Policy:Three-revert rule

Alert icon blue.svg This Policy is still under Construction
This page presents an incomplete BTW policy. Until it is completed, it has not become official. Feel free to take part in the talk page.

Nutshell.png This page in a nutshell: Edit warring is not productive. Editors who revert a page in whole or in part more than three times in 24 hours, except in certain special circumstances, are likely to be blocked from editing.

The Three-revert rule (or 3RR) is an official policy which applies to all Editors. 3RR violations are reported here.

The policy states that an editor must not perform more than three reversions, in whole or in part, on a single BattleTechWiki page within a 24 hour period. This does not imply that reverting three times or fewer is acceptable. Users may be blocked for edit warring or disruption even if they do not revert more than three times per day.

Using sock puppets (multiple accounts owned by a single user) to avoid this limit is a violation of BattleTechWiki:SOCK, but the policy does not apply to groups. Any reversions beyond this limit should be performed by other users. This collaboration between agreeing users is intended to demonstrate that the community at large is in agreement over which of two (or more) competing versions is most accurate.


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 (or punctuation mark). 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, which is often done in an effort to disguise the reverting. This type of edit counts toward 3RR, regardless of the editor's intention.

Use common sense; do not 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, reverting the edits of a banned or blocked user, or other specific scenarios listed in the Exceptions section below.

This policy does apply to repeatedly moving, deleting, undeleting, or recreating a page. All of these, if done excessively, are forms of edit warring; repeatedly deleting or undeleting is considered wheel warring.

Note: There is no requirement for the reverts to be related: any four reverts on the same page count.

Intent of the policy[edit]

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. Furthermore, making reversions just outside of the twenty four hour "deadline" may still result in a block; Wikipedians take a dim view of people attempting to wikilawyer or game the system.

If you find you have reverted a page even once in a day it may be a sign there is a problem and you should try dispute resolution, starting always with the article's talk page.

It is strongly recommended that you revert any particular change no more than once.

Historical incidents are of no interest — please do not report anything other than current and ongoing problems.


Reverts that are not contentious and don't contribute to edit warring are generally considered to be exceptions to the three-revert rule. When claiming a revert is not contentious based on one of the types of non-contentious reverts below (reverting edits made by a banned user, for example) it is wise to include a note on the talk page explaining this, because the blocking admins may not be familiar with the dispute. Note that wikilawyering in an attempt to stretch reverts to 'arguably fit' one of the exceptions below is frowned upon and should be avoided.

Reverting without edit warring[edit]

As the purpose of this policy is to prevent edit warring, it should not be taken to apply in cases where it is clear that no edit warring has taken place. For instance, 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. Likewise, if there are intervening edits but they are clearly unrelated or non-contentious, such as a bot adding an interwiki link to a foreign language version of the page, this does not increase the 'revert count'.

Self reverts[edit]

Sometimes users will revert one of their own edits because they discovered they were in error or changed their mind. This is not counted as a revert for purposes of determining 3RR violations. Indeed, self-reverting may actually allow a user to avoid a block for 3RR violation. See, "I've violated 3RR. What do I do?" below.

Reverting edits from banned or blocked users[edit]

Editors who have been banned from editing particular pages, or banned or blocked from BattleTechWiki in general, and who continue to edit anyway, either directly or through a sock-puppet, may be reverted without the reverts counting towards the limit established by this policy.

Reverting pages in your user space[edit]

The 3RR is generally not enforced against editors reverting changes to user page space accorded them (this includes associated talk pages and subpages), on the principle that although you do not own it, your user space is "yours" (for project-related purposes).

Some people consider it bad form to remove comments (other than personal attacks) from your Talk page except to archive them. Other people with very busy talk pages (such as Jimbo Wales) remove every comment once it is read. Such comments stay in page history.

When in doubt, currently it is unfortunately unwise to revert. Wikilawyering over reversions in your user area have been interpreted as disruption on either side.

Reverting for maintenance[edit]

There are a few pages, such as the Introduction or the Sandbox, which new users are encouraged to edit, but which must then be periodically 'cleaned up' to clear out accumulated comments and/or restore instructions. In addition, putting up/removing {{backlog}}, {{adminbacklog}}, or other uncontroversial tags (not involved in a content dispute) are not contentious. Reverting such pages to the 'clean' form for maintenance purposes is not contentious.

Reverting simple vandalism[edit]

In general, reverts that, in the judgement of the reviewing administrator, are reverts of simple, obvious vandalism (e.g. graffiti, link spam) are not considered to be contentious. Still, repeated reversion against vandalism should be avoided. Blocking is the preferred solution to repeat vandalism originating from a single user or IP, and page protection is the preferred solution to repeat vandalism from multiple sources. Non-administrators, who cannot block users or protect pages, may make requests for blocking of vandals at Administrator intervention against vandalism, and requests for protection at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. Repeated reversion of an article to deal with vandalism should be considered a last resort.

Note that reverts in edit wars in which one side describes the other side's edits as vandalism are generally not only contentious reverts, but are also assumptions of bad faith. Blocking can be expected in such cases.

Reverting potentially libellous material[edit]

All users are encouraged to remove unsourced or poorly sourced blatantly defamatory, potentially libellous information about living persons, whether within a biography of a living person or elsewhere, including associated talk pages. As with vandalism, the repeated addition of such material is best dealt with by blocking and page protection, and repeated reversion should be used only as a last resort. Reverts made to enforce this provision are generally not considered contentious, because they are necessary. However, it can be easy to confuse removing potentially libellous material with an edit war over neutrality issues, which are contentious edits. Err on the side of caution: do not repeatedly remove material you consider defamatory unless it is blatant, and seek intervention from others early at Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard.


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, or longer in the case of a repeat violation. 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' 3RR noticeboard.

Chronic offenders may be subject to rulings by the Arbitration Committee. This can also apply to those that try to test the limits of 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.

Administrator involvement[edit]

Except in cases of vandalism, if an administrator has personally been involved in a content dispute on that page, that administrator should not block the user for 3RR violations. Instead, the administrator in this situation should make a request at the administrators' noticeboard if they believe 3RR has been broken.

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. (The admin 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 violated 3RR. What do I do?[edit]

If you've broken 3RR by mistake and now realize 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 should be enough to prevent you being blocked (though there are no guarantees).