I created a tag and wrote wiki content on it.

It was approved, however, I notice one of the reviewers rejected it as:

This edit plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution.

I wrote this content myself, based on my knowledge of the process behind it.

It really annoys me that someone has assumed something is plagiarism. Based on what? He didn't think a kangaroo called skippy could write well? Can users be made accountable of flagging things as plagiarism? All things aside, plagiarism is one of the worst thing, anybody in any profession can be accused of. It calls for instant dismissal from the University I attend.

I suggest that a comment box to provide a link or title and author name might be advisable. I understand this may seem trivial, but it is a black thing to mark against someone's name. It might make people think before picking a box, just as people need to learn to press skip when reviewing.


I think this is an issue of our quality of reviewing as it seems some people are not paying attention, either way.

  • Also, am I allowed to tag the user who made this flag, to this question, to help in educating about this?
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:01
  • If someone wants/needs to know, the user's name is already available by clicking through to the linked suggested edit. No reason to make it more prominent; this isn't about individuals, it's about a general problem. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:03
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    Yes, but my idea is to stop them from just selecting that option, if it is not based on fact, just suspicion - else they can skip if unsure @CodyGray
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:05
  • 4
    "He didn't think a kangaroo called skippy could write well?" That would be specieist.More seriously though I'd just google a portion of that wiki to check if I suspected, and this comes clean. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:05
  • @JourneymanGeek EXACTLY!!! and I'm not yelling as excited.. the university uses plagiarism software, and google picks up everything. And yes, that would be specieist ;) what's worse, is now I examine it, I see what's lacking in it (the wiki tag)
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:07
  • 3 vs 1 - I'd only be concerned if the majority is of that opinion. Btw skippy is not kangaroo, it's peanut butter. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:41
  • @OldCheckmark have a look at the link I added to my question, I think it might be a case of people snoozing and reviewing.. although I DO enjoy peanut butter, you must SEE for yourself that skippy IS a kangaroo, and be grateful that you cannot hear me sing the theme song to you,.. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skippy_the_Bush_Kangaroo
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:44

2 Answers 2


Hmm, yeah. Very weird indeed. I use that rejection reason on about every third or fourth tag wiki edit that I review, but it doesn't seem to apply at all here. Each paragraph of your suggestion passes the Google test, which is basically foolproof.

It was probably a misclick. But I'm not sure. He's rejected one or two other tag wiki edits recently for the same reason, and they also pass the Google test. So either he's got a better, more comprehensive index of written words than Google does, or he's using that rejection reason inappropriately. (Perhaps he thinks it means something more akin to citation required—a la Wikipedia—rather than the more serious charge of plagiarism? It is not strictly necessary to provide a citation for novel content.)

I suppose it couldn't hurt to add a place where reviewers who choose that rejection reason could provide a link to or the title of the suspected origin of the plagiarized content. I do agree with you regarding the gravity of this charge, and I'm always in favor of accountability.

At the same time, I don't think it's important enough in this context to justify over-complicate things. But if someone thinks something is plagiarized, they're bound to be getting that impression from something, so it shouldn't be that hard to indicate it. Who knows, tracking this might also give us some useful data porn statistical information.

Obviously we couldn't force people to fill in the field with valid data (they could enter hjhjhjhjhj if they wanted to), but that's basically true everywhere else (edit descriptions, custom rejection reasons, etc.) and to my knowledge hasn't proved to be a huge issue.

But the truth is, if the devs are going to spend any time on this, I'd personally rather see Paulo's and LBT's idea of an automatic filter implemented that would stop plagarized content right in its tracks. That would not only stop the problem, but it would also relieve a lot of the burden that currently falls on individual reviewers.


From my experience, confirm dialogs are not effective. The ability to instantly undo an action is.

But that aside, I don't see what the big deal is. Sure, someone thought you plagiarised some of the content, but it got approved, right?

Why do you care?, The golden rule of the internet:

Do not take things personally over the internet

I don't think a confirmation box is the right move here, no.

  • well, I guess, in the grand scheme of things there is no reason to care or worry. But in the case of a website full of pedantic people who pride themselves on quality of content, plagiarism is not a small issue.. the problem I have illuminated is the flipside of the more common coin meta.stackexchange.com/questions/124275/… With the attitude Do not take things personally over the internet.. essentially this could answer 50% of the questions here.. ps that is in a quote box, is it a quote, where's the reference ;))
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:57
  • @Skippy: And indeed, 50% of the ---rants--- questions of this type I answer, I say "don't take things personally over the internet". I say it a lot in chat too. The system shouldn't intervene in every little thing. And what you see as a major offense, I see as a very minor issue. So someone rejected your edit vote, with plagiarism as the reason... So what? Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 14:59
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    However bringing up this is as an issue acts as a signpost for people with the same issue, and brings up the fact that this overall is an issue. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 15:04
  • @JourneymanGeek: Currently he has 1 upvote, and 1 downvote. He asked the question over an hour ago, and didn't gain the kind of traction you'd expect from a problem other people have. Besides, I didn't say it wasn't a problem, I said it was too minor, in my opinion, for the system to take into account. It's not a big deal if one person thinks that your edit was plagiarised even though it wasn't... Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 15:08
  • @MadaraUchiha it is an issue, in terms that it seems people are not even checking to see if something is plagiarised or not- most approving plagiarised edits, in my case the opposite, that IS a big issue. Plagiarism is an enormous issue with consequences and people need to understand that, an incorrect flag is a symptom of that person's ignorance and this post has received more views than all but one question (that has been downvoted a bit) and it has two answers. and is still being voted on.. Meta is slow sometimes, but people see things over time
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 15:14
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    People don't check lots of things they post on SE sites. Do we need to make them confirm every single thing they do?
    – Wooble
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 20:17
  • 1
    I don't see this as a confirmation dialog. I see it as a place to indicate why you marked something as plagiarism, just like how you have to leave a descriptive comment when you make an edit or check in source code. And although I'm always telling people not to take things personally, I do agree with @Skippy that plagiarism is a pretty weighty accusation and should be taken personally. If I say that your answer is wrong, that should never be taken personally. But I accuse you of vote fraud, well then that should rightfully be taken personally. Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:24

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