I just rejected an edit to a tag wiki excerpt that was just … wrong. The edit suggested a tag synonym.

The invalid edit rejection reason, however, does not make sense for tag wikis:

You can't "comment or reply" to a tag wiki excerpt or body. Therefore, the reject reasons need to be worded differently here, or otherwise they become really confusing for new users — how should they "reply" or "comment" to a tag?

  • Looks like a C&P mistake. Oct 5, 2011 at 8:55
  • @PaddedCell Well, I suppose there's no conceptual difference between suggested edits for a tag wiki or posts (yet).
    – slhck
    Oct 5, 2011 at 9:05
  • 2
    strictly speaking the edit is incorrect so the sentence weird as it is stands the test of logic. Ill see if I can special case it, its tricky
    – waffles
    Oct 5, 2011 at 9:53
  • 1
    @waffles I thought so. Would be good to have a custom free text field there. But that's another feature request ...
    – slhck
    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:08
  • I get it, will work through the list of rejections and see if we need it ... in this case the edit is clearly invalid, no need to explain any more
    – waffles
    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:19
  • @waffles - I suspected that tag wiki edits were just a special case of post edits, and your comments seem to confirm this. I seem to remember a few broken links on this screen that would work for questions or answers, but don't make sense for tag wikis. I considered these unimportant, so I didn't report them. Do you want bug reports on this? With 6 upvotes, it seems that people do, in fact, care about tag wiki edits. (Also +1 on the custom text field feature!) Oct 5, 2011 at 12:35
  • “Invalid edit” mixes two completely different things: edits that add incorrect content, and edits that are formally improper because they are replying to the post instead of modifying it. Only the first part applies to tag wikis. They were lumped together back when rejection reasons were introduced, for no good reason. Jan 31, 2014 at 12:18

4 Answers 4


You're right, it didn't make sense. As part of a larger revamp, the reject reasons for wiki edits have been slimmed down to the following:

  • spam or vandalism (all post types)

    This edit defaces the post in order to promote a product or service, or is deliberately destructive.

  • no improvement whatsoever (all post types)

    This edit fails to make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

  • copied content (Tag wikis / excerpts only)

    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.

  • lacks usage guidance (tag excerpts only)

    Simply defining what a [tag] is rarely helps those using it unless the tag's name itself is ambiguous. Excerpts should describe why and when a tag should be used.

  • circular tag definition (tag excerpts only)

    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.

  • causes harm (all post types, replaces "custom" - prompts for free-text input)
    Describe how this edit would make the post worse.

That's 6 options for excerpts, 4 for wikis.


The first part of the description is still correct, as the edit is incorrect. Using just that as description would make the rejection reason too vague, and probably subjective.

Considering other cases that should be rejected, such as the one reported in this question (where the added text was "make this tag an alias for osx-lion"), I think that the rejection reason could be changed to "This edit is incorrect or adds metadata." This would apply also to these edits that add something similar to "I think this is the right solution," or "this is not an answer," or "thank you."

  • 1
    > too vague, and probably objective – did you mean "subjective"? I agree with you that This edit is incorrect … still applies here, but the second part just makes it confusing IMO. Same goes for adds metadata. I'm not too sure those people that make incorrect edits would understand what that means.
    – slhck
    Oct 6, 2011 at 8:30
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    Whoops... That is what happen at 10:30 AM my time. :-) I agree it could be confusing; that is why I am proposing something that would be generic enough to include the already reported case, without to describe a case that could not always apply.
    – apaderno
    Oct 6, 2011 at 8:34

I think edits needs a different interface than question and answer edits. Rejection reason list includes following:

  • copied content: This edit plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution :Not much suitable for a tag-wiki since tag-wiki body will probably got from external sources, like official pages or wikipedia.

  • invalid edit: This edit is incorrect or an attempt to reply to or comment on the existing post: Useful reason but explanation text do not make sense.

  • radical change: This edit changes too much in the original post; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost : Since that is not either a question or an answer, this reason is meaningless too. Edit will be either valid, or invalid. Radica change is meaningless.

  • too minor: This edit is too minor; suggested edits should be substantive improvements addressing multiple issues in the post: It can be useful too, not sure much.

  • vandalism: This edit introduces spam, defaces the post in some way, or is otherwise inappropriate: Useful

So, creating a new reject list is better I guess. Also following is needed IMO and can be added to the reasons:

  • Invalid Excerpt: I see some tag-wiki edits with invalid edits, or unable to define the tag properly. Since Excerpts are the key to select proper tags for questions, they must be satisfactory in explaining the tag. Invalid excerpts will cause users to use wrong tags if they are not familiar with related tags. Having its own reason, this may stop robot-approvers, or at least lead them to check the excerpt before accepting. Below is the excerpt for in StackOverflow with a not very explanatory excerpt.

  • 1
    “Copied content” is relevant for tag wikis! In fact, it's for questions and answers that it's mostly useless: plagiarism almost never creeps in through suggested edits into questions and answers, but it very common in tag wikis. “Radical change” and “too minor” are pretty rare — radical change makes sense when someone removes a lot of good content (it occasionally happens) and too minor when someone makes cosmetic changes that don't really improve the content. “Invalid excerpt” already exists, it's called “not helpful”. Jan 31, 2014 at 12:12

I've updated this to be a . @waffes was correct in his first comment up above that the "invalid edit" reason is still logically correct for this use case. The rest is really just asking for something different.

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