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The Three-revert rule (or 3RR) is an official policy which applies to all Wookieepedians. The policy states that an editor must not perform more than three reversions on a single Wookieepedia article within 24 hours of their first reversion. (This does not apply to self-reverts or correction of simple vandalism). This does not imply that reverting three times or less is acceptable. In excessive cases, people can be blocked for edit warring or disruption even if they do not revert more than three times per day.
Using sockpuppets (multiple accounts) is not a legitimate way to avoid this limit, and the policy specifically does not apply to groups. Any reversions beyond this limit should be performed by somebody else, to serve the vital purpose of showing that the community at large is in agreement over which of two competing versions is correct.
Before exceeding the three reversion limit, please discuss the matter with other Wookieepedians whom you respect. If any of these Wookieepedians become at risk of breaching the policy themselves, this indicates that the relevant page should be protected until such time as any disputes are resolved.
The policy is independently applied to each page; reversions are not counted cumulatively across multiple pages. For example, if a Wookieepedian performs three reversions on each of two articles within 24 hours, that editor's six reversions do not constitute a violation of this policy.
This policy does apply to repeatedly moving, renaming, deleting, undeleting, or recreating a page. All of those, if done excessively, are forms of edit warring.
Reverting doesn't only mean taking a previous version from history and editing that. It means undoing the actions of another editor, and may include edits that mostly undo a previous edit and also add something new, page moving, admin actions such as protection, etc. Use common sense.
Intent of the policy
The three-revert rule is not an entitlement, but an "electric fence"; the 3RR is intended to stop edit wars. It does not grant users an inalienable right to three reverts every 24 hours or endorse reverts as an editing technique. Persistent reversion remains strongly discouraged and is unlikely to constitute working properly with others.
The fact that users may be blocked for excessive reverting does not imply that they will be blocked. The admins are under no obligation to block a user for breaking the 3RR, for instance if they see that the problem has been resolved in another manner.
Some users recommend spacing out your reverts to one per day (see Harmonious editing club):
- The other person might see the light of reason.
- You might realize that the other person was right!
- Others can easily step in and try to help.
- A day is much easier to apply than a 24-hour period. By limiting yourself to one revert per day, you avoid the risk of accidentally reverting four times in a 24-hour period.
Reverting and vandalism
If you find yourself reverting a considerable number of edits by a banned user or a vandal, it may be appropriate to block the user or IP address. If you are not an administrator, you should list the person on vandalism in progress. If you are an administrator, you should block the user in accordance with the blocking policy. Jimbo Wales has said:
The three revert rule is not generally considered to apply to reversions of simple vandalism by users who are waiting for a sysop to block the IP, of course. Generally, sysops need not revert a simple vandal even twice, because they should have been blocked already by that time. (However, sometimes sysops will validly choose not to block the IP out of a fear of affecting innocent users.) But in some cases, it can happen that simple vandalism makes it through three reverts; the rule should not be interpreted to mean that such vandalism must be left standing by a user who has already reverted three times. Use this exception cautiously—it is better to just make sure the vandal is blocked when possible. And make sure it's simple vandalism by the usual definition.
This exception does not apply to reversions of well-established users just because you consider their edits to be "vandalism". Simple vandalism is indisputable; don't confuse it with edits which you simply disagree with.
The 3RR is generally not enforced against editors reverting changes to their own user page space, on the principle that your user space is yours (for project-related purposes). Exceptions to this rule-of-thumb can occur in the case of editors identified by admins, the arbitration committee, or developers, as sockpuppets, where the sockpuppet tag is continually removed from the user page by the user. The 3RR rule may be enforced in that situation.
A vote passed to give further enforcement power to this rule:
If you violate the three-revert rule, after your fourth revert in 24 hours, sysops may block you for up to 24 hours. In the cases where multiple parties violate the rule, administrators should treat all sides equally.
Additionally, this rule is enforced by:
- Educating users who may not be aware of good Wookieepedia practice in the matter.
- Peer pressure and leadership by example.
- Where pages are protected due to revert wars, admins may protect pages on the version disliked by those who have engaged in excessive reverts. This is believed by some to be a recent change to the protection policy. The admin also has the option to protect the current version, thereby maintaining a sense of neutrality.
Violations of the three-revert policy can be brought to the attention of administrators at the Administrators' noticeboard.
Chronic offenders may be subject to longer bans from administrators. This can also apply to those that try to "game" the rule on a regular basis, such as by making fourth reversions just outside the 24-hour time period, or by making complex reverts which attempt to disguise the restoration of the editor's preferred wording.
Administrators blocked under this provision must not unblock themselves.
Blocks may be lifted at admin discretion if the infringing editor expresses regret for having broken the rule.
I've been blocked under 3RR! What do I do?
First, check if you actually did make a fourth revert in 24 hours or very close to it.
- If you didn't, you should email the admin who blocked your account (or another admin), politely point this out and ask to be unblocked.
- If you did, you should either wait the 24 hours, or email the admin who blocked you (or another admin), acknowledge your error, and ask to be unblocked. (They may, of course, choose not to.)
Some admins look at the quality of the edits in question. Others do not.
Note that historically, public denunciation of the blocking admin has tended not to gain sympathy. You can, however, report cases of egregious misapplication of this rule to Administrators' noticeboard. If you are unable to do so due to a block, please e-mail a Wookieepedia administrator or bureaucrat who has enabled e-mail from users or log into Wookieepedia's IRC channel. Admins will review your case and act appropriately.