfd end all.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 12:44

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