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Looking at the revision history for this question, there are two users who appear to have been going back and forth about the best way to edit a particular piece of the post (mainly, the formatting of the error text) by way of editing the post repeatedly.

While overall, I feel constructive editing is a good thing (I made an edit myself, which has yet to be overturned was quickly shot down by Meta), is this too much? I also understand that nobody is perfect, so multiple amendments may happen from time to time. However, I see two problems with this particular situation:

  • Too many edits lead to an auto-wiki conversion, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but were the question a very good one, the new user could potentially lose out on some very beneficial new user rep.

  • Both editors have missed multiple, more pertinent, grammatical errors on their multiple corrections.

As for the the formatting they seems to fixated on, I would be happy either way, and that's not what this question is about.

Rather, what should be done in response to the editors' actions? I admit, I don't recall ever running into this kind of situation before, but I've also never actively looked for it. I see three main options to be taken:

  • Who cares?
    • This is something too minor/localized to be of any consequence.
    • I should just edit, ignore the previous edits, and walk away.
  • This needs immediate action!
    • I should flag something related to this question to alert a mod to the low-quality editing?
    • I should make a comment on the question, hoping the editors will catch on. (likely not, but just throwing the idea out there...)
  • I'm not sure...
    • I should post a question on Meta letting others make the decision for me.

Obviously, I'm here now, but for next time, what should one do in this situation?

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    If there's an edit war, flag for moderator attention. They can lock the post temporarily. If a post does turn auto-wiki and it shouldn't be, flag for a moderator's attention and they can revert it back.
    – Luke_0
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 21:28
  • @Luke yes, post as answer, not comment.
    – djechlin
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 21:30

1 Answer 1

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If there's an edit war, first try leaving a comment to one of the editors (editors can be pinged by comments). If the edits don't stop, flag the post for moderator attention. Moderators can lock the post temporarily1.

If a post does turn auto-community-wiki and it shouldn't be, flag it for a moderator's attention and they can revert it back.

1 They can also lock a post indefinitely, but they normally won't do that in the case of an edit war.

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    Editors get notified for @username comments, even if they haven't posted a comment in the question. It might make sense to try and talk to the editors before calling the cavalry. Especially on SO.
    – yannis
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 21:37
  • Good point. In my answer I was just supposing this is an all-out edit war with no intentions of stopping.
    – Luke_0
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 21:40
  • @Yannis I had no idea the @ comments worked that way. Thanks!
    – Gaffi
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 1:19

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