I came up with an idea for how to begin putting an end to the edit/rollback wars and then the ensuing comments battle...

  1. What if you are only allowed to edit a post (not the author) once a day.
  2. What if you are also only allowed to rollback one edit to your post a day.
  3. There would not be a overall limit on the users ability to edit other posts other than the one edit per post per day.
  4. There would also not be a limit on the number of times a single post could be edited or rolledback (multiple users), but each edit/rollback would trigger the 24 hour wait...
  5. There is currently some threshold in place that allows a post to be edited after it is posted without calling it an edit. This same threshold could apply to the edit in case a mistake is made (fat fingered, mis-tagged, etc.) which would allow the editor a window of time to correct a mistake before getting locked out.

If either the editor or rollerbacker feel that the current state of the post is not acceptable and they are out of mods for the day, then a moderator can get flagged through the current process.


7 Answers 7


I'm reserving comment on the issue as a whole because I'm still on the fence about it.

But I will say that one edit per day is too low. I'm sure I'm not the only one who edits a post, hits "Save Your Edits" and then immediately sees something that either I've missed or actually made worse.

  • That is one edit, per post, per user... So a single post can be edited n+1 in a day... But only once per user...
    – RSolberg
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:24
  • 20
    Yes; in particular, sometimes the editor itself lies about how it will show something, and you need to go back in to fix it. And sometimes my fnigers silp. Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:24
  • Maybe two edits or one rollback, whichever gets hit first?
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:25
  • Good point on the Woops! I'll add an idea for that as well...
    – RSolberg
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:25
  • 1
    Or maybe we take advantage of the 5 minute grace period: You can edit unlimited times within 5 minutes, but 5 minutes after that initial edit, you have to wait 24 hours. That way, ironically, patience will win a rollback war.
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:26
  • Take a look at #5 above.... I think that this will encompass the concern...
    – RSolberg
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:27
  • You already have my +1, but I'd do it again if I could :)
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:28
  • i think on your own posts you would be free to edit as much as you would like. that way people aren't messing with your posts, but it doesn't prevent valid edits from others, which you will most likely keep. Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:37
  • @Marc Yeah, mien too. Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 9:31

I believe this is a non-issue. Specifically has this even occurred as of late? Certainly not to the extent of the great rollback/edit wars a couple of months ago.

Admins (if I'm not mistaken) now have the tools at their disposal to lock down posts, so simply flagging a post should be sufficient to garner the attention required to deal with these wars.

Edit - Given that the facility already exists for admins to be quickly notified of edit velocity, I would propose a "Cool Down" period once a certain edit threshold has been reached.

To enter a Cool Down period X edits would have to occur in X period of time. The Cool Down period would force an increased time between edits and for each edit in Cool Down, the time period between edits would further increase. Think failed logins on brute force password attempts.

  • 1st edit = 2 minute wait
  • 2nd edit = 4 minute wait
  • 3rd edit = 8 minute wait
  • 4th edit = 16 minute wait
  • etc...

    Given this period of time, it should be possible to sort out a post and come to a decision.

  • 3
    • Flagging is kinda already done; there's a "most edited" section in the moderator tools section. Any edit war is going to pop right to the top of that.
      – chaos
      Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 16:04
    • 1
      Actually, we had a bit of a rollback war yesterday. The post has since been deleted, but it picked up 45 revisions in 4 hours. Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 16:06
    • You're a bit too idealistic. You have no idea how many wars there have been of late... A cool down period would not be enough for some users...
      – RSolberg
      Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 16:38

    That is actually a very simple idea that might be very effective. Indeed, the moderator remains the fallback in the case of actual problems. I like it.

    Anything that means I don't see another edit war is good.

    I think it is a good idea to let the editor have a few more edits - but not necessarily infinite...

    Presumably the data is already available (since it is visible in the "recent" tab).

    • 2
      Man, if I had enough rep, I'd edit this answer to replace "good" with "bad", just to start another edit war. Does that make me a bad person? Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:23
    • yea a few more edits would probably be a good idea. Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:38
    • Now that you're a dev, maybe implement the request then? :-) Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 19:27

    If moderators can respond quickly (10 minutes or so) I think this would be good. I just don't want to see somebody increase the content of somebody else's question by 50% or more with complete nonsense, and then wait for a moderator to get around to cleaning it back up - meanwhile causing all visitors to brush the question off as nonsensical, and thus limiting the involvement from the community.

    That's my only fear. I'm all for breaking the edit/rollback-wars.

    • If you were to ask a question and have it be destroyed/hijacked by an edit... you can roll it back... If it gets destroyed again, you'd have to request mod support or hope someone else rolls it back for you.
      – RSolberg
      Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:30

    Maybe once per day (or set time limit, maybe per hour) per post edited. That way you can still clean up multiple posts in a day but you aren't having this 'war' on a single post.

    • 3
      I think that's what RSolberg is proposing: one edit per post per day. Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:20
    • 1
      I don't care how many times a single post is edited in a day... but a single user can only edit it once. The author can edit it more as more info is required in the post, etc.
      – RSolberg
      Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 15:23

    I don't really think one edit per post is enough. Possibly this would be a time to borrow a play from Wikipedia -- the Three-Revert Rule, specifically. Three might suffice.

    And it'd be nice if an edit limit in general could be limited to applying only in cases where edits are contested in some way. Simple version of contest detection is edits by multiple users, complex version is applying fancy diff logic.


    i must be missing the edit wars - i've only seen 2 or 3 edits to my posts, and only felt compelled to roll back a couple of them (because they either removed intentional humor or 'fixed' a non-existent typo)

    from a rep-hound purely mercenary point of view, if users with high rep want to make endless trivial edits instead of answering questions, so much the better ;-)

    • This is to specifically prevent people from engaging in the full fledged war and ensuing comment wars with edits and rollbacks. Its been happening here on meta the last couple of days in addition to some posts on the main SO where neither user will give in and it becomes quite a distraction.
      – RSolberg
      Commented Jul 8, 2009 at 20:24
    • @[RSolberg]: then perhaps the question should be closed as 'subjective and argumentative' ;-) Commented Jul 9, 2009 at 15:57

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