Since last week, I've seen many tag wiki edits with copied content getting approved. There are many examples and some of these are:

  1. https://movies.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/51915
  2. https://movies.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/51916
  3. https://movies.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/51920

SE has a restrict policy about copied content AFAIK. Also, one of the reject messages for tag wiki edits says

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.

It clearly states that content shouldn't be copied and the general descriptions such as encyclopedia articles don't provide useful guidance. Therefore, those edit suggestions must not be approved. I've rejected all of them, but they are still getting approved. This approval just making those users who suggested tag wiki edits copy and paste more content.

There is a post on main meta site that says

However, note that content copied straight from Wikipedia rarely makes a good tag wiki. Tag wikis are not encyclopedia articles, and defining the subject is not their main purpose.

Why are tag wiki edits with copied content getting approved? As a community, what should be done?

A few months ago, I suggested a tag edit with summary copied from Wiki with a link to Wikipedia. But it was rejected by a moderator saying the same thing. After that, I spent time to write a useful summary in my own words. With these edits getting approved and the responses to this post, I am thinking why spend time to write a useful summary in your own words. I should also use copy-paste from IMDb and Wiki to edit tags.

  • 3
    Using IMDb summaries are a routine way of answering ID questions. I don't see how their usefulness is diminished with tag wikis.
    – John
    Dec 18, 2016 at 0:00
  • 2
    @John It becomes a problem when you don't actually attribute the original source. And since you can't (and shouldn't) include links in tag wiki excerpt, that usually fails to provide proper attirbution.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:24
  • 1
    Related: Use of copied content
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:25
  • @NapoleonWilson You are correct of course. But in my specific case (#2 above), I did not copy or quote any source. I simply used standard English. My first comment was targeted at the tag wiki body. I apologize for not being specific enough.
    – John
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:46
  • Since I was used as an example (#2 above), I would like to state for the record that I used standard English wording of my own choosing in the tag wiki excerpt, and at the tag wiki body (top part). I simply cited Wikipedia in parenthesis to state that that's where I got the information/statistics/etc. It was not a copy and paste. I stand by my comment above stating that using the IMDb storyline in the body is perfectly acceptable in my opinion.
    – John
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:52
  • what's the answer to this now that you're a mod? i mean i guess you were not a mod at this time right?
    – BCLC
    Aug 18, 2021 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Moderators are not allowed to make decisions on copyright infringement blah blah blah. Atleast that's what I've been told when flagging blatant copyright violations like a tool who posted an entire film in an answer and the mods denied my flag.

in fact, having a rule where moderators flag or deny an edit due to copyright violations like copying from Wiki with attribution, would make Stack Exchange liable to lose their safe harbor status under the DMCA. You start moderating content like that, you risk getting sued for the other violations you refuse to moderate.

  • 6
    Do you have actual sources for this answer? Now it's all speculation and hear-say.
    – Mast
    Dec 29, 2016 at 4:46
  • @Mast meta.stackexchange.com
    – cde
    Dec 29, 2016 at 4:49
  • 9
    That's not a source, that's a blanket link.
    – Mast
    Dec 29, 2016 at 4:52

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