Edit warring is the act of two or more users repeatedly undoing each-other's edits in an attempt to override the other user's edits. Much like a stalemate in chess, edit wars can go on for long periods of time, with no progress being made or resolutions being reached. As such, they are highly unconstructive, and can often result in, or be the result of, animosity between users, which in turn makes reaching an agreement or a consensus on a subject extremely difficult. As such, participating in edit wars can result in users getting in trouble with, and blocked by, administrators.
Only revert once
It takes two participating users to start an edit war. As such, if a user reverts an edit, one should not revert their revert, and instead should use the article's talk page to dispute the reversion should they disagree with it. Reverting more than once can often escalate the situation and lead to an edit war, and as such it should not be performed outside of the following exceptions:
- In the cases of obvious vandalism.
- If a clear good-faith edit was reverted without an edit summary.
- If a valid edit was misunderstood or misinterpreted by the reverter, though this should be accompanied by an explanation.
- In the event of provably false information or dubious unverifiable claims being inserted into the wiki, or repeated attempts to add insufficiently notable smashers to character articles.
- In the event of a user making an edit which goes against decisions arrived upon in previous discussions.
- If the edit in question violates any of the other SmashWiki policies.
In situations other than the ones listed above, violation of this rule is not acceptable, and may warrant action to be taken against the offending user by an administrator.
What to do if an edit war is occurring
The first course of action one should take is to attempt to deal with the situation peacefully, by reminding the users involved of this policy, and starting a discussion on the matter oneself. If it becomes clear that this approach will not work, then the administrators should be notified of the situation using the admin noticeboard. If necessary, an administrator may then take action against the users involved, and in extreme cases it may be necessary to temporarily place the page in question under protection.
What can happen to a user who engages in edit wars?
Depending on the severity of the offense, and whether or not the user in question has previously engaged in such behaviour, said user may be given a warning, or a block of appropriate length for the offense. Which course of action is taken is up to the discretion of the administrator.