How To Remove Tags From Wikipedia Articles

How To Remove Tags From Wikipedia Articles
5 minute read

Getting rid of those ugly tags at the top of Wikipedia articles isn’t always an easy task thanks to the community of editors who use them as “badges of shame.”

You need to make sure that you have a valid reason to remove the tag and that you are doing so in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines. Just because I told you how to remove them does not necessarily mean that they should be removed.

One issue that I am constantly asked about is those ugly tags left at the top of Wikipedia articles by editors. You should be familiar with these tags as they are everywhere in Wikipedia. These tags serve as a warning to readers as well as a note for editors coming across the tags. Readers can be warned of potential issues with the article and look at the content with a grain of salt. Editors can be notified of issues with the article that need addressed and edit the article accordingly. While we know why tags are added, how do we remove tags from Wikipedia articles? To understand how to remove them, you need to understand how they got there in the first place.

Who can tag an article:

Wikipedia is an open source community where anyone can edit. In fact, you don’t even need to be a member of the community, as you can edit without creating an account. As anyone is allowed to edit the website, anyone is allowed to place a tag on an article. So, experienced editors often place tags on articles as do new users and single purpose accounts (people who come to Wikipedia to perform only a few edits on the same topic). With such a diverse group of editors placing article tags, it is often difficult to remove tags from Wikipedia without knowing the specific reason for why a tag was placed (along with any ulterior motive the editor may have for placing such – see “using tags to prove a point” below). Here are a few of the most common tags on Wikipedia articles:

  • Notability – Articles are tagged for notability if an editor feels that the subject of the article does not meet Wikipedia guidelines for inclusion. This can mean different things for different articles as in addition to general notability guidelines, Wikipedia has subsets of guidelines for various topics (music, companies, biographies, etc.).
  • Advertisement – Editors will often tag articles they feel are written in a way that is promotional. Wikipedia editors hate people using Wikipedia for promotion and are likely to tag (and even recommend for deletion) articles they feel are written in a promotional tone.
  • Copy editing – Articles tagged for copy editing are often tagged due to the creator of the article writing in their second language. Wikipedia editors are very strict with grammar and it can be difficult to write in an encyclopedic tone for any language Wikipedia if that language is not your native language.
  • References – Some articles contain a tag stating that it needs references or needs additional references. These articles simply need to have references from reliable sources added to the article in order to conform to guidelines and make the tag irrelevant.

It often takes the same amount of time to place a tag on an article as it does to fix the problem that the tag is pointing out. Needs a citation? Then find one and add it to the article instead of adding a “badge of shame.”

While there are many more tags used throughout Wikipedia, these are just a couple to give you an idea of the different types available to editors to place at the top of articles.

Using tags to prove a point:

Tags are not to be used to prove a point; however, editors ignore this rule and many place tags on articles simply to give it a “badge of shame.” For example, you can see a classic case of “over tagging” to an article in the image below. The article itself has only seven sentences, yet it contains five tags at the top of the article. So, instead of taking a little time to clean up those seven sentences or recommend the article for deletion, an editor decided that it would be a better idea to leave almost as many tags on the article as the article is long. This is pure idiocy and something that should never be done. However, it is done too often in order to prove a point.

Over-tagging is common on Wikipedia. Editors often like to prove a point by making an article look as embarrassing as possible for the person who created it. This is counterproductive to Wikipedia

Over-tagging is common on Wikipedia. Editors often like to prove a point by making an article look as embarrassing as possible for the person who created it. This is counterproductive to Wikipedia’s mission, but editors get away with it every day.

One common area that editors like to use a tag for is any article that they feel was created by someone with a conflict of interest. Although the tag requires them to comment on the talk page stating what they believe that conflict of interest to be, I can tell you from experiences that very few actually do so. This makes it extremely difficult to find out what specifically they feel the problem is and what you need to do to clean it up and remove the tags. This is one of the most overused tags by editors trying to prove a point.

Be careful if you are going to remove tags from Wikipedia that were placed by editors trying to prove a point. Based on the nasty exchanges that often take place on Wikipedia between editors, I will tell you that editors are watching and waiting for you to remove the tags. This gives them to clean it up.

How to remove tags:

Tags are easy to remove. Once you click on the edit tab to an article, you will see at the tags at the very top of the Wiki-code. To remove the tags, you simply delete them from the top of the article and save it. Now, before you do so, make sure that you know what you are doing. You need to make sure that you have a valid reason to remove the tag and that you are doing so in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines. Just because I told you how to remove them does not necessarily mean that they should be removed.

When removing tags, make sure that you correct the issue that is being pointed out in the tag. If the tag says that additional references are needed, add the additional references. If the tag says that the article contains a promotional tone, rewrite the areas that seem promotional in order to make it more encyclopedic.

I recommend that you do not blindly remove tags from Wikipedia. Make sure you have a game plan in mind and are willing and able to back up your reasoning for removing the tag. After all, the person who left the tag already has a game plan and is ready to pounce on you for removing it.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How To Remove Tags From Wikipedia Articles

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