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A revert is the undoing of all changes made to an article page after a specific time in the past. The result will be that the page becomes identical in content to the page saved at that earlier time. However, in the context of the Wookieepedia three-revert rule, a revert is defined far more broadly as any change to an article that partially or completely goes back to any older version of an article. A partial revert is accomplished either by an ordinary edit of the current version, or by editing an old version. The former is convenient, for example, for a partial reversion of a recent addition. On the other hand, the latter is convenient for a partial reversion of a deletion. It is normally advised to take reverting seriously and it should be considered to improve the article rather than resort to a reversion.

Below is some Wikipedia-oriented text on reversion.

When to revertEdit

DoEdit

  • Reverting is a decision which should be taken seriously.
  • Reverting is used primarily for fighting vandalism, or anything very similar to the effects of vandalism.
  • If you are not sure whether a revert is appropriate, discuss it first rather than immediately reverting or deleting it.
  • If you feel the edit is unsatisfactory, improve it rather than simply reverting or deleting it.

Do notEdit

  • Do not simply revert changes that are made as part of a dispute. Be respectful to other editors, their contributions and their points of view.
  • Do not revert good faith edits. In other words, try to consider the editor "on the other end." If what one is attempting is a positive contribution to Wikipedia, a revert of those contributions is inappropriate unless, and only unless, you as an editor possess firm, substantive, and objective proof to the contrary. Mere disagreement is not such proof. See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Assume good faith.
  • Generally there are misconceptions that problematic sections of an article or recent changes are the reasons for reverting or deletion. If they contain valid information, these texts should simply be edited and improved accordingly. Reverting is not a decision which should be taken lightly.
  • There's sometimes trouble determining whether some claim is true or useful, particularly when there are few people "on board" who are knowledgeable about the topic. In such a case, it's a good idea to raise objections on a talk page; if one has some reason to believe that the author of what appears to be biased material will not be induced to change it, editors have sometimes taken the step of transferring the text in question to the talk page itself, thus not deleting it entirely. This action should be taken more or less as a last resort, never as a way of punishing people who have written something biased. See also Wookieepedia:Neutral point of view.
  • Do not revert changes simply because someone makes an edit you consider problematic, biased, or inaccurate. Improve the edit, rather than reverting it.

How to revertEdit

Manual methodEdit

  • Go to the page, click on "history" at the top ("Page history" in some skins), and click on the time and date of the earlier version to which you wish to revert.
  • Then when that page comes up, you'll see something like "(Revision as of 22:19 Aug 15, 2002)" below the title and beneath "From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki."
  • Verify that you've selected the correct version, and click to edit the page, as you would normally. Important: in the case of vandalism, take the time to make sure that you are reverting to the last version without the vandalism; there may be multiple consecutive vandal edits.
  • You'll get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.
  • After heeding the warning, save the page. Be sure to add the word "revert" and a brief explanation for the revert to the edit summary. Some Wookieepedians abbreviate "revert" as "rv" and "rvv" when reverting vandalism. A useful addition is to Wikilink the usernames associated with the versions you are reverting from and to. For example, a good edit summary would be

    rv edits by 219.148.86.36 to last version by David Shear <p>or <p><center> rvv edits by 219.148.86.36 to last version by David Shear <p>
The clickable links are created by entering [[User:Username|Username]] (replacing Username with the real IP address or Username for logged-in users, and replacing Username with their real username). Thus for an edit summary that reverts vandalism you would typed exactly:<p>
rvv edits by [[User:219.148.86.36|219.148.86.36]] to last version by [[User:David_Shear|David Shear]]

  • Click on "history" again. A new line will have been added, and you will be able to verify (by clicking on "last") that you undid the vandalism plus all subsequent bona fide edits, if any. You are responsible for re-doing all the subsequent edits constructive which you undid.
  • In a vandalism case where sections of text were simply deleted and then subsequent edits were made by others, it may be easier for you to cut and paste those missing sections of text back in than to revert and then re-do the edits.
  • Check the contribution history of the user who vandalized the article. (Click on the IP address for anonymous users or the "contribs" for registered users. If this user is vandalizing many articles, please report them to Wookieepedia:Vandalism in progress.

UndoEdit

Instead of removing all changes after a certain version, the latest versions of MediaWiki allow a single edit or set of contiguous edits to be undone. To do this, view the diff for the edit, and click on 'undo' above the newer version. The software will attempt to create an edit page with a version of the article in which the undone edit doesn't exist but all later edits are retained. The automatic edit summary added when using the undo feature can be found at MediaWiki:Undo-summary.

This feature removes the need to manually redo useful changes since the "undone" edit. However, it will fail if undoing the edit would conflict with later edits. For example, if edit 1000 adds a paragraph and edit 1005 modifies that paragraph, it will be impossible to automatically undo edit 1000. In this case, you must determine how to resolve the problem manually.

Admin featuresEdit

RollbackEdit

On the user contributions page, admins have the additional "rollback" links at lines which are the last edit made by anybody to that article. The rollback link is also shown on the diff page when viewing the difference between any version of the page and the most recent one. Clicking on the link reverts to the previous edit not authored by the last editor, with an automatic edit summary of "Reverted edits by X (talk) to last version by Y," which marks the edit as "minor." If, between loading the User Contributions page and pressing "rollback," someone else edits or rolls back the page, or if there was no previous editor, you will get an error message.

The rollback link on the diff page is somewhat misleading because reversion is not necessarily to the old version shown (the diff page may show the combined result of edits including some by other editors, or only part of the edits the rollback button would revert). To see the changes the rollback button would revert, view the corresponding diff page.

Rollbacks should be used with caution and restraint, in part because they leave no explanation for the revert in the edit summary. Reverting a good-faith edit may therefore send the message that "I think your edit was no better than vandalism and doesn't deserve even the courtesy of an explanation." It is a slap in the face to a good-faith editor. If you use the rollback feature for anything other than vandalism or for reverting yourself, it's polite to leave an explanation on the article talk page, or on the talk page of the user whose edit(s) you reverted.

Bot rollbackEdit

In cases of flood vandalism, admins may choose to hide vandalism from recent changes. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the URL used to access a user's contributions. For example, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Contributions&target=SomePersistentVandal&bot=1.

When the rollback links on the contributions list are clicked, the revert, and the original edit that you are reverting will both be hidden from recent changes unless you click the "bots" link to set hidebots=0. The edits are not hidden from contributions lists, page histories or watchlists. The edits remain in the database and are not removed, but they no longer flood Recent Changes. The aim of this feature is to reduce the annoyance factor of a flood vandal with relatively little effort. This should not be used for reverting a change you just don't like, but is meant only for massive floods of simple vandalism.

Revert wars considered harmfulEdit

ReasonsEdit

Revert wars are usually considered harmful for the following reasons:

  1. They disrespect the work of the contributor. Being reverted can feel a bit like a slap in the face: "I worked hard on those edits, and someone just rolled it all back"
  2. They cause ill-will between users and negatively destabilize articles
  3. They make the page history less useful, waste space in the database
  4. They make it hard for other people to contribute, and flood recent changes and watchlists

Editors are discouraged to revert because there is disagreement, or the edit is bad or problematic. Users are encouraged to explore alternate methods like raising the objections on a talk page, or following the processes in dispute resolution.

Three revert ruleEdit

In consideration of the harm of reverting, Wookieepedia policy states that you may not revert any article more than three times in the same day. This is a very strict limit, not a given right; you should not revert any one article more than three times daily.

Explain revertsEdit

When a revert is necessary, it is very important to let people know why you reverted. This helps the reverted person because they can remake their edit, but fixing whatever problem it is that you've identified.

Explaining reverts also helps other people. For example, it lets people know whether they need to even view the reverted version (in the case of, eg, "rv page blanking"). Because of the lack of non-verbal communication online, if you don't explain things clearly people will probably assume all kinds of nasty things, and that's one of the possible causes for edit wars.

If your reasons for reverting are too complex to explain in the edit summary, drop a note on the Talk page. A nice thing to do is to drop the note on the Talk page first, and then revert, rather than the other way round. Sometimes the other person will agree with you and revert for you before you have a chance. Conversely, if someone reverts your change without apparent explanation, you may wish to wait a few minutes to see if they explain their actions on the article's talk page or your user talk page.

ExceptionsEdit

Edits that don't contribute to edit warring are generally considered to be exceptions to the 3-revert rule. Such edits may include reverts of obvious vandalism, reverts of banned users, or removal of potentially libelous text. See Wookieepedia:Three-revert rule#Exceptions for a fuller explanation.

Please request protection rather than reverting. Violation of this rule may lead to protection of the page on the version preferred by the non-violating party; blocking; or investigation by the Arbitration Committee.

Reverting is the ability to return a page to its previous state. All versions of a page are stored in the history of a page, so it is easy to revert a bad edit and return the page to its previous state.

Step by step

All users have the ability to revert to a previous version of a page.

One edit reversion

Reverting with undo

The undo link is located at the end of the line for each edit

If you would like to undo just one edit you simply need to:

  • Go to the history of the page
  • Next to the edit summary is a link that says Undo, click on this and you will be brought to the edit window, which shows the difference in edits on top.
  • Leave an edit summary and then hit save, and the edit will be un-done.

Multi edit reversion

This allows you to return to a specific version of the page, undoing multiple edits.

  • Go to the history of the page
  • Click on the time and date of the earlier version you want to revert to.
  • Then when that page comes up, you'll see something like "(Revision as of 23:19 Aug 15, 2002)" below the title.
  • Verify that you've selected the correct version, and click to edit the page, as you would normally.
  • You'll get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.
  • Important: in the case of vandalism, take the time to make sure that you are reverting to the last version without the vandalism; there may be multiple vandal edits.
  • Once you are sure the revision you are looking at is good, save the page. Be sure to add the word "revert" to the edit summary (often abbreviated as "rv"). On some wikias it is common practice to mention the date/time of the version of the page that you're reverting back to in the description as well.

Notes

  • You should always explain why you are reverting an article. This helps the reverted person to fix whatever problem it is that you've identified and explains to other people whether they need to even view the reverted version. If your reasons for reverting are too complex to explain in the edit summary, explain it on the talk page, and add "See talk page" in the edit summary.
  • Revert wars - where two or more editors revert each other's edits over and over - are a bad idea. High-frequency reversion wars make the page history less useful, make it hard for other people to contribute, and flood recent changes and followed pages. Unless it's simple vandalism, when someone undoes a reversion you've made, you should stop and talk to them using the article talk page or their user talk page before reverting again. Assume good faith, communicate the problem you see in their edit, and you will almost always be able to find a compromise that allows editing on the article to move forward without further disruption.

What is rollback, and how do I use it?

Reverting with rollback

The rollback link is located before the undo button.

Administrators and users with rollback rights have an extra "rollback" link on diff pages and on user contributions lists that lets them revert vandalism faster, without the extra steps of going to the page history and opening an earlier revision. The feature is especially useful in the case of a known vandal, whose edits don't need to be checked before being reverted.

  • Clicking on the link reverts to the last edit not authored by the user concerned. An edit summary will be added automatically stating that a reversion was made, and the edit will be marked as minor.
  • Only use this for reverting vandalism. It should not be used to revert an edit that you merely disagree with.
  • If between loading the User Contributions page and pressing rollback, someone else has edited or rolled back the page already, the message 'Rollback failed' will display with an explanation of the problem.
  • If the page has been created by a malicious user and nobody else has edited the page, clicking the rollback link gives the message 'Cannot revert edit; last contributor is only author of this article' . In this case delete the page, or replace the content with something appropriate to the page name if possible.

Can I hide flood vandalism reverts from recent changes?

A "flood" occurs when a vandal makes edits to many pages very quickly in an attempt to make the recent changes page unusable, by filling it with their own nonsense edits (and the reversions which fix the damage). In these cases, admins can choose to hide vandalism from recent changes. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the url used to access a user's contributions. For example, http://community.wikia.com/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=SomePersistentVandal&bot=1. When the rollback links on the contributions list are clicked, the revert, and the original edit that you are reverting will both be hidden from the default recent changes display.

This means that they will be hidden unless you click the "show bots" link on the Recent changes page (to set hidebots=0). The edits are not hidden from contributions lists, page histories or followed pages. The edits remain in the database and are not removed, but they no longer flood recent changes. The aim of this feature is to reduce the annoyance factor of a flood vandal with relatively little effort. This should not be used for reverting a change you just don't like, but is meant only for massive floods of simple vandalism.

See also

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