I logged into MSE only to find two handfuls of edits waiting for approval/denial. They were mostly for tag excerpts and tag wikis.

Initially, I just skipped them, as I'm certainly not an expert on s. But, the slew of edits clearly have something in common, they feel like they were "guided" by an external source. And indeed, searching Google for a copied and pasted selection from the proposed edit, in quotation marks, yields exact matches to Wikipedia.

I rejected a few of these (and excerpts as well, but mostly for the circularity reason), but after so many, I just wanted to make sure I'm doing the right thing and rejecting essentially every edit.

Obviously there's something wrong with copied content, as it's one of the default reject reasons: "This edit copies a significant amount of content from an external source. Generic descriptions such as encyclopedia articles and ad copy do not provide useful guidance; try creating something useful to this community specifically, and be sure to attribute the original author. See: How to reference material written by others."

And, for the excerpts, circular tag definitions as well: "Tag excerpts amounting to, "[tag] is for questions about [tag]" are pointless and usually rejected. Excerpts should describe why and when a tag would be used."

But after facing so many, and thinking it's probably not easy to give MSE its own unique descriptions for s or equations, I wanted to get some feedback.

Should these kinds of tag wikis and excerpts be/have been rejected? Or are they better than nothing?

EDIT: I feel the need to mention that I'm genuinely conflicted. I'm pretty sure MSE has a fair number of blank tag excerpts and wikis, and it is an admirable thing to try and fill those in. I'm just not sure which of the "Perfectly OK / Fine, but not ideal / Not OK" categories we're in here. I'm also not solely focused on this batch of edits, although I don't think this is a very common practice.

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    $\begingroup$ Related (to some extent): tag-wikis based on Wikipedia $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2016 at 6:13
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    $\begingroup$ You know, I tried searching Meta, but I'd never considered searching chat! It seems quite related and is a very nice find, thank you, @MartinSleziak $\endgroup$
    – pjs36
    Feb 17, 2016 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ I concur with rejections of these edits as they stand: They are copied verbatim from Wikipedia articles, which is not only a form of plagiarism but also (under my likely imprecise reading of) a violation of Wikipedia's licensing policies. Here is an example, and the relevant Wikipedia article this is pulled from. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Feb 17, 2016 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ I also think it's worth adding: The user in question has edited 43 (!!) different tags in the last three days, and upon a random sampling of about 10 it seems that every one of them is plagiarized from Wikipedia. I find this seriously problematic for multiple reasons. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ I thought i was doing a good thing as these tags had no wiki. I checked beforehand and many other tag wikis had info from other sources, including wikipedia and Wolfram MathWorld which are the ones i have used most frequently. Why does it matter how many i have edited @T.Bongers? If i thought i was doing a good thing to create wiki tags for those which did not have one? $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ But sure if it was wrong, remove them all and all others which have information from wikipedia or wolfram mathworld $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:26
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    $\begingroup$ If all the edits are plagiarized from wiki, this will violate the clause (a) part of section (3) in SE's term of service. ` Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party`. All such content should be removed. $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2016 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ @JKnecht Including information from the Wikipedia article is fine, but it needs to be properly attributed - for example, look at the licensing for the text that is now in integral-geometry at this article. Under the CC-BY-SA license, attribution is not just good practice, it is required. One could fix this by at least linking to the Wikipedia article in the relevant tag. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, but this is easily solved. Can anyone remove them all at one time or should i go back and change them my self? (Btw like i said i checked beforehand and many others also had material from wikipedia. Just to make you aware of that...and if we should remove them too.) $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, since i didnt get an answer i removed most of them myself. Apparently there was a bound on how many edits you could make so there are some left. $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @achillehui This is getting absurd. First i am getting heavily criticized in this thread for creating these new tags. The comment that is upvoted say "All such content should be removed" because "it violates SE's terms of service" Ofc i have no problem with that and i remove them all. NOW, for removing these tags, im getting heavily criticized, ridiculed and told by Alex M. "this behaviour will put you at odds with the rest of the MSE community" $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @T.Bongers And im getting told what i thought from the beginning, and which was the reason i created the new tags based on wikipedia in the first place. From AlexM: "Content from Wikipedia, MathWorld, PlanetMath etc. is fine. When we say that copied content is not accepted, we want to avoid plagiarism or copyright issues. Content found on Wikipedia, though, is free of such problems, therefore it is absolutely fine to use it." $\endgroup$
    – JKnecht
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ @JKnecht, wiki's content is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Copying its text w/o attribution is violating that license. AlexM is just an ordinary user (like me), our opinion can be silently ignored. With the exception of consulting a lawyer, your best reference should be the license statement on wiki and SE. $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2016 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ @JKnecht Editing the tag wikis to blank them out was not the correct action - there are now numerous wikis that are completely useless and just filled with dots. The correct thing to do would have been to attribute the content, rather than end up with a bunch of vandalized wikis. It's also completely absurd that the new edits were approved.... $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Feb 17, 2016 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ I was reviewing some of your edits yesterday (before reading this thread). I have to say that I was quite annoyed by your action. You created the tags wiki 3 hours ago, and then proposed to delete the exact same thing. Might be some of the user thought that you are just trolling or hunting badges (if any). On the other hand, some of your later edit should be rejected, as you just change the wiki to something like "............", which is not an improvement. @JKnecht $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:37


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