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This question already has an answer here:

https://stackoverflow.com/tags/epsilon/info - this wiki was totally empty. Neither the excerpt nor the body had a letter. So I devised both.

And was accused of plagiarism "just because". There obviously is no "prior art" that i supposedly just copypasted, as I typed it from my head.

I am not speaking of the overall quality of the edit and whether it is worse than nothing - that is for another question, this one is strictly about plagiarism

That is bad because:

  1. That is an insult. It is not good when people may insult others just because they felt like it.
  2. Person being accused should have a way to ask accuser to at least substantiate his claim or revoke it.
  3. "Plagiarism" here works as a cheap way to put veto without thinking of reasons and at the same time prohibiting other reviewers from doing more thoughtful evaluation.
  4. If the baseless insult is a community-approved way, then that would discourage any attempt to compose an genuine text or make edits at all. It just feels as being suddenly raided by trolls that can not be argued with (and there really is no way at Stack Exchange to argue). So next time why risk it?

I think that piracy and plagiarism are rather strong insults and must not go without the substantiation, just because it was a lazy way to press buttons.

If a person wants to reject some contribution for reasons like plagiarism or license violation, I think it should be mandatory that Stack Exchange site requests him to back his claim and explicitly name what the pirated/plagiarized source was.

It is not matter of taste or habit - it is a public accusation of crime or dishonesty on their part. Just because it felt easy lazy way to press "no" is not enough to commit insults.

  • If a person is sure about his claim that that act had taken place - it would be easy to him to show the original source and/or original license and key in few words.
  • If he does not bother to spend few seconds in Google, then he does not has standing to make accusations like plagiarism/piracy.

PS. There is an answer suggesting that the reason of rejections just does not matter and it is normal when it is selected at random. If so - then there should not be insulting reasons. Accusations of piracy/plagiarism should be just removed from the list of canned responses then, if it is okay to throw a dice when rejecting.

marked as duplicate by animuson Dec 17 '13 at 16:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Plagiarism applies to any copied content. It doesn't matter if it is copied from Stack Overflow or somewhere else. – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 16:24
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    If you feel this personally about the edit being rejected, I suggest you step away from the computer for a bit, get some fresh air. The review results are not directed at you personally, nor do you seem to understand what the terms mean. – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 16:25
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    I'm curious to know what content people think was plagiarized... I mean the spelling mistakes in the text kind of give away that it wasn't copied from that Wikipedia page. – animuson Dec 17 '13 at 16:28
  • @MartinPieters yes, "any copied content", from any source. What is your point ? – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:28
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    @animuson i think they know well that nothing was plagiarised, they jsut took the most lazy approach to tick some radiobutton just because they could without even considering what was written there. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:29
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    @MartijnPieters okay, let as assume i would publicly claim you being a thief plagiarizing others work and capitalizing on that. Would you take it personally or would you enjoy being badmouthed ? It is not about rejection, it is about dirty and baseless accusations that seems normal practice! – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:31
  • @Arioch'The: Where is anyone publicly claiming that you are capitalizing on other's work? How do you propose we handle copyrighted content being copied into tag wikis otherwise? Not everyone is aware that copying content without license or attribution isn't permitted. Again, you are taking this too personal. – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 16:34
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    "i think they know well that nothing was plagiarised, they jsut took the most lazy approach to tick some radiobutton just because they could without even considering what was written there." What's your basis for this statement? You're accusing others of malice without any evidence whatsoever. Oh the irony. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 16:35
  • Very likely the reviewers were just blasting through; a lot of tag wikis are plagiarized (copied from wikipedia or similar), so if a (bad) reviewer is blasting through, that would be the logical choice as it's right more often than it's wrong. – Joe Dec 17 '13 at 16:36
  • @Servy because there is no that text that i made few seconds ago. You mean they were delusioning ? – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:56
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    @Joe It's it's right more often than it's wrong Great slogan for any police state. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:57
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    @Arioch'The They most likely just made a mistake. It's unfortunate, and certainly not desirable, but I find it highly unlikely that it's a result of malice. If they just wanted to reject it there were several canned reasons that are much more applicable. It makes no sense to use that rejection reason if the intent is malicious. But, as I brought up in my last comment, if you feel they were being malicious, what evidence to you have to support it. That's a pretty big allegation to make, and you're making it without any basis. As I said, that's really ironic. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 17:01
  • Stack Overflow is not a sovereign state, with the power to enforce criminal sanctions. It is a website, with user flows that went somewhat wrong here, but also somewhat right. Please ease up on the Godwin's Law direction you're heading towards; it's overkill and is actively harming the feature request you're making. – Michael Petrotta Dec 17 '13 at 17:02
  • @MartijnPieters How do you propose we handle copyrighted content being copied into tag wikis otherwise? just like the questions says - specifing what was the misused content. If you checked the fact - it would be easy to copy the title or the link – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 17:04
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    Arioch, your argument would carry much more weight if it had been a good edit that was rejected. As it is the correct decision was made, the only part of the process that "failed" was 2/3s of the feedback you received was inaccurate. Fortunately 1 user correctly pointed you in the right direction: "This edit does not follow any of our tag wiki guidelines and is unlikely to help instruct future visitors in the appropriate use of the tag." – OGHaza Dec 17 '13 at 17:09
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that is an insult. It is not good when people may insult others just because they felt like it.

It's not a personal attack though, the edit was what was commented on. Just move on and don't take it personally.

The main issue here is that the edit had many spelling/grammar mistakes. The reviewers may have just ticked a random reason to reject; ideally they should have used the custom reason.

  • "The reviewers may have just ticked a random reason to reject" that means that a sensitive options should be removed from the choice, i they used as a funny way to throw insults without being reliable or responsible. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:35
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    @Arioch'The Any rejection reason can be taken as an insult if you want to go down that line of argument. Like I said, don't take it personally. – Manishearth Dec 17 '13 at 16:37
  • You're equating here word done bad and work stolen. You say that saying "Mr. X has unskilled work" and "Mr. X is a thief" is basically the same thing with only quantitative difference. Do you really see no difference in those claims? didn't you already stepped onto that road ? – Arioch 'The Dec 18 '13 at 12:26
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Yes, two people mistakenly thought that your proposed edit was plagiarized when it wasn't. This is unfortunate. However, the edit still should have been rejected, just for different reasons; an appropriate edit was not rejected, and at least one of the three reviwers did use an appropriate rejection reason, which should help you understand some of the problems with your edit. This is one of the main reasons why we have multiple reviewers in the first place, to help mitigate these types of issues.

If this was a consistent problem as a result of frequent abuses/mistakes, then yes, something like this could be a consideration, however that does not appear to be the case; it is simply one rare mistake, rather than a pattern of behavior, and adding in checks such as what you have described would make it much harder to deal with the actual cases of plagiarism which are rather frequent in the tag wiki editing world.

that is an insult. It is not good when people may insult others just because they felt like it.

It wasn't intentionally insulting. They made a mistake; I see no reason to believe it wasn't an honest one. There was no malice there.

person being accused should have a way to ask accuser to at least substantiate his claim or revoke it.

You do; it's meta. You even asked about your case, and were able to determine that it was indeed a mistake, but that your edit should still have been rejected, just for another reason. The system works.

"plagiarizm" here works as a cheap way to put veto without thinking of reasons and at the same time prohibiting other reviewers from doing more thoughtful evaluation.

I see no evidence to support this is the case. The users honestly appeared to think that this was a case of plagiarism; they were simply mistaken.

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    > The users honestly appeared to think that this was a case of plagiarism; You see, it is like i would put you to jail just because i would "honestly think" you did something wrong. Plagiarism accusation is insult. You should not make it if you're not ready to spend 10 seconds in Google. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:42
  • @Arioch'The Sending someone to jail has a higher burden of proof then choosing not to apply an edit that they have suggested to a wiki site that they don't even own. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 16:44
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    That is not "non application", that is a public accusation of plagiarism, a defamation, willing or by neglection. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 16:51
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    @Arioch'The While the information can technically be seen publicly, I wouldn't really consider it very "public". Outside of you, someone really needs to be looking for the information to find it, so it's not particularly exposed. The fast majority of rejections are seen by either nobody, or just the editor. The only reason so many people know about your rejection is because you're posting lots of links to it and talking about it so much. 99+% of these cases really are clear plagiarism, the editor knows it, there is nobody insulted, nor any real problems. This is that one rare mistake. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 16:57
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    "99+% of these cases really are clear plagiarism" how can you say so, if no one is checking the source ? Or if the source is checked, why is it hard to put the name or link of stolen content ? – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 17:03
  • @Arioch'The As I have said, it's something that could be done if there is an indication of a larger problem. I see no such indication. If we start seeing lots of edits improperly rejected then that is a consideration that can indeed be made, but it would take effort to develop, test, consume at least some extra time for the reviewers, complicate the UI, etc. all for a benefit that I just don't see. That time could be spent on much more constructive things. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 17:08
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    then there is a simple approach, requiring almost no tests - just removing such a canned response. – Arioch 'The Dec 17 '13 at 17:09
  • @Arioch'The What would that help? Keep in mind that it is probably the most common response to tag wiki rejections, there are just that many of them. That there was one mistake is not grounds for removing it as a rejection reason. It's not even grounds for punishing the reviewer unless there is a shown pattern of mis-use. – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 17:13
  • @Serge, sorry you should say "there was one REPORTED mistake". "Keep in mind that it is probably the most common response to tag wiki rejections" don't quite get what you meant – Arioch 'The Dec 18 '13 at 12:21
  • @Arioch'The If you can find a pattern of other mistakes (after all, the reviews are publicly accessible) then by all means, bring it up. If you want a significant change to be made, you'll need to provide evidence that it's justified. What I meant by that statement was that a very significant portion of rejected tag wiki edits are rejected for plagiarism, because there are tons of people that think that the best way to add tag wikis is to just copy-paste a summary from Wikipedia or the homepage of some product the tag is about. It's a rampant problem. – Servy Dec 18 '13 at 13:47

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