Forums: Index War Room Proposal:Edit summary policy
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I've noticed more and more lately the lack of well-thought out and descriptive edit summaries when undoing another user's edit, or even an edit summary at all. This is a huge problem.

When a user makes a bad edit that is clearly not vandalism, it should certainly be undone, but to deny the user a reason as to why the edit was bad is simply unfair. I've seen many edit wars erupt because the person undoing the original edit was far too arrogant to even provide a link to COD:IRL. This is something I see normal users and administrators doing on a daily basis.

What I propound is to introduce a simple policy that requires an edit summary when undoing an edit that is not vandalism.

Other users know that I frequently hassle others for not supplying edit summaries, and I feel it's for good reason. I see many users trying to accumulate as many edits as possible by watching the recent changes for any edits by anons or new users and racing other users to the fastest undo. This cannot be allowed to continue. Granting only a slight glance at a user's edit and then undoing it because it "feels" incorrect is the epitome of ignorant behavior; the policy I've proposed will require the user to think about an edit summary, which will in turn require them to have a legitimate, verifiable reason. Making the user actually think about what they're undoing and explaining to the user why their edit was undone are my two goals here.

Assuming good faith means that there should be a reason for undoing edits, and to spare yourself two seconds by not providing that reason to the editor is an atrocity. I will not stand for this elitism that some users seem to have when it comes to edits from new users.

You must tell me what you think of my proposal. I will listen to reason, but my opinion stands. Thanks. Joe Copp 03:41, June 4, 2012 (UTC)


It shouldn't be a policy, but more so a guideline, if anything The Wikia Contributor T | C | E | Q 03:47, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, but no thanks. We shouldn't be obliged to have to provide an edit summary. If someone's pissed, we have something called a user talk page. Metroid.gif DarkMetroid567okay 03:50, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

So if a user is too shy to leave a talk page message or doesn't know how, they have to just sit there and accept that their edit was undone with no reason at all? How is that fair? Joe Copp 03:52, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
The only way to see an edit summary is in history and recent changes. If that user can't find a talk page I doubt they can find those. 04:07, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
"Wiki Activity" is like the first link on the page. If you have made an account, it's the default homepage for all wikis. Joe Copp 04:08, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
Assuming the user would know that page would explain their edit or would stay on that page after the edit. 04:17, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
@Joe, The main page is the default page for anon's and new user unless specifically stated otherwise in Special:Preferences. vm7BQ.png 10:17, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
While I admit edit summaries are a great help in looking over past edits I fail to see how they are needed all the time. When I undo IRL or Speculation any other user can see that, after which point we normally put a bad edit template on said users talk page. I admit this should be a guideline, but we can’t start banning people just because they didn’t give a reason, I mean it’s evident that new users don’t fully know our policies about COD:LEAK and COD:IRL so clearly we’re going to have a lot of new users undoing edits without summaries. Understandably in situations when I’m undoing something where I have anecdotal evidence I’ll add it to the summary, but when it’s policy breaking I don’t need to add it the summary, and to be honest I don’t think that stops users anyway. In short this adding much more hassle than it’s solving, as my main points have highlighted new users won’t adhere to this straight away, obvious policy violations such as IRL can easily be undone, and we have the Bad Edit and Vandalism templates for talk pages. I don't think it necessary to even have a forum about them since they have pretty much always been in effect, just not written down. 03:54, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
Added note, please tell me how this is an effective edit summary? Yes I can tell V = Vandalsim, but I don't think every user will.
The point of my proposal was to let the user that made the original edit know what the reasoning was. "V" was just a convenience to other editors at the time. Joe Copp 04:05, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
I though V) was a weird smiley face :3 The Wikia Contributor T | C | E | Q 04:03, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

The policy would be unnessecary. Plus, when you undo an edit, it even says "..if the edit is not vadalism, please provide a reason." Conqueror of all Zombies 03:56, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

I think, while you have the right idea here, what's to stop a user from saying "fuck you" for an edit summary? MetlTalk 04:07, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

Nothing, but that's in policy anyway. 04:08, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

I feel that edit summaries are only necessary should the error be subtle. What I'm saying is that if User A adds a real-life fact to the trivia of the FAMAS page, the person undoing the error should leave his reason for undoing in the edit summary and also post on User A's talk page about why he undid it. However if User A replaces everything in the page with "FAMAS IS A NOOBY PISS SPRAYER SHIT", the error is obvious - he is vandalising - and this does not warrant an edit summary, rather a template on his talk page.   ParagonX7 跟我谈天 3hrm0HS.png 04:14, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

This policy seems hard to enforce. Should a good, hardworking editor be blocked for failing to add an edit summary? Such action would hurt the wiki more than help it. IMO this would-be policy is more work than it's worth. Happy Lyra Lyra(SPNKR)is the bo$$Surprised Lyra 21:50, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

I agree with 1337 on this one. VwuEI.pngSXe Fiend · talkVwuEI.png04:43, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Not only does the proposed policy seem like a HUGE hassle for little gain, but the way this forum is written seems much more like an attack on those you constantly warn, Joe, rather than a legitimate forum pointing out a large flaw in the way the wiki has been run.

If what your reasoning says is true, shouldn't we also make it a requirement to put the "Bad Edit" template on a talk page every time there is a bad edit? No, because that would be silly, but your reasoning states though that not doing an edit summary to provide "the user a reason as to why the edit was bad is simply unfair." Have you forgotten that most brand new users, specifically Anons, don't even know that the Wiki Activity page exists, let alone Recent Changes? Those are the only two places where the summary can be seen, so are we still "denying them an explanation" if they just don't see it?

"Granting only a slight glance at a user's edit and then undoing it because it "feels" incorrect is the epitome of ignorant behavior", While I can't speak for everyone, I know for a fact that I and many other users who don't make edit summaries 100% of the time do not operate on this system of "Glancing" and "Feeling". That whole statement seems more like an idea you formed in your own head than something that can actually be proven to encompass the thought process of most users on the wiki.

Now, I get the idea that if a new user did see that the edit had been undone without a summary, and wasn't sure why it had been undone, that they may be too nervous to ask about it. But two of our policies here at CoD Wiki are Be Bold and All Editors are Equal. If the user is too nervous to ask what he did wrong, its pretty much his own fault. I've given my thoughts, here they stand. KUDLq.png 18:58, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

I fully agree with this statement, especially the second to last statement. Most anonymous users do not cause problems if their edit is undone, and if they don't know how to leave a talk page message, there are numerous ways to find out how, like Special:Chat and IRC, and Help:Editing, which is on the main page. Metroid.gif DarkMetroid567okay 17:17, June 10, 2012 (UTC)

Per TWC, it would make a better guideline to go by then anything. Redskin-26 22:39, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

Firstly, I agree to the point that people who have thier edits reverted or corrected have the right to know exactly why.Secondly, I also think it would be better if the quality of edit summary's are improved. However, I also have concerns. The main one being is that it will be very difficult to enforce a rule on the entire wiki. You'll have to make sure everyone who is here and will arrive in the future will follow, or it doesn't work. While it may be true that the majority of those reverting are generally experienced, some are not. I also think that if you do turn this into a proper policy, the issue of appropriate punishment needs to be addressed. At first, you'll have a large amount of rule-breakers. I think on that basis, TWC's suggestion of it being more a guideline than a rule is one worth considering greatly. DrRichtofen (Talk) 23:12, June 9, 2012 (UTC)

I (almost) fully agree with Joe on this matter. When someone makes an edit that breaks general rules (such as COD:NOT or COD:IRL, it should be deleted and the users should be notified, but posting a template on their talk page isn't enough in my opinion. Instead of looking at their talk page whenever they get a new message, some users camp the recent changes log at the side of the screen, see that their edit has been undone, notice that there is nothing regarding the fact that that is against the rules, and hit the undo button. Then another admin changes it back, again with no reminder in the edit summaries, and the process continues over and over until someone threatens to lock the page down. This is unacceptable.

All Joe is asking us to do is this. It took me a grand total of 5 seconds to type that. It's not hard, it practically guarantees that the original poster sees what he did wrong, and it helps to remind other users who might make the same mistake who happen to look on the history of a page that certain content is not allowed. I think that undoing even blatant vandalism (such as "hi", "this game is horrible", and "fcsdjakflcha") would help with this, as people who view the page's history get to see it and say "Oh, this edit undid vandalism" as opposed to "I wonder why this edit was undone?".

The only problem with this that I can think of, like 1337 SPNKR said, is the enforcement of this. What if someone "forgets" to make the edit summary? Should we reprimand them for making a beneficial edit to the wiki but forgetting to put that it was breaking COD:IRL? Should we remove rollback and admin rights eventually if this continues? I don't think that it would work out if it was made an official policy, but I do think that it would make a great guideline. Personal IW FTW Awesome Face 100pxI.W. F.T.W. (talk) 00:27, June 10, 2012 (UTC)

Most of the time, anons will edit a page once and won't cause an edit war. I've rarely had a problem with an edit war because of an undo. Plus, for all the talk Joe does about leaving a reason for the undo, I've seen him leave things like "v" as a reason for an undo. Conqueror of all Zombies 17:02, June 10, 2012 (UTC)
I'll have you know I did that once. Joe Copp 15:50, June 11, 2012 (UTC)
N7 seems to have the right idea.
17:40, June 10, 2012 (UTC)
:D Iw5 cardicon soapN7 TC 18:09, June 10, 2012 (UTC)

Moving alongEdit

As it seems there is standered consensues going though we may as well move it to the voting stage. Here are the options:

"Add a policy for edit summarys"
— Option 1
"Add a guideline for edit summaries"
— Option 2
"Leave edit guidelines as they are"
— Option 3
15:14, June 15, 2012 (UTC)

Option 1Edit

Option 2Edit

  1. Guidelines seem the best way to go. OpalNyx SigNyx Sig talk 15:24, June 15, 2012 (UTC)
  2. Per Drk 132527029757.gifArgorrath おしゃべり%E7%95%B0%E8%AD%B0%E3%81%82%E3%82%8A.jpg15:25, June 15, 2012 (UTC)
  3. This seems like the best option. VwuEI.pngSXe Fiend · talkVwuEI.png15:27, June 15, 2012 (UTC)
  4. Per Nyx and SXe, this is the best solution.  Black Mesa logo documentsMadness a.k.a. Salad b. Cow Lambda logo 18:05, June 15, 2012 (UTC)
  5. The fairest way. PierogiTalk 00:36, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  6. A rule is too strict for a not-so-major issue, but a problem is prevalent, so guidelines will suffice. 222 talk 02:34, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  7. While it may not be a major problem, I think a guideline could possibly help streamline edit summaries. E2uiO5T.png SmilularTalk KNXWYe1.png 04:31, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  8. It would just lead to too many warnings and/or bans if it were a rule. Per all. Platinum Trophy PS3 icon Joseph Tan l talk l edit count l contribs l Platinum Trophy PS3 icon 04:34, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  9. I think that the idea is good, just that it would lead to too many unnecessary bans if it were made a policy. Per all. Personal IW FTW Awesome Face 100pxI.W. F.T.W. (talk)15:41, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  10. Per no one except the nine dudes above me. --MLGisNot4Me talk 23:27, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  11. I was actually going to propose this, but I haven't looked at this forum for a while :3 Seems like the most reasonable thing to do that's within realism. I will admit I was pretty salty when I proposed the policy. Joe Copp 03:22, June 17, 2012 (UTC)
  12. I can see it as a guideline, but no way as a policy. This seems best. Metroid.gif DarkMetroid567okay 03:46, June 18, 2012 (UTC)
  13. Per Nyx Gethhead.pngArbitersig.png1337sig.png
  14. Because guidelines are recommended, not enforced :) The Wikia Contributor T | C | E | Q 19:24, June 21, 2012 (UTC)
  15. While I don't think a guideline is needed, if the community wants more clarity on editing processes and protocol, this would be helpful reading for all editors. --Scottie theNerd 16:41, June 24, 2012 (UTC)

Option 3Edit

  1. It's not that much of a problem, you can easily just check the changes the user made. (With or without an edit summary.) Smuff[citation provided] 01:53, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
  2. Per Smuff and good luck forcing every user to put an edit summary is all I have to say. Snipergod 02:53, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
    If we use a guideline, we are not "forcing" anybody to make one, we're more or less just strongly suggesting that they do. E2uiO5T.png SmilularTalk KNXWYe1.png 04:31, June 16, 2012 (UTC)
    Then what's the difference if we have a guideline or not? Either way a user still doesn't have to put an edit summary. Conqueror of all Zombies 23:27, June 17, 2012 (UTC)
    People still tend to go by the guidelines even if they wouldn't have to. --MLGisNot4Me talk 19:37, June 21, 2012 (UTC)
  3. Per Smuff. Personal WHISKEY35 signature Talk 19:32, June 21, 2012 (UTC)
  4. What coaz said. Iw5 cardicon soapN7 TC 19:35, June 21, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - I don't like to close a forum in my favor that I put up, but the consensus is clear and the forum is basically dead. A guideline page will be made. Joe Copp 23:24, June 25, 2012 (UTC)

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