I can barely keep the same 'writing voice' across my university essays and reports, yet Wikipedia, edited by millions, reads like it was written by one person.

I can barely keep the same 'writing voice' across my university essays and reports, yet Wikipedia, edited by millions, reads like it was written by one person.

A friend of mine has 7-12 (can't figure out how many) accounts on Wikipedia. One of his hobbies is to go on Wikipedia to:

Do exactly this, tidy articles and help flow.

Fix grammar and spelling.

Several accounts for specific topical research and source adding. (He has access to research/academic databases most don't)

Add picture examples to articles.

Etc. Etc.

It's ridiculous. He's the smartest man I know, but his hobbies are so strange.

I assume you can only edit so many things per account per time frame to stop wide spread vandalism? Pure speculation though.

Why does he need so many?

For real though, Wikipedia seems to be the only thing that many people have contributed to that hasn't been totally fucked up and vandalised in the process.

People probably go through them and edit them to make sense and be grammatically acceptable.

Hi Spez

As a long time Wikipedia editor, thank you. It's not easy, and there is a lot more fighting behind the scenes than you would think.

Oh, it has been...It's just not like that for long. People don't (and shouldn't) take too kindly to others messing with their hard work and research.

This is probably it, I've had my account frozen for a time period after making a lot of edits, like with comments on Reddit

Big Wikipedia nerd here, and this isn't the case at all. I'm not sure if there are limits for brand new accounts, but once your account is autoconfirmed (which happens once your account is at least 4 days old and has at least 10 edits), there are no limits on edit speed.

If you really get on a roll with automation tools like Twinkle or Cat-a-lot (which require no special permission), you might end up making hundreds or even thousands of edits per hour. I use both of those tools regularly and I've never run up against any rate-limiting.

I have no idea why NewToThePCRace's friend would need so many accounts; sounds like he might be a master of puppets.

There are actually hordes of people who tidy up the articles to sound similar. They are also presented in a very simple style with as few adjectives and adverbs as possible

Thank you for your service -Every student ever

Wikipedia researcher here. The reason he may have multiple editing accounts is to protect him from harassment on Wikipedia by having disgruntled editors on an article troll through his editing history.

In case most have not heard, Wikipedia has a very toxic editing culture.

That and algorithms make it easy to instantly catch 90% of fraudulent edits.

/u/spez is really an absolutely great guy. He's my favorite admin in the whole world.

Actually, that's fun.

1) Open a random article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random

2) Read it, and fix things you see (might be a missing coma, might be a double space, might be the article is your specific area of interest and you add a bunch of stuff)

3) Learn a lot of interesting stuff and help the community

Edit: I get it guys, don't fix missing comas. That's why I only do this in my native language.

[citation needed]

Assuming you're not joking, Wikipedia has a number of bots which look for and fix vandalism and other problems.


Back in my day, we didn't have Wikipedia. We just made shit up because we knew teachers wouldn't read it anyway.

It was really fun back in 2002 when I first started editing. You could pick a random topic like lemurs and it was a stub, if it existed at all. I created many articles from scratch, every now and again I go back and look at some of the articles I helped to create and am blown away over how comprehensive they are now thanks to random internet people adding to them over the last 15 years.


i never really have much to contribute to wikipedia in the form of information, but if i see a sentence that's poorly structured or find any blatant spelling/grammatical errors, i'll edit them to fix it. i can't imagine i'm alone in that.

Only time I edited Wikipedia was once as a kid. "Jigglypuff is a Pokemon who likes nachos."

And then you contest the bot's edit and a real person reviews the contention and approves your edit. This system is better for keeping out vandalism than the alternative: only reviewing reports of vandalism or editing out what vandalism you do see.

Write the intro Write the conclusion Talk about your cat for 1000 words in the middle

Until you get to the occasional article where the person it's about is clearly also the person who wrote it.

I thought we were trying to avoid comas as a whole.

I've done it a few times, but other than when my friend went to the Olympics and I was super proud of him, I've never added any content either.

This shower thought is a stub. You can help Reddit by expanding it.

Post your user and I'll stalk it

sounds like he might be a master of puppets.


They're actually too effective in many cases, preventing legitimate edits.

It depends. From subject to subject, I've noticed a lot of variability - especially when it pertains to people still alive or technical subjects.

Some people help at a soup kitchen. I fix grammar, punctuation, and style problems with Wikipedia articles. It all adds up.

If you insist ;)

And use good formatting. One thing I've learned in my many years is that everyone can appreciate a polished turd.

Thank him for me , will you ?

Countering vandalism is at the core of the project and part of the maintenance effort. Some highly visible or controversial articles have restrictions on who can modify, you can register on modifications on articles you cherish (when you login you get a "watchlist" tab), etc.

In middle school I edited the marijuana page and said, "Weed is goooood." It could be searched for a whole 5 minutes.

I am a strong supporter of the Oxford comma.


A friend and I kept editing Mitt Romney's page to replace "Mormon" with "SuperMormon" back in high school. I think we got it to stick for like 12 minutes once. We eventually got our school's IP banned from editing.

Teachers still don't read it. They just make sure you didn't cite Wikipedia as a source.

As an editor... it really isn't that bad. I've never had anyone stalk my editing history, and only once had an issue.

Wikipedia administrator here. There's no such per-account limit. Actually, editing under multiple accounts is called "sockpuppeting" and is strongly discouraged, and sockpuppeters are frequently banned if they are using multiple accounts for nefarious purposes. The general rule on Wikipedia is "one editor, one account".

I don't know why his friend is using multiple accounts. He shouldn't be.

Some of Wikipedia's editing tools are borderline bots. For example, I use Twinkle. It automatically calls to my attention any recent edits the AI thinks might be vandalism. If I agree, then I click a single button, and the tool corrects the vandalism, then sends an automated warning message to vandal; the type and severity of the warning message depends on that specific vandal's history and other warnings he's already gotten.

i know thαt gets on my lαst nerve

Last time I edited an article on Wikipedia, I fixed two spelling errors, and rearranged the words in a single sentence to be more grammatically correct. My edit note said something like "minor spelling and grammar errors corrected". It was immediately reverted, with a nasty note from the person who had introduced those errors. When I say immediately, I mean in under a minute. What the hell, people.

What I said actually counts as human edits (the tool uses my account to do everything, not a bot account.) And yes, there are also a ton of bots that mostly work without human supervision. Most instances of vandalism are never seen by a human, because there's a countervandalism bot (a neural network) that works independently and will automatically fix anything it's sure about. And of course there are bots doing a lot of other little tasks as well. Fixing broken links, archiving old discussions, and so on.

And yeah, it's really interesting. You can check the percentage of human vs. bot edits in real time. At the time of this post, it's 54% bots.

That's pretty cool. So I imagine a vast majority of Wikipedia edits are then automated by bots but supervised by humans. If that doesn't sound like the future, I don't know what does. Wikipedia is a great thing.

fuck that man

The general rule on Wikipedia is "one editor, one account".


Accounts for (approved) bots Accounts that you created in multiple language versions, which are now global accounts Accounts for special tasks, e. g. Wikimedia employees separating job and private editing An account without special rights if you are administrator but don't trust the computer you are using An account if you want to make good edits but don't want your main account associated to the article topic for privacy concerns ...

As long as it doesn't harm, there is nothing wrong with more than one account. 7-12 looks excessive however.

"In addition to winning bronze in the 100m, he pissed his pants at recess in 3rd grade[4] ."

Whatever happened to us prefixing edits as "SPEZ:" instead of "EDIT:"?

SPEZ: Seems like some people still want it. Make it happen guys, lets Streisand the fuck out of this.

No. Not at all.

Your a's are weird.

'I' should always be capitalised.

Because the purpose of writing those types of research papers before college is more about teaching you to do research and collect and organize information than it is about the cultural importance of dragons in China or whatever else you wrote about. If you use only one source, and you use the same source for every different type of research that you do, you're not learning how to do research.

Yes, my teachers gave me the same line about "you can't trust wikipedia," but I'm pretty sure that reading a wikipedia page about your research topic is the absolute base level of research that you can do, and they want you to do more than that.

Also I need your social security number.

Fun fact: The entire merchandising joke was because George Lucas allowed Spaceballs to be made on the condition no merchandise was made. He also had ILM do the special effects for Spaceballs for free.

Idk that's how I always write them

IIRC wikipedia has some sort of approval system if you make many good corrections etc...

I need a hobby and this actually sounds like fun.....

he really does tho

fuck, that man or fuck that, man?

Apparently you haven't yet visited the dark corners of Wikipedia.

Logging into wikipedia. Now that is something you don't see often.

Part of it might be it's a good way to learn things you otherwise wouldn't.

When I want to learn about something (for fun), I can go to Wikipedia and read. But he probably won't learn much if he reads them, but he will if he writes them.

I was able to temporarily raid the Spaceballs page and retitle all the sections as "Spaceballs: The ..."

It was very quickly changed back but not before I was able to screenshot it.

Thanks to people like you, my school had the same thing happen. The talk page is a mile long with the stupid crap we've done.

On the bright side, I'm GIPBE, so I'd be fine.

Huh... you know until now I just assumed all Jigglypuffs were girls. Despite the fact that this makes no sense, I never once questioned it.

Oh I agree! I was just pointing out that the bots are very effective.

All of the other comments here are onto something (except for that guy overreacting about feminists), but it's also like how most shower thoughts sound as if they could be written by the guy above them and so on. Formatting

Your address works too.

Clicked on link, got a page about polish hip hop.

I don't know what I expected to be honest.

Eh, I'm mostly joking. Bad articles get fixed surprisingly quickly.

I forget what I was looking at, but every now and then I come across a page with large sections of uncited material, bad grammar, confusing language, or just organizational issues. Like I said, they get corrected pretty fast.


you fucking liar

I responded further down but mainly to keep himself organized. He writes and edits topically to stay on topic or in genre! It's pretty neat the way he does his system.

Mine just said "you have to use at least x number of sources" or, in the case of my least favorite teacher "you have to use at least 6 sources, and only two can be online." You know, because the school library has such a wealth of up-to-date source material.

True. I would go on Wikipedia for research but never cite it as a source. I'd go to the bottom at the references and start from there.

Some pokemon do only exist as one gender or have no gender.

More like 1meta1fast.

Which is fucking stupid. Why do you care where I get my info from if it's accurate? Sure, it sounds generic, but it is a fact, so whether I got it in a book, Wikipedia or from a drunk homeless guy down the street shouldn't matter.


The global IP block exemption is a global group that allows users to bypass global IP blocks and rangeblocks. This permission is only assigned to users that have demonstrated a need for it, and usually on a temporary basis. Users may request access to global-ipblock-exempt at Steward requests/Global permissions.

This permission allows the user to bypass global IP blocks and rangeblocks, but not local IP blocks and rangeblocks; for which a local IP block exemption is needed.

It's usually more of an issue if you bother someone's pet project or hang around controversial topics.

A lot of people don't realize this, but there are bots on Wikipedia that exist just to reverse vandalism

In middle school when we all had to write about a single topic (I think it was E Coli) we were all taken to the library to use the computers to research. First thing I did was edit the E Coli wikipedia page and put in some misleading but seemingly true stuff in the first section of the page. A couple of my edits showed up when everyone presented later it was great.

Accounts that are disclosed as being owned by the same editor don't really count, which applies to most of your bullet points. Bot accounts, for example, are required to list their owner (mine do). So that's not really "multiple accounts" in the sense that the sockpuppetry rule discourages.

/sub/til that Wikipedia has automated, and near-automated checks for vandalism that ensure accurate information. Neat.

You spend time on Wikipedia? Username does not check out.

A comma is not a guide of when to pause when reading the sentence out loud. There are specific rules associated with when to use them and most people include too many in their formal writing.

He is so smart because his hobbies involve increasing his knowledge lol

Well to be fair, wikipedia is just a collection of sources that you could have otherwise found yourself


αs fuck

And quite often, people use too few. For example, the rule is to use a comma between two independent clauses. So:

There are specific rules associated with when to use them, and most people include too many in their formal writing.

FTFY. See, right there between "them" and "and"?

Edit: Arg, formatting mistake.

semicolons, colons, em dashes, and periods.

I see you are a fan of the Oxford comma. Keep up the good work.

That is one awesome internet story.

And your mom's maiden name, and not cause I want to steal your ID, I want to find OP's mom for personal reasons.

I prefer, the, Walken, comma.


I notice a few differences at points. Sometimes an article seems more conversational than usual, for example. But Wikipedia has a well defined structure to its pages which makes them all read similarly, especially at the start. It leads to some interesting effects - google Getting to Philosophy.

Example please?

I agree. Some articles have very distinct voices throughout.

Can confirm. Although I have contributed some content to Wikipedia, the overwhelming majority of my edits are simple punctuation or grammar corrections, or style tweaks.

How often do you help make them better?

Fuckin' a man

My first edit was in 2002. It's crazy to think that it's been 15 years now. I've been editing Wikipedia for almost half my life.