I had gone and tried to improve some Tag Wikis here on AU. Here are my suggested edits (all of these tags did not have an existing Wiki). All of these I wrote myself - they weren't copy-pasted from anywhere

du tag: https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1286569

du is a command that can get the size of folders/partitions on Linux

l2tp tag: https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1286568

L2TP refers to the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, which is a protocol for VPNs

json tag: https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1286566

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation, and is a format for data storage and data transmission

numpy tag: https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1286565

NumPy is a numerical computing library for Python

Except... one user did Reject and Edit on them, with this message:

This edit did not correct critical issues with the post - view the revision history to see what should have been changed.

Ok, I'll go through and look at what they got changed to:

The du tag:

du is a Unix command to measure disk usage.

Fair enough, that's a better description. Although it was copied from to du Tag Wiki on SO

The l2tp tag:

In computer networking, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is a tunneling protocol used to support virtual private networks or as part of the delivery of services by ISPs. To ensure security and privacy, L2TP must rely on an encryption protocol to pass within the tunnel.

Not completely, but the first part of that Wiki is taken from Wikipedia

The json tag:

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a serializable data interchange format that is a machine and human readable.

This Wiki is taken from the one on SO

The numpy tag:

NumPy is an extension of the Python language that adds support to large multidimensional arrays and matrices, along with a large library of high-level mathematical functions for operations with these arrays.

The first part of this one is taken from the Tag Wiki on SO

Here's my question:

What exactly was incorrect/wrong with the ones I proposed that lead to them getting rejected? Also, is it acceptable to take text from Wikipedia and/or SO Tag Wikis and use it for our Tag Wikis here on AU?

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid both your original suggestions and the new ones added by the editor should all have been rejected. The point of a tag wiki excerpt isn't to explain the tag's subject, it is to explain how the tag itself is supposed to be used on this site and also when not to use it. To take the du example, a good tag wiki excerpt would be something like:

du is the standard command to measure disk usage. Use this tag if your question is specifically about the du program and how it works. Do not use the tag for general questions about hard disks.

This is explained in https://askubuntu.com/help/tag-excerpts:

  1. The excerpt is the elevator pitch for the tag. You only have ~500 plain text characters for the excerpt, so don’t feel obligated to cover everything in it! Save that for the 30,000+ character Markdown tag wiki. The excerpt should define the shared quality of questions containing this tag — boiled down to a few short sentences.
  2. Avoid generically defining the concept behind a tag, unless it is highly specialized. The “email” tag, for example, does not need to explain what email is. I think we can safely assume most internet users know what email is; there’s no value in a boilerplate explanation of email to anyone.
  3. Concentrate on what a tag means to your community. For “email” on Server Fault, mention the server aspects of email including POP3, SMTP, IMAP, and server software. For “email” on Super User, mention desktop email clients and explicitly exclude webmail, as that would be more appropriate for the Web Applications Stack Exchange.
  4. Provide basic guidance on when to use the tag. In other words, what kinds of questions should have this tag? Tags only exist as ways of organizing questions, so if we don’t provide proper guidance on which questions need this tag, they won’t get tagged at all, rendering the tag excerpt moot. Think of it as a sales pitch: in a room full of tags screaming “pick me!”, what would convince a question asker to select your tag?
  5. Some tags are common knowledge. Most tags require a bit of explanation in the excerpt, even if it’s only 3 or 4 words. But if the tag is common knowledge — that is, if you walked up to any random person on the street and said the tag word to them, and they would know what you were talking about — then don’t bother explaining the tag at all. Stick to usage of the tag within your community in the excerpt.

That said, copying tag excerpts or even wikis from other SE sites should be fine since we'd just be using the same wording in the same place on another site of the same network. If foo.se already have a great tag excerpt and/or wiki that also describes how the tag works here, there's no point in rewriting it.

Copying from Wikipedia or any other external source is not OK, however, and would be considered plagiarism.

  • Just to be clear, my understanding from having a tag-wiki-edit rejected is that even if the external website is referenced as the source of the information in the tag-wiki itself, it's still not acceptable. Not plagiarism in that case, but it can run afoul of other copywrite issues since information here must be CC-BY-SA, and it is not possible for you or I as editors to change the license of text which is copywritten under different terms. Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 20:54
  • @NotTheDr01ds yes, so we never copy from external sources.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 20:55

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