Wikipedia talk:Edit war/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2

Article over "Edit wars" needed?

Recently some one add in Bhinmal-that in the peoples from "Bhinmal was in news in emergency in 1976 when some people of Bhinmal were wanted and arrested in connection with smuggling" its baseless,if you remember that time,all the supporter of Janta party,& allegedly harassed by ruling congerss paty government, so please dont put any meterial that is insulting for Bhinmal and abusing the people of Bhinmal.if you have any base of this fact then produce it,you can chek any of news paper of 1975,for refrences. SANJAYBAFNA 13:02, 8 November 2006 (UTC)SANJAYBAFNA

Wouldn't it be a good idea to have an Wikipedia:Edit war article, of course redirected from Edit war and Edit wars, which could be used when warning newbies for engaging in such activities?
--Ruhrjung 16:04, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

In general edit wars tend to break out just as frequently between oldbies (*looks pointedly at mirror*) as newbies. I think our advice on wikipedia:staying cool when the editing gets hot is useful here, though it could be improved. Martin 18:51, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I plan to merge this with Wikipedia:Current_disputes_over_articles. Martin 14:10, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Not sure I agree with this. This page should be about edit wars in general; the other page should be about particular disputes, which would include particular edit wars. GrahamN 23:44, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Continuation of a discussion from Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy

Why do people worry so much about edit wars? Why does it matter if for a while visitors to the site find that an article is oscillating between different wording? It seems to me that edit wars (no matter how protracted) will always fizzle out eventually. The "edit warriors" get frustrated and bored and realise they have to find a compromise. To me, this a very good thing indeed, not only for Wikipedia but for the edit warriors themselves. [I consider that my conflicts with RK and others when I was new here have taught me something about life]. In fact I would go further, and say that edit wars that are allowed to run their course and come to a natural resolution agreed by all warring parties are the very best thing about this place. They lead to better articles than would be possible by any other method. They are the lifeblood of Wikipedia. They are its glory. GrahamN 21:47, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'd be interested in seeing a wiki page in which the process you describe above has occurred. (I doubt you'll find one on Wikipedia, because edit wars aren't allowed to run their course here as a matter of policy, although maybe there's a "natural" edit war that slipped through the cracks.) One example would prove that the process you describe above is possible, and that would be very interesting. It would take more evidence to convince me that a majority of edit wars follow the same path, though. -- Cyan 21:57, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The apartheid article springs to mind. We eventually came to an accomodation, after a great deal of heated discussion on the Talk page. But the discussion only happened because the warring parties (I was one) came to realise the futility of continuing our edit war. People have to come to this realisation themselves - you can't force them to see it. You just make them resentful and convinced that the administrators are a sinister cabal with a mission to suppress their point of view. I wonder what you think would happen if admininstrators failed to step in and halt an edit war? Do you think the protagonists would still be sitting at their computers reverting and re-reverting twenty years later? Or even a week later? Of course not! They must eventually get bored and frustrated and realise that they have to compromise. There is no other way out. That is the glory of it! And you haven't explained where the harm could possibly be. Why does it matter if, for a while, visitors to the site find that a particular article is in a state of flux? GrahamN 23:30, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)

But wikipedia is an encyclopædia. Its credibility rests on the reliability and objectivity of articles, not on how much someone may 'grow' as a person from having a row with someone else. Edit wars are all very well, but it seems likely that they drive contributors away, drive editors away, and drive potential readers away, thus damaging Wikipedia. FearÉIREANN 00:16, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC) <redacted by Cyan, revert if required> Cyan 00:40, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I take your point, JT [I've seen others call you "James". May I call you that?]. In fact I agree with almost everything you said in the earlier version of your post before it was bowdlerised [1]. If you want to have fun, go to a funfair. If you want to socialise, go to a pub. Time spent here should be spent on nothing other than the quest to create the greatest encyclopaedia there has ever been. We absolutely agree on that. It's nice to find some common ground at last :-) We just disagree on the best way to do it. You said Edit wars are all very well, but if they drive contributors away, drive editors away, drive potential readers away then however much you may get 'something' from them, wikipedia comes first, before you, me, Cyan, RK, Mav or anyone else. I can almost agree with this too, but not quite. I certainly agree with the sentiment, but I think there are some subtleties you may have missed. Firstly, I don't believe that the line between the benefits to individuals and the benefits to wikipedia is as sharp as you paint it. Editing Wikipedia is a particular kind of skill, which has to be learned. In my opinion, and experience, being involved in an edit war is an excellent first lesson. Secondly, although it's certanly true that edit wars are offputting to contributors, it seems to me that authoritarian moves by administrators are even more offputting. At least in an edit war, a contributor feels that their fate is in their own hands. Even if they leave in frustration, there could always be the thought that they might try again, wording the article in a slightly different way. After a day or two they may return to try it. And then before long, our newcomer has learned the vital first lesson of edit warfare: simple reversion is (usually) pointless - you have to modify the words a little each time, to try to make them more acceptable to your adversary, while not losing the crux of what it is you are trying to convey. By contrast, if the page you are working on is suddenly protected, and if you are threatened with drastic measures unless you cease hostilities forthwith, then you are made to feel powerless, and, naturally, resentful. If that happens to a newcomer it is easy for them to get the (presumably incorrect) impression that this place is run by a cabal of technologically empowered zealots determined to suppress all viewpoints but their own. This impression is far more offputting than the fiercest edit war could ever be. I speak from experience. How many times have you heard this "cabal" argument given as a reason for quitting wikipedia? I've heard it lots of times, and in frustration I've said something very similar myself. On the other hand, how many times have you heard people say that they are leaving because they can't stand the edit wars? Personally, I can't remember hearing that even once. Thirdly, you say that edit wars drive potential readers away. I still can't see how that could happen, but even if it did, the problem must be far outweighed by the long-term benefit to Wikipedia of having the kinds of microscopically fair-minded articles that emerge from the heat of wars between editors who hold utterly opposing world-views. GrahamN 03:22, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

>>How many times have you heard this "cabal" argument given as a reason for quitting wikipedia

I have, and most especially in regard to any "Politically-incorrect" articles that are still NPOV like "Cosmotheism". User: 17:18, 16 Feb 2004
Never. Angela

>>how many times have you heard people say that they are leaving because they can't stand the edit wars

Lots. Angela

My edit-equilibrium example is BBC, where the "futility of war" resulted in a compromise both sides could live with. But it required the participants have some measure of respect for the process and participants. That's not a luxury that always exists, but I still think it's the best "feature" of Wikipedia. Perhaps there should be a WikiCreed that we could have people recite when these wars get heated. Fuzheado 01:04, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Does this article need to be NPOV

Does this page need to be NPOV, or is this article intented to try and stop people from having edit wars in the first place? If it's treated like any normal Wikipedia article, it should provide a balanced account of why some people choose to enter edit wars, and why they could be good. -- Mattworld 23:54, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what you are getting at. All articles should be NPOV. Why do you think this one might be different? GrahamN
Because it's in the Wikipedia: namespace. Would that make a difference? -- Mattworld 00:07, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Is Wikipedia:NPOV NPOV? I don't think so. Pages in the Wikipedia namespace express a common ideology; they prescribe a Wikipedia culture founded in the early days. They aren't intended to be merely informational. -- Tim Starling 00:12, Nov 6, 2003 (UTC)
An interesting point. I'm going to have to think about this a bit more deeply. GrahamN 00:52, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
It's not an article, so I don't believe it needs to be NPOV. However, a "balanced account of why some people choose to enter edit wars" would be interesting. :) Angela

New policy on edit conflicts

Above, someone writes with regards to wikipedia:revert: "This is not an official policy and I am against it". Sie is quite correct.

However, one example of an official policy is the new text on Wikipedia:Edit conflicts, which, by the powers vested in me by the Wikipedia power structure I hereby declare official, having been standard practice for several years, and amply illustrated by a range of precedents over the past years.

Making this common practice universal will significantly reduce longterm conflict, while improving the quality of the encyclopedia. Further, it provides solid guidance to newcomers to help them cope with the vagaries of Wikipedia's edit conflict system. Martin 23:34, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)~


In response to comments made at the village pump, Daniel Quinlan proposed the following on Dec 6 2003:

  • Allow specific users to be blocked from editing a page.
  • Allow alternate versions of very very contentious articles, then use Approval voting to select one.

Most unlikely edit war?

(from the village pump)

In my year watching Wikipedia I thought I'd seen all variations of edit wars - at religion articles, science/pseudoscience articles, history/politics articles, etc. - but for the last day or so an edit war has been raging at, of all things, Curse of the Bambino! (This is a jokey reference to the inability of Boston's baseball team to win a title.) That's like watching a fistfight over whether Twinkies are tastier than Ho-Hos (if I may be forgiven a USA-centric junk-food joke)

I'm curious: Has anybody else encountered a real, mean-spirited, you-revert-me-so-I-revert-you edit war over a less likely topic? DavidWBrooks 15:38, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC) no I never saw one

I liked the one about wether Leland Stanford need a stub message. Gentgeen 15:45, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
For the record, the activity you are referring to is not an edit war over content, but a thwarting of recurring vandals. Kingturtle 15:46, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well it amused me to see Wik and Anthony squabbling on WWJD yesterday, not over religion, but the placement of hyphens and the correct formatting of a South Park reference. The irony. fabiform | talk 17:07, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
IIRC, the first edit war I ever witnessed was at Talk:List of famous Canadians -- of course, that was User:DW, and he has since been banned... Tuf-Kat
One of the worst I can remember was a very heated edit war on whether presidents should be mentioned on a page first as [[John F. Kennedy]] or as [[John F. Kennedy|president Kennedy]]. I sometimes get the idea half of our edit wars are about that kind of trivialities. Save your anger for the real cases, guys! Andre Engels 19:58, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)

See wikipedia:pedantry dispute. :) Martin 20:08, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)

if you want to see edit wars and vadalism and the like, plus some playing the victim, follow user dreamguy's "exploits" through out the encyclopdia... his attitude seems to irk a lot of people. Gabrielsimon 00:54, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Edit and Revert wars getting out of hand

(from the village pump)

I propose that a new policy be implemented to deal with the short-term impact of edit and revert wars. The protecting pages does not seem to work as the conflict soon spreads to other pages, and we can't be protecting all the pages. I am almost inclined to support a policy whereby sysops are allowed to temp-ban participants until the Mediation/Arbitration committees are done reviewing the issue. This is a pessimistic rather than optimistic approach to doing things, but this constant flux of warring does not look good. Ideas, opinions, solutions? I think we need to have a discussion on this, and I don't trust the mailing lists for this issue which concerns many more Wikipedians than participate there. Dori | Talk 17:12, Feb 13, 2004 (UTC)

I had a similar idea Dori, more watered-down though. It would be to 24-hour block both participants of an ongoing edit war, without immediate resort to the committee. However a history of being blocked numerous times could be used as rationale for taking it to committee later on. (And it would of course entail remembering to unblock after 24 hours.) - Hephæstos|§ 17:28, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Re: unblocking. Couldn't a cron job be set up which would check a file and unblock any users found there? --WormRunner 17:34, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I think it would probably be an easy code change to have blocks of user handles expire automatically after 24 hours as blocks on IPs do now. I'm not sure what other ramifications that would have in regard to currently-standing long-term bans though. - Hephæstos|§ 17:41, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
My first reaction to this is that the mediation and arbitration committees might quickly find themselves overburdened. I also don't like giving sysops the leave to suspend users in edit wars for extended periods of time, because often, the folks provide valuable contributions elsewhere. Bottom line, I don't like banning as a first defense because there's too much ambiguity. Perhaps the solution is to create an "probationary" status for users who become embroiled in edit wars... to say, you can continue to edit, but you're on notice, and if you get involved in an edit/revert war in the next, say... week, that's an automatic 30-day ban. - Seth Ilys 17:35, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea. (temporarily banning a participant in an edit war.) I don't see any reason why a user would get into an edit war. If two users have different opinions over an issue, why dont they just discuss it. --Ed Senft! 18:22, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Some users (Wik, to name one) refuse to discuss something, and will continue reverting anything they do not like, violating the three reverts rule. Just banning someone who finds himself in an edit war is not a good idea, there should be some checking as to what each participant is doing. If one is doing his best to add or edit information, and the other is just reverting, I think it's rather obvious who if anyone should be banned. Jor 18:44, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I think that users who create problems in articles by continually reverting, should at least be looked into by the arbitration comittee with the possibility of its deciding to ban the user, regardless of whether or not the problem user makes a constructive edit once and a while, or even the majority of the time. --Ed Senft! 18:57, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I am not saying that sysops should be able to block people indefinitely. Only for a short period until the issue is resolved. It's true that often one side is to blame, and the other side is trying to fix things. The problem is that this cannot be easily discerned objectively. It would be sufficient to tag the article with one of the neutrality or factualy disclaimers. The issue can then be studied and resolved through mediation/arbitration without a clog of reversions. If people are fearful that they will be blocked, they will be less likely to to get involved in the edit warring. If someone takes advantage of this void, making POV edits, they will be taken care of by the committees. In the short time, articles will be in a bad shape, and that is a drawback. Perhaps, if a person renders several articles in a state of near-reversion, they could be temp-blocked too. So for example someone could post on the talk page saying, I would be reverting this except for the temp-block policy, and if different editors, post the same messages about the same editors this way, that editor can be identified as a trouble-maker and temp blocked. Or we could have straw polls to temp-block users until mediation/arbitration has decided. I just think we need a speedier way to resolve things than mediation/arbitration, and I don't like revert/edit wars. Dori | Talk 19:11, Feb 13, 2004 (UTC)

One problem with that is, sometimes it is quite easy to determine who is right and who is wrong: look at the numerous edit wars just today between Snoyes and; the latter's edits -- to white supremacy, monism, cosmotheism, National Alliance, etc. -- were nothing but POV and vandalism, and since he thought anyone who disagreed with him was pushing "Marxist-PC propaganda", discussion would not have been fruitful. --No-One Jones 19:23, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

On the contrary, the only one that "refuses" to uphold the NPOV is Mirv, who always upholds only the "quite easy" and false "Politically Correct" POV. Vandalism is NOT adding relevant links and information to articles or editing for NPOV, which users like Mirv, Snoyes, etc. ad nauseum, a cabal of liars and hypocrites, have often done to ban or censor the NPOV article that I wrote here:

"Cosmotheism is a religion which positively asserts that there is a internal purpose in life and in cosmos, and there is an essential unity, or consciousness that binds all living beings and all of the inorganic cosmos, as one.

<snip rest of article> by snoyes 17:43, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Clear-cut "vandalism" is not allowing for the NPOV to be made within articles, and that is exactly what JIMBO wanted to avoid: ANY Marxist-PC CABAL of dogmatic CENSORS!!!

Best regards,

Paul Vogel

I am not discussing cases of clear-cut vandalism here. There already is a policy for that here: Wikipedia:Dealing_with_vandalism#Blocking_vandals. I am talking about users that also make useful edits, and whose contributions are not clear cases of vandalism. Dori | Talk 19:34, Feb 13, 2004 (UTC)
what is the problem with users doing the same thing without the proposed temporary ban policy? I think that editors should be held responsible for any reversion wars that they engage in. --Ed Senft! 19:25, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I fully endorse a policy of 24 hour blocks on anybody who breaks the 3 revert rule of thumb. IMO edit wars become a form of vandalism after 3 reverts per user. Users who are in the right are very often joined by other users - each of whom has three reverts to blow. Users who are working against consensus will quickly get temp banned. Users who get temp banned often enough should have an RfC page created on them and they should enter into Wikipedia:Dispute resolution process. Hopefully they will reform, if they don't then the arbitration committee (who I happen to be a member of) will impose more drastic remedies. Disclaimer: This is all my opinion and not an official statement by the committee. --mav 10:51, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

So mav, are you going to "vote" on the talk page of wikipedia:revert? :) Martin
I didn't know there was a poll. Done. --mav

Edit wars

Edit wars II and (as proposed below) III. How to avoid them ?
It seems that phase two of the iridology page edit wars will rage again
The declaration of war reads like this:

Well, folks, it look like irismeister is confident he's bored everybody to tears with a gazillion tiny legitimate edits, and is back to turning this article into an advocacy piece through a gazillion POV edits. It'll soon be time to get to work ... again. DavidWBrooks 16:27, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I knew it wouldn't be long! I'm on dial up at the moment which is why I've been a bit quiet. I'm back on it tomorrow though. i notice that he is trying to inser the iris-ward link again. To irismeister - I will not allow you to insert bullshit into the page (stress added). I will not allow you to insert links to iris-ward. I don't care how much you harrass me, i don't care how much you follow me around wikipedia. I don't care how many compliants you make about me. Wikipedia will survive the likes of you - I will see to it that it does.theresa knott 19:20, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

My question is how to bring calm and serenity in David and Theresa, how to protect information, how to encourage them to always resort to documents in the talk page and (gasp) for myself - how to ignore the police alert attitude as put in evidence above outside the village pump? TIA - irismeister 19:52, 2004 Feb 19 (UTC)

And I suggest that first people read through the archived talk on talk:Iridology (always a good idea before editing a page on a controversial subject, of course). fabiform | talk 21:10, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
And with my salute, I second that, as the unexpected voice of reason :-) Will add that more well-documented material has been carefully moved here in order to escape information block (sadly the page is again protected, in the absence of edit wars.) Editor irismeister is again subject of a smearing campaign in a visible effort to silence him or his contributed information. Irismeister makes everybody sure that he will NEVER talk characters of fellow editors or EVER indulge into time-losing arbitrations and stuff. The issue here is ISSUES not CHARACTERS, complete with their attempted assasination. More information on updated Wiki policies here Sincerely, irismeister 23:29, 2004 Feb 19 (UTC)

To, who said in an edit summary "I really don't understand why this external link was removed": I suspect Maveric149 could see no direct relevance to this article. I just took a quick look at the site in question,, which seems to be a new wiki someone has set up in the last few days. I have to say other than its title, its relevance to this article isn't immediately obvious to me either. Please explain. GrahamN 23:35, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Grammar war

An anonymous user, while making other less objectionable edits, added the following to the bottom of the page:

Note: "edit" is a noun. The grammatically correct form of this would be an "editing war," not an "edit war."

For one thing, I consider this to be something that doesn't belong on the page, being aimed more at the term itself than what it means. For another thing, I consider the assertion itself to be inaccurate, and based on a particular view of English grammar that I don't believe everyone agrees with. Alfvaen 06:02, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)

Question about edit/revert war policy

Hello, I was wondering if edit/revert wars are allowed in the sandbox. Thank you, 23:42, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC) Correction: I was somehow logged out without realizing it. Here is my signature: Y0u 23:43, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)

Reversion of Light current

I've reverted Light current's unilateral attempt to rewrite this article, who's proved to have a flawed understanding of policy at WP:V. FeloniousMonk 17:28, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

How about "Rapid reverts"?

Would "rapid reverts" be a better term? StarboardFlank 08:02, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Is there any evidence that this term has ever been used outside wikipedia? Ed876 05:07, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Does that matter if this is an internal document? "Wikilinks" is not used outside of Wikipedia, either. That being said, editors who look for vandalism often revert rapidly (often within the same minute as vandalism). The problems with the reverts being discussed are their "contentiousness", something that doesn't come across with "rapid reverts". TedTalk/Contributions 18:27, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Where's the need to be politically correct with our jargon? >Radiant< 13:30, 8 November 2006 (UTC)


The phrase "Waiting an hour or more between reverts to vandalism makes continued vandalism less likely, according to experienced editors. In most cases, troublemakers will lose interest, and subsequently leave." is under dispute, because it is alleged to be a violation of WP:DENY. Personally, I disagree since (1) delaying for an hour is not giving recognition, and (2) WP:DENY does not have consensual support. Comments welcome. (Radiant) 12:45, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Leaving vandalism on display for an entire hour draws attention to the vandals' work, thereby encouraging more vandalism. Furthermore, leaving vandalism on display for an entire hour is radically inconsistent with the current practice in RC patrol, which is to revert vandalism on sight and to use blocks and/or page protections to stop repeated vandalism. If someone, say, replaces the photograph of Tony Blair with an image of human genitalia, we aren't going to leave it on display for an entire hour. John254 00:42, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
    • But that's not what it says. It says that if something is repeatedly vandalized, revert warring over it isn't a good option. Of course the example you cite is something extreme that needs to be stopped and locked; but if someone writes "hello" on top of an article that doesn't need to be reverted five times per hour. Patience is a virtue. (Radiant) 09:47, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Most users engaging in casual vandalism, even those with dynamic IPs, will stop after their current IP is blocked, rather than taking measures to force an IP change. Thus, blocking individual IPs should be quite adequate to control casual vandalism; rarely should rangeblocks or any level of page protection be necessary. Personally, I'd rather block casual vandals than let their vandalism remain for an hour and hope that they lose interest. Vandals who will force an IP change to evade their blocks are likely to be engaging in the more serious sort of vandalism that we can hardly afford to leave on display for an hour in any event. John254 02:25, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Third opinion

This is indeed a tough one! I see a few issues here, for something that appears such a simple issue. I'll try to go through in detail here.

Here are the arguments I'd see in favor:

  • Not feeding trolls is good, and most trolls do like instant gratification of provoking a response. If they don't get reverted at once, they're likely to get bored and do something else.
  • Simple vandals who just wanted to see "what would happen" are likely to similarly get bored and go away.
  • No 15 examples of "rvv" (or similar) on the edit history.

And the main ones against:

  • Some outside sources have done studies as to how quickly vandalism to Wikipedia is reverted. If more users go to slow reverting, they're likely to find that "vandalism on Wikipedia persists a long time." (This doesn't happen often but is something to think about.)
  • Someone's going to revert obvious vandalism anyway, even if it's not the first one to see it. It's almost against the grain of an editor to let obvious vandalism slide-I know I'd find it grating.
  • If we're trying to get into the vandal's head, ignoring the vandalism may only embolden h(im|er) to vandalize other articles in the belief that "no one noticed"-or to go vandalize higher-profile articles in hopes of provoking a response.
  • Any editor can go as far back in the edit history as they like-reversions don't delete anything.
  • Persistent vandals can always be blocked, or in extreme cases an article (semi)protected.

I would tend to say that, at the very least, this should be clarified. Massive or obscene vandalism (such as Blair-replaced-with-a-penis above) should most certainly be reverted immediately and as many times as it takes. The same for vandals who insert false (but potentially believable) information, or totally blank an article and replace it with profanity or nonsense. I think the "hello" vandalism Radiant cited is probably more conducive to this type of handling-perhaps revert once, see if the vandal notices, and if so just "let them have it" for a few minutes. Likely, they'll get bored and go away. However, the issue still remains that, even if one user doesn't revert the vandalism, the next to see it might-it's just hard to see vandalism in an article and knowingly leave it there! Seraphimblade 11:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Okay, I've tried my hand at clarifying. The difference between making a silly joke and adding a dirty picture is important here. (Radiant) 13:40, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Warnings before blocks?

Hello, I was recently blocked for an edit war. I wasn't warned before I was blocked, should there be a warning first? I would have stopped if warned. That's obviously not true for some editors, but there are warnings for vandalism before vandals are blocked. --AW 03:05, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

  • People are usually warned, but not necessarily; it depends on how egregious the situation is, and long-term editors are expected to know that edit warring is not such a good idea. (Radiant) 15:12, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course it's not a good idea, but through an incomplete understanding of the 3RR rule I thought I was ok. Like I said, a warning would have been nice, I would have stopped. --AW 17:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

"Page squatters"

Forgive me if the Talk page for Edit War isn't the right topic … tell me, I'll move it to a more appropriate Talk page.

I've encountered something recently that's probably old news. Maybe not. Please enlighten me.

You happen upon a page that you have some expertise in, edit it about some, then get your edits reverted with or without a prejudicial comment ("spurious edit reverted," "this has already been discussed and resolved"). Twice now, I've encountered film pages in which I was effectively blocked for editing/adding to by editors who've had edits on the page for over a year. Twice I've been told something like, "if you'd read the Talk page for this article, you'll see that this has already been discussed [more like warred over] and resolved. Read the Talk page before you edit."

This seems anathema to many WP policies: be bold, don't bite newbies, everyone can edit, 3RR, no angry mastodons. The core concept of WP seems, to me, that this is a living library, and that pages can continue to grow, shrink, change, etc. as editors come and go. No page is "done" when some higher authority has made sufficient edits that the page can no longer improve, only degrade (by someone's arbitrary measure, or formal review and accreditation). There are exceptions, but my impression is that these are WP policy and guide pages, not article content.

Editors who "camp out" on a page and discourage or "shoot down" changes seem to violate the WP:NOT policies that this is not a site for personal opinion pages, fan pages, etc. But if the article is of a notable topic, NPOV, has sufficient references/cites, it may not qualify as someone's "own page." Still, camped-out editors (I'll call them "page squatters") are effectively shutting out new editors by setting unreasonable prerequisites ("read the Talk page," "ask us on the Talk page BEFORE making your change," "hang around awhile and become familiar with the article [or editors?] before editing"). I don't think there are many articles on WP -- I haven't found any, other than policy or admin pages -- which editors (registered or otherwise) have to ask permission on the Talk page prior to editing. (I'm excluding formally protected pages in this, BTW.) Besides, some Talk pages are pretty extensive, going back 2+ years. I've encountered Talk pages requiring more than an hour to read diligently.

The obvious result of this behavior would seem to be edit wars ... but the insidious result is that new editors will shrug and move on, and a page is no longer really "editable." 3RR and edit war complaints won't hold water if the pgae isn't clearly mired in a mass of conflicting edits. Squatting can have its effect over time. I have my own tactic to prohibit me from being a squatter. But how do we deal with other squatters? Perhaps we need an essay about this...? (Or there already is one, and I just didn't find it?) Any reactions or thoughts invited herein. TIA. — David Spalding Talk/Contribs 18:56, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point, I've noticed this sort of mentality before too. --AW 19:57, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I hadn't seen this page before, this surely must cover the topic (he said, before reading it). — David Spalding ta!k y@wp/Contribs 14:26, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

too much free time?

I think even someone as annoying as an edit warrior can have the sense to go to the sandbox to have an edit war if it's "too much free time". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:35, 17 December 2006 (UTC).

Awkward list at end

The end of this guideline contains an awkward list that has no introduction. Was the list added in error or, was the discussion / introduction deleted in error? Or does it even need to be fixed


Some times people vandalize my edits! RealG187 19:53, 25 January 2007 (UTC) PiAndWhippedCream 04:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Un block policy?

I'ven't ever seen anything about an un-block policy. Wii Play was blocked due to an edit war. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it should be unblocked now, but I would like to know what the policy is for such cases (so we can be working toward it...). McKay 04:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Need a bit more than just resolution

Before I get into what happened, here's a link that everyone within the Wiki community should read, and it's from today's Nashville Tennessean:

The problem is this. When someone gets into Wikipedia and does editing, whatever is put into or taken away from the article in question has to follow two common-sense rules: 1) it follows the facts; and 2) it cites primary sources. Too often there are those who refuse to do either, and what they post is a disgrace. The Tennessean article has to do with the un-eliability of Wikipedia as an educational work. Teachers and professors will not use it, and they will tell their students not to use it because of those individuals who play "psuedo-historian" or "psuedo-scientist". To make Wikipedia a reliable source of information there are those who sincerely are doing what they can to make it better; unfortunately, in my case, there was someone who insisted that I was totally in the wrong when I saw an edit by him in the ironclad warship and made a correction. The man demanded I look into other articles (I have to assume Wikipedia articles) for the validity of his statements. My answers, and unfortunately those answers to him may violate Wikipedia standards, are given in the talk page of that article.

I already have a reputation for providing as much documentation and source material as I can find to make articles better, whether they are long or short articles. This is primarily for the average reader of Wikipedia; you want this reader, no matter who he or she is, to read something good, well-written, and able to look up source material with confidence. Wikipedia cannot afford to have anyone come in and change things around to the point that the articles are inaccurate, unreliable, or just plain wrong. If that happens, then all of us will continue to see more newspaper articles like the one above. Carajou 19:37, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The reversion of a one-word change an “edit war” makes?

If this is an edit war, then I can’t say I’ve ever seen a contributor here so rapidly edit a molehill into a mountain before. Let’s see. Carajou changes the name of a ship from its historical name to a popular, but incorrect one. I make a single, well-intentioned revert to the historical name, and Carajou launches into a round of insults on the article’s talk page. When I offer simple, well-documented facts that trump his one based on the name of a roadway and I make what I believe is a fair and balanced resolution, it is summarily undone (non-controversial edits and all) by Carajou, who launches into an even more vituperous tirade of insults and then proceeds to whip up an assertion of an “edit war.” Seems more like a case of personal attacks and someone’s ownership issue from my perspective.

I really have to strongly protest editor Carajou’s ad hominem presumptions of my qualifications and personal insults to my character. He has no personal knowledge of me whatsoever. I cannot recall ever having crossed pens with him before, so I can’t begin to fathom the degree of his personal hostility nor what his personal agenda is. I firmly object to his flagrant mischaracterizations of my words. For example, above he says, “The man demanded I look into other articles (I have to assume Wikipedia articles) for the validity of his statements”; what I actually wrote – as anyone can read – was “I recommend you read the articles on the ships USS Merrimack, CSS Virginia, and USS Monitor (in addition to the content of this very article).” (Boldface added, but the very visible wikilinks were present in the original.)

I am quite content to let the historical facts speak for themselves and welcome any other knowledgeable editor’s comments. In fact, I won’t be able to participate this forthcoming week as I will be on business travel. If anyone has questions, simply look at what I have posted on the talk page and my edits that were reverted by Carajou in the article’s edit history for February 16 & 17. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Wow, I personally think that both of you need to calm down, and approach this civially. Looking only at what's been written on this talk page, I see two things.
  1. Neither of the things that Carajou says are important, are important to wikipedia. WP does not care about truth, it cares about verifiabliity. Also, the policy on verifiabliity does not encourage Primary Sources. Wikipeida likes secondary sources.
  2. Yes, it is an edit war. You both think the other's version of the page is M:The Wrong Version. The fact that you both went to the top and brought this to the discussion on the edit war page seems kinda childish. Sure some of his attacks were ad hominem, but you didn't talk about the substantive portions of his arguments, but basing his faults on the facts that some of his attacks were ad hominem are ad hominem in and of themselves.
Maybe I wouldn't be a good arbitrator beacuse it seems as if I'm telling you that you're both wrong, and that you both need to learn a little WP:CIVILity. This should be able to be resolved between the two of you. If you two are the only two in the discussion, maybe you should request arbitration. An alternative is that you both should probably read (or re-read) (humor me?) WP:RS, present articles that serve the different points of view, establish whether they are or are not Reliable (according to the criteria in WP:RS), and decide together what should be done. McKay 05:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Benefical edit wars?

I know some edit wars, that fall into the revert of text contributions " part" and continue to do so " part" each time (once it has passed a change of a revision in part once, bad edit wars usually turn into a revert " entirety" of that initial "part") can be constructive, if each side gives in a little, to the other users edits each change, until both are satisfied or at least less dissatisfied, I think this kind of "good edit war" should be added into the edit war page too. This kind of edit war usually starts with new articles that only two users view. 01:16, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Edit wars where the other side will not talk

  • Responded on the village pump. >Radiant< 15:30, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Mini edit war and discussion

Is it okay to have extensive discusion and then a mini edit war of let say three reverts in total and then proceed to dispute resolution, like mediation? Or is extensive discussion and one revert enough for mediation? I personally prefer the former. I think that the advantage of a revert is that they make it clear that there is serious disagreement. Andries 20:27, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

 ???? See WP:NOT#BATTLEGROUND, WP:TE#Characteristics_of_problem_editors, and WP:DE. Edit warring is never an option. Revert once, if you disagree. Then engage in discussions. Mediation is not a replacement for collaboration, which is the main way we conduct business here. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:51, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
But reverting only once meansw that I will have to file a request for mediation every day. Extensive discussions yield no compromises. Andries 04:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
That is a really surprising comment, Andries, as you are no newbie. I will let others enlighten you about how Wikipedia works, in case you have forgotten. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
You know very well that I have engaged in extensive fruitless discussions on some subjects. RFC's do not help. So I think that mediation is the only way forward. Andries 05:03, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
You are free to request mediation whenever you think it may help things, regardless of whether there was a previous edit war on the topic. >Radiant< 12:37, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Zero Tolerance policy on edit warring, is it possible?

In my opinion, people having edit/revert wars over a single article is just silly. What should prevent edit wars is a zero tolerance policy on edit warring. It should make Wikipedia a friendlier environment for editing. After the article gets protected so only administrators can edit it, said participants would be blocked for disruption. How does this sound? Harold26 (c) 11:46, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Bad idea, as it scares off people. Also, in some cases what might seem like an edit war is in fact a series of vandal reverts. And also, a series of incremental partial reverts may help finding a compromise on things. >Radiant< 12:35, 14 August 2007 (UTC)