A user has recently been going through several tag-wikis on Stack Overflow and copy and pasting from Wikipedia into the excerpt and tag-wiki.

I flagged one of his posts and asked a mod to send him a message to this question regarding the proper way to attribute Wikipedia.

He is now attributing Wikipedia properly in the main body of the tag-wiki, but failing to do so on the excerpt. According to badp's answer, excerpts can't contain links and a plain text link to Wikipedia might be considered unncessary filler.

Is there anything that should/can be done about this? The edits are still being approved, so should the excerpts be edited to add the Wikipedia links in plain text, should they be cleared until someone can properly edit them or just leave it alone and hope someone comes along to improve them? (Note that most (if not all) of the tag wikis are being created by this user).

Since someone else has already mentioned this user in another question, I think it is okay to mention that I'm talking about this guy.

  • You can't really attribute anything in the excerpt very well as it doesn't support markdown or HTML(?)
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 20:58
  • 2
    Tag excerpts are stripped naked and running bare with just the words on their back @chr
    – random
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 21:03
  • @ran - thanks for confirming that. I knew about the markdown but wasn't 100% sure on the HTML.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 21:05
  • There are several more people doing this, unfortunatley most reviewers don't check with google, and you cannot rollback
    – mmmmmm
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


Either you hit Reject or Improve.

Tag excerpts should be extremely concise and something along the lines of about 160 characters or 25 words.

If it's too hard to summarise a tag in fresh, hip new words that aren't copied verbatim from another source, think again.

Any more than that and you've got the whole rest of the tag info page to detail.

  • 3
    Thanks, I actually was curious as to what to do with the dozens or so excerpts that have already been approved. Edit them to include the link, clear them out, or leave them for someone else. As John pointed out here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81045, I'm already out of votes so theres nothing I can do about his future submissions. If I have time to kill I suppose I can go rewrite them :P
    – Brandon
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 20:48
  • 1
    But why people MUST avoid exact quote? What if they'd say themselves in exact same words? AFAIR, there's no "patent" on sentences yet. Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 15:08
  • When has an exact quote for a tag wiki related to how/why it's used on the site? @ole
    – random
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 16:07
  • 1
    I'm referring to "If it's too hard to summarise a tag in fresh, hip new words that aren't copied verbatim from another source, think again." Jump extra hoop just because? Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 16:31
  • @OlegV.Volkov I agree, that's a waste of time. Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 3:19

If it's just a one-sentence quote in the tag wiki excerpt it should be no problem. Such a minor quote should be fair use.

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