29

Sometimes a tag wiki excerpt or body ends up with unacceptable or useless content: plagiarized text that must be removed, or a totally unhelpful dictionary definition. (For example: this latest incident — and I've seen this situation many times before.)

The only way to get rid of that content is to submit replacement text that meets the minimum length requirement. This is not always easy as writing a decent wiki, and especially a decent excerpt, requires subject knowledge.

Currently the users or even moderators who are alerted to unacceptable content in a tag wiki cannot remove that content without providing their own, which they are not always in a position to do. Yet these wikis would be better off with no content than with either unacceptable or unhelpful content, or some content written by a non-expert in a hurry.

Please provide a way for users to blank a tag wiki excerpt or body. I'm not sure what the reputation requirement should be: same mechanism as for tag wiki edits (suggested edits with approval), or only done directly by a user with the trusted user (20k) privilege, or moderator-only.

  • 1
    Last I checked (the other week when someone created [server] again), you can blank wiki bodies without a problem, at least at the 20k level. Excerpts are another matter, but I honestly don't think there's a use case for nuking an except. Even "Don't use this tag, you want [foo] instead" or a simple dictionary definition is better than nothing. – Charles Nov 21 '13 at 2:06
  • 8
    @Charles I disagree with the assertion that a simple dictionary definition is better than nothing. A dictionary definition wastes the time of everyone reading it, and cannot be easily seen as a tag wiki excerpt in need of being written. – Gilles Nov 21 '13 at 2:13
  • It seems this requirement was removed for moderators, but as a regular user I still can't blank out both fields to remove plagiarism in a suggested edit – Undo Apr 24 '15 at 20:46
9

Diamond moderators can rollback a Tag Wiki and Tag Wiki Excerpt back to emptiness from the respective history page.

History

Rollback

1

I do not know the frequency of the issue, so the following ideas are a bit blind and may not be good for a ROI.

Some alternative ideas to just being able to "delete" wiki and excerpt text.


(1) Template

Have template text made up and ready for wikis and excerpts.
When a bad edit occurs, edit the tag wiki and excerpt and paste the text in.

This removes the offending text, and (with the right text) encourages any users seeing the template text to improve the wiki and excerpt (better than blank?):

Wikis:

[currently no wiki]
This tag wiki is in need of a really good description.
If you're knowledgeable in this tag, and are familiar with the requirements for tag wikis, please add/suggest a description here.

Excerpts:

[currently no excerpt] This tag excerpt is in need of a really good description.

(Obviously Stack would write them in their words.)


This issue could also be resolvable if there was at least one good Revision History to roll back to prior to a bad edit.

(2) Template auto inserted into blank tag wikis/excerpts

Having templates ready somewhere to be used manually and likely not very often is laborious.

Using my template text above as (crude) "defaults", a Stack dev could automatically insert them into all wikis and excerpts which have never had text, i.e. have no Revision History.

Also, adjust other scripts so whenever a new tag is made it's wiki and excerpt also get the default text.

Then if any bad edits occur, there would be a decent/clean Revision History prior to the bad edit, and can just rollback back to the default texts.


(3) Auto insert blank edits

If using "default text" is not welcomed.
This might be too hacky, but throwing it out there.

Stack devs could insert a blank edit into all wikis and excerpts which have never had text, i.e. have no Revision History.

So they would invoke new database IDs (etc) for the wikis and excerpts and their corresponding Revision History.
So, while the wikis and excerpts themselves will be blank, there will be a genuine Revision History, albeit also blank.

Then if any bad edit occurs, just rollback back to the first Revision History, which is blank - no more bad text.

Again, this one sounds a bit cringe-worthy, but not knowing Stack systems and potential changes, and as this might prompt an idea from someone else, thought I'd throw it out there.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .