What causes a watcher to automatically be assigned to an issue?

In other words, when do watchers get assigned automatically (what triggers this assignment)?

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If you are 5.1, you are probably talking about AutoWatch.

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/JIRA+5.1+Release+Notes#JIRA5.1ReleaseNotes-autowatch

If not, it must be some plugin!

The above feature came only in 5.1. So yours must be done via a plugin. Can you check if you have any third party plugins that automatically adds watchers?

The logic depends on how they implemented it!

We are on 5.0.6. Just to clarify: the reporter of the issue should be the only watcher assigned automatically... correct?

Thanks!

OK, we do have some plugins... I'm investigating them now. Thanks for your advice!

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