In the Suggested Edits queue, plagiarism is a rejection reason unique to tag wiki edits. Plagiarized edits can be caught by googling the tag wiki text or by googling the product and examining the most common copy-paste sources: Wikipedia and the product page itself. These edits require an amount of discretion and effort that goes beyond what ordinary suggested edits usually require.

So, I've encountered a few copy-pasted tag wikis in the queue recently and voted to reject them accordingly. However, I just looked at my review history and noticed that at least one of these tag wiki edits was subsequently accepted. I know mods can place a mild ban on editors who accept plagiarized material, but I think that doesn't do much in general to prevent these sorts of review mistakes from happening.

Could we do something feature-wise to reduce the chances of plagiarized tag wiki edits being accepted?

A few ideas:

  • Place a banner or some other visual flag on edits that a previous reviewer rejected for being plagiarized. Maybe as part of this feature, the banner could link to the source of the plagiarized material. (Providing a link or reference to the source could be a new requirement for voting to reject a tag wiki edit on grounds of plagiarism. This isn't asking much since the reviewer presumably already looked it up.)

  • Include a web search pane or something similar on the review page. It could show the search results for the tag wiki or the tag. This may not be feasible because of API costs or other reasons, but I'm just throwing it out there. Someone may a have an idea of how this could be implemented effectively.

  • Similar to the last suggestion, this kind of search could be done in the background and matches meeting a certain threshold could cause the display of a banner or other visual cue that lets the reviewer know to pay special attention to plagiarism. The system does something similar for spam, so this could be an option.

What do you think of these ideas?

First, are the current measures for stopping tag wiki plagiarism good enough? In other words, is it worthwhile to implement further measures to keep plagiarism out of tag wikis?

Second, are the proposed options good? Sound? Feasible? Actionable?

Third, what other ideas do you have for addressing this problem?

  • 1
    Similar Q/A on meta SE Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 12:38
  • Thanks @Raystafarian. That discussion was from a year ago, and the discussed features still don't exist. Does anybody know if this is something SE has looked into or if it's not considered important enough to implement?
    – Excellll
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 15:21
  • and from the other side of the galaxy...
    – Braiam
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


I agree. Specifically for the first bullet, though I'll admit, when I started I was a "plagiarizer". I got a temp ban for it. In fact, I didn't even know my edits were being rejected because of it until I got the ban and someone @msged me in chat.

The thing is, to a lot of users that are looking to "complete" the tags, plagiarism isn't really on the forefront of their mind. Of course, there should be attribution (at least), but that can slip your mind (let's ignore the fact that for most it should be "common sense" for a moment). There's no real reminder to not copy/paste a tag wiki:

On the tag:

enter image description here

During the Edit: enter image description here

Or at the writing great tag wiki link. Nor at the help - what are tags page or the create tag privilege page.

The only place I can find a reminder for attribution is at the approve tag wiki privilege page. By this time, you have probably already encountered this.

Also in help - answering - reference, but honestly I've never seen that before, looks like it was added about 9 months ago. But, for some, referencing in answers is different from completing wikis.

I think in a lot of cases, the user would cease the violation if they were warned or reminded about it. A lot of users aren't looking to plagiarize, but it is instead an accidental mistake.

I, also, always search the tag for every wiki edit that pops up for me, but I have no idea if the user "gets it."

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