Below is just for an example purpose:

The question is edited again and again for tagging despite OP's consent. https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/posts/28670/revisions

Similarly my answer is edited again and again despite warning the user: https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/posts/28679/revisions

The editors cite that what they think is correct and they are following community guidelines.

Question: What is the basic code of conduct when there is an edit dispute between 2 users?
Which user should stop editing to avoid edit war?

Note: This post is not about whether the above edits are correct or not. That will generate opinions. This is also not specific to the post. The question is about how the editors should conduct when there is a clear mismatch of opinions.

This question is not to belittle anyone. However our site is a heterogeneous collection of all kind of users. Some of them are professionals, some are retired, some are into spirituality and some are merely college going students. So we cannot expect same maturity levels from all. Hence better to decide a code of conduct.

Until the mod responds to the flag they shouldn't be rolling back to their versions until their mouses blast. :-)

  • 4
    The right edit wins. It is as simple as that. Whoever proposes the correct edit, their edit will be correct. OP's moderator, it is moderator.By moderator, I mean the community. See Who has the final authority in an edit war? OP or a moderator?. – Sarvabhouma Aug 17 '18 at 6:28
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    "The right edit wins." @Sarvabhouma, you are giving an opinion. The edit war happens because both parties feel that their edit is "right". As already stated, this question is not about "who is right". Rather, How should editors behave in such dispute? The intent is to avoid the edit war itself. – iammilind Aug 17 '18 at 6:31
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    @iammilind if both party can't settle then moderator need to do tehre job, lock the post and give a timeout with a message. – Ankit Sharma Aug 17 '18 at 6:34
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    Read the last line @AnkitSharma, until Mod handles the flag, which takes hours or a day+. What should editors do? Which editor should stop? – iammilind Aug 17 '18 at 6:36
  • For example, you think bug is apt for this question and add that tag. Someone will add a discussion or a support tag as you are inviting discussion or asking to understand a feature. You think bug is right and add that back saying intent. Which edit is right? Is right and wrong subjective? This is site matter and right and wrong are not subjective. It is clear. Users are having problem in understanding them. If a mod takes days+ to handle a flag, right thing is asking for new mods :) – Sarvabhouma Aug 17 '18 at 6:39
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    If there is no agreement between OP and editor, then the editor should immediately stop and inform the moderator, let the moderator decide. Their decision to edit continuously is driven by ego which is very unhealthy for the community. – Pinakin Aug 17 '18 at 8:34
  • This query seems more at 'rewriting' than at 'editing', or at least more at editing content, cf general editing for typos such as punctuation, italicisation, clearly mispelled/ dropped/ misordered words & phrases etc, and which is significant for clarity & understandability. Thank you :) – M H Nov 17 '20 at 7:35

Since StackExchange encourages/welcomes the edits to improve the posts, editor can fix things.

However If OP disagree with the editors' edit and roll-backs to the previous version, editor should not start roll-back war with OP. Instead s/he should flag it for moderator explaining the issue with content. If there is late or no response from moderator, you can try pining moderators in chat-room in case of urgency or you can use contact-us button to draw attention of community manager.

According to The Great Edit Wars:

  1. Editing is welcomed and encouraged. However, if the author of the post is resistant to your editing changes, even a perfectly legitimate edit based on the above rules, be the bigger man (or woman) and let them have it their way. Our goal here is not to cause friction between users, or to make everything perfect overnight. All we aim to do is gradually clean up and improve questions and answers together. When in doubt, just move on! There will be plenty of other posts and other edits you can make. In time, that reluctant author will learn how Stack Overflow works.

  2. Remember, we’re all adults here .. in theory. Please try to resolve edit disputes through simple communication, hopefully the kind that doesn’t involve being rude to your fellow developers. It says “Be Nice” in the faq for a reason. However, if you’ve tried to work it out and you’re still at an impasse, email us! We will happily mediate and help resolve disputes.

  • Can you address what to do when 2 unrelated users are at edit war (neither OP nor Mod). You may edit your or mine answer. – iammilind Aug 17 '18 at 13:35

In any edit war, following should be the priority in descending order. Lower the priority, the user should stop editing.

  1. Moderator as discussed here
  2. Author (OP) as discussed here
  3. Others

The tricky situation comes, when among 2 different users who are unrelated to the post has to be chosen. Hence making this as a wiki, for others to put their inputs.

  • 1
    -1 because 1. the line " 2 different users who are unrelated to the post". The content posted by us is owned by SO once we click post your question/answer. There are no unrelated users here. They are free to edit a post if they find there are mistakes.It doesn't matter who the author is. 2. Directly naming moderators, OP etc., an edit of OP or moderator doesn't become substantial because they are moderator or OP but usefulness of the edit. We saw mods doing wrong edits & irrelevant passages in posts. 3. It is only link answer with blogs, MSE. There should be explanation (even it's meta). – Sarvabhouma Aug 18 '18 at 8:55

Ours sites are community driven. What is helpful to the site is important than what the user thinks. Author's intent is important but there's a reason we have community editing and moderation - to make posts better.

In such cases, the Community decides which is the useful edit or the right edit. Right and wrong is not subjective while following Stack Exchange guidelines. In the name of intent, a user can't edit wrong tags or wrong edits. There are clear guidelines from the help center. It is users who have wrong understanding.

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

To fix grammar and spelling mistakes

To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)

To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place

To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages

To add related resources or hyperlinks

In the same article, there is a paragraph giving importance to the decision of community.

Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

So, you should take some time to study the merits of edit. If you are just abusing your edit powers and rolling back for the sake of ego, then you are doing it wrong.

If an editor adds wrong tags which are corrected by another editor or if they are adding back some objectionable content, the community should respond. If you ask what is right and what is wrong, I will say, the experience and understanding site's policies better comes into the picture here. I believe there are users and moderators who know basic guidelines on how editing works and not take decisions favouring bad edits. So, there would be no problem in that. The problem arises when no one are acting and users starts taking sides.

The edit which provides substantial edit irrespective who is the editor will be restored. See Who has the final authority in an edit war? OP or a moderator?

Clicking rollback till the mouse buttons explode is a waste of time because there will be a flag to the moderators about edit wars if it done continuously. If you are not still satisfied, raise a flag for moderator intervention. A moderator should intervene if there is nothing solved between editors. They may lock it for some time. Such cases happened on our site too.

If there is no action from moderator for days, it is better to click Contact Us than flagging the post or clicking rollback again and again.


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