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Wikipedia:Automatic edit summaries

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An edit summary that links to this page via a left-pointing arrow (←) probably was left blank by the user and automatically filled in by the MediaWiki software. In other words, the user probably did not type the summary.

Typing the summary is unimportant when a user creates a new page; leaving the summary area blank, the edit summary in this case is automatically the entered wikitext, up to the maximum length for this summary: c. 160 characters, plus "Created page with '" at the start and "...'" at the end.

If the summary describes a redirect or replacement of the content with a {{copyvio}} template, this most likely means that an editor allowed the software to generate the summary out of convenience. If the listed target or replacement text is reasonable, no further action is required.

A summary indicative of an inappropriate edit (such as the blanking or replacement of legitimate content) is probably not a deliberate description on the part of the user (who might not even have realized that he/she was harming Wikipedia).

What to do

If vandalism (or a well-meaning test requiring reversion) is suspected, please examine the edit to determine its nature and respond accordingly. Remember to assume good faith in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Keep in mind that the edit summary was not typed by the user, so it should not be interpreted as such evidence.

When an anonymous editor blanks all or part of a biography of a living person, it is important to remember that this may be an attempt by the subject of the article to remove problematic material. If this appears to be the case then such an edit should not be treated as vandalism. Instead, the editor should be welcomed and invited to explain his/her concerns with the article.

The different automatic edit summaries

Action of the user Auto-generated text ($1 being a variable) Page
Removed all contents of page* Blanked the page MediaWiki:Autosumm-blank
Removed all contents of page and replaced with new text* Replaced content with '$1' MediaWiki:Autosumm-replace
Created a new page Created page with '$1' MediaWiki:Autosumm-new
Created a new redirect, or changed the target of an existing one Redirected page to $1 MediaWiki:Autoredircomment

*Possible vandalism

See also