I was recently involved in a series of back-and-forth edits to the tags of a question. In particular, the question lacked any explicit statement or tag designating the system, so it was closed in accordance with our don't guess the system policy.
Another user (not the querent) added a system tag without any confirmation from the querent about the system. I reverted the edit, the tag was added again, and again I reverted the edit.
What happens if someone suggests a bad edit?
If a user without edit privileges proposes an edit that does not comply with the guidelines above, it is ordinarily rejected in the review process. Even if a bad edit is applied to a post, other users will generally fix it. Users with sufficient reputation may elect to roll back the post to a previous version (by viewing the revision history of the post and selecting the version they would like to display).
From my perspective, I felt I was reverting a "bad edit" (read: non-compliant) to maintain compliance with our policy. I was later accused of inciting an edit war (by the other editor).
Is this an appropriate course of action to take? How should I have handled this?
I haven't found a meta.rpg post concerning edit wars, so I think it would be helpful to establish some best practice for non-moderators for handling situations where a user is insistent on making poor or policy violating edits.
A thorough answer should address:
- What is an edit war?
- When should users stop reverting bad edits to a question and let the moderators handle it?
- Should this be handled differently for situations where the edits are clear policy violations (such as guessing system tags) vs. substantive edits to the question body?