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The policy states that an editor must not perform more than three reversions, in whole or in part, on a single Wikipedia article within a 24 hour period. This does not imply that reverting three times or fewer 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.
For the purposes of counting reverts, these are excluded:
- correction of simple vandalism. (Note that the test applied to determine simple vandalism is usually quite strict; adding or removing POV tags is not simple vandalism.)
- removing posts made by a banned or blocked user
Using sockpuppets (multiple accounts) to avoid this limit is a violation of WP:SOCK, 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 (or more) competing versions is correct. Template:Associations/Wikipedia Bad Things
Reverting, in this context, means undoing the actions of another editor or other editors in whole or part. It does not necessarily mean taking a previous version from history and editing that. A revert may involve as little as adding or deleting a few words or even one word. Even if you are making other changes at the same time, continually undoing other editors' work counts as reverting. "Complex partial reverts" refer to reverts that remove or re-add only some of the disputed material while adding new material at the same time; this is often done in an effort to disguise the reverting. This type of edit counts toward 3RR.
Use common sense; don't participate in an edit war. Rather than exceeding the three-revert limit, discuss the matter with other editors. If any of them come close to breaching the policy themselves, this may indicate that the page should be protected until disputes are resolved.
The policy is applied independently to each page; reversions are not counted cumulatively across multiple pages. For example, if an editor 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 not apply to self-reverts, correcting simple vandalism, reversions for the purpose of maintenance (such as on the Introduction or the Sandbox), or reverting the edits of a banned or blocked user.
This policy does apply to repeatedly moving, renaming, deleting, undeleting, or recreating a page. All of these, if done excessively, are forms of edit warring.
Note: There is no requirement for the reverts to be related: any four reverts on the same page count.
For the purpose of counting reverts, consecutive edits by the same editor are considered to be one; thus if an editor makes three separate successive edits, each of which reverts a different section, but with no intervening edits by other editors, this is counted as one revert.
Intent of the policyEdit
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 necessarily mean that they will be blocked. Equally, reverting fewer than four times may result in a block depending on context.
It is strongly recommended that you revert any particular change no more than once (see Harmonious editing club).
Blocking is always preventative, not punitive. Historical incidents are of no interest — please do not report anything other than current and ongoing problems.
In general, blocking is the preferred solution to repeat vandalism originating from a single user or IP. Where an article is drawing vandalism from multiple sources, making blocking ineffective, page protection should be used unless there is genuine potential that useful editing would be affected.
Therefore, repeated reversion of an article to deal with vandalism is a last resort.
In cases of vandalism that is clearly not a content dispute, the three-revert rule does not apply.
Potentially libellous materialEdit
All users are encouraged to remove any unsourced or poorly sourced derogatory information present on a biography of a living person or the associated talk page. As with vandalism, the repeated addition of such material is best dealt with by blocking and page protection.
The three-revert rule does not apply to users making a good-faith effort to enforce this provision on articles where they are not already involved in a content dispute.
The 3RR is generally not enforced against editors reverting changes to their own user page space (this includes associated talk pages and subpages), on the principle that although you do not own them, your user space is "yours" (for project-related purposes). Exceptions to this rule-of-thumb can occur in the case of editors identified by administrators, the arbitration committee, or developers, as sockpuppets, where the sockpuppet tag is continually removed from the user page by the user. Another exception is the repeated removals of valid warnings still in effect from user talk pages. The 3RR rule may be enforced in these situations.
It is usually considered bad form to remove comments (other than personal attacks) from your Talk page except to archive them.
Except in cases of spam and vandalism, an administrator should not block users for 3RR if they themselves have reverted that user's edits on that page due to a content dispute. Instead, administrators in this situation should make a request at the administrators' noticeboard if they believe 3RR has been broken.
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 Wikipedia 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. See 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 rulings by the Arbitration Committee. 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?Edit
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 you (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 Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/3RR; for more serious cases, to the "use of administrator privileges" section in Wikipedia:Requests for comment.
I've broken 3RR, What do I do?Edit
If you've broken 3RR by mistake and now realise it, or if another user has left you a talk page note pointing out that you've broken 3RR, then you can self-revert your change back to the "other version". In general, this will be enough to prevent you being blocked (though there are no guarantees).
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