I had a content dispute with someone. I tried discussing the issue with them, but they weren't interested in discussing it, and kept on reverting without any discussion.

Now it's been locked at The Wrong Version.

What should I do?

  • You are starting the discussion the wrong way. Don't start it by painting the other party in a bad light, no matter your opinion of the other person.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 8:14
  • 3
    Make a case here on meta why the version I locked is the wrong one. And please, even if you disagree with it, don't get into an edit war, ever. Just flag for moderator attention or bring it to meta
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 8:14
  • @Fabian did you read the page linked to "The Wrong Version"? :) "This page contains material intended to be humorous. It should not be taken seriously or literally."
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 8:16
  • 3
    No, I didn't. I expect a meta post to be understandable without having to read a whole Wikipedia page
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 8:17
  • 2
    @AndrewGrimm Make your case, instead of joke around. Explain WHY your version is the superior one, explain why those two links shouldn't be in the question.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 8:18
  • From the point of view of a moderator, the problem is not who is right. The problem is the conflict: this can be easily solved by locking the post and/or sending both the users to the cooling box without taking a side. That said, there are better ways to debate the finer details of editing besides edit comments. Use the chat. :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 12:42

3 Answers 3


Addressing just the question here on meta, and not the incident which spawned it (emphasis mine):

I tried discussing the issue with them, but they weren't interested in discussing it, and kept on reverting without any discussion.

The bolded text indicates where the problem really started.

If you make an edit to someone's post, and they revert it, don't make any further edits.

What should I do?

Attempt to engage them in discussion, and refrain from taking further action on the question or answer until you and the author reach an agreement.

If you cannot reach an agreement, or the author does not respond, flag for moderator attention, select "Other", and describe your suggested edit (preferably with a link to your discussion if it was outside of the comments).


Make a careful explanation why your way is the correct way, and try to convince others of it.

In the case that started this meta question, both you and the other party gave little to no explanation of the reasons. Not much of comments about it, just constantly war on and edit over and over, and calling each other names in comments.

If the other party is stubborn, lacks arguments, is a sexist and racist etc, it will show through discussion, and other people and mods will see it and support your stance.

Making a single line of cryptic explanation doesn't make either party look better, then it just looks like a sandbox fight.


My take on general question is:

  • do not make any modifications significantly changing the question, unless it's clear improvement and you expect to seen as such by the author;
  • do not ever engage in edit wars with the author of the question;
  • if question (or part of it) is in breach of site rules, flag it for moderator attention;

In my opinion changing a question without valid reason and without author's consent constitutes vandalism.

StackExchange edit policy is following:

  1. We welcome all constructive edits, but please make them substantial. Avoid trivial, tiny one-letter edits unless absolutely necessary.
  2. fix grammatical or spelling errors.
  3. clarify meaning without changing it.
  4. correct minor mistakes.
  5. add related resources or links.
  6. always respect the original author.
  7. this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia.

The edit in question clearly contradicts point 6. and while none of the previous ones apply.

The author of the question should have a right to protect it's integrity, even if you don't agree with the question. And even though questions are CC-BY-SA, this still applies:

Article 6bis of the Berne Convention: Independent of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to the said work, which would be prejudicial to the author's honor or reputation

As for particular case you're referring to:

Calling the author "douchebag" in comments does not constitute "trying to discuss the issue".

  • you're calling kettle black there. Both of you was engaging fully in the flame war yesterday, both of you was deep in the edit war too. Calling it "vandalism" is silly too, being on this site means you should be open for people editing your questions, and he gave a reason for why he was changing it. You never said anything against it, you just rolled back what he said.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:15
  • @Wertilq: can you give example of anything inflammatory I have said?
    – vartec
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:17
  • @Wertilq: also, posting on this site means I'm open to people improving questions, not open to people vandalizing them.
    – vartec
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:21
  • Sorry but I don't have examples since it all got purged, I just remember reading it all thinking it was a giant sandbox quarrel.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:22
  • @Wertilq: there you go, example of useful edit: meta.skeptics.stackexchange.com/posts/2312/revisions
    – vartec
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:42
  • 2
    Sure I don't disagree with you on that being a useful edit, but if an edit is useful or not is fairly subjective. And you being owner of a question doesn't automatically mean you're right, or that you should have full rights to do whatever you want with the question. In others eyes it is might actually be YOU that does the 'vandalism' then, if you're reverting an edit by another person, that might overall make the whole page slightly worse, by making that question worse.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:46
  • @Wertilq: if question is of low quality, it should be flagged as such. OTOH, removing link to the article on sole base that you don't like the article is anything but useful or constructive.
    – vartec
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 11:22
  • 2
    It was not as much the article as how you did portrait her, referring to an event where she is ridiculed over internet. Using a name that is intended to make fun of her, you did not keep the question neutral. This is what he told you over and over, but you was just being stubborn and refused to listen, and you still haven't addressed it really, just citing rules and laws to protect yourself, trying to lawyering your way to being right. That is what created whole this situation in the first place, that neither of you two discussed the problem really.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 11:34
  • @Wertilq: it's his right to believe that "donglegate" name was coined to ridicule someone. It's his right to believe, that being sexist and racist bully is OK. It's my right not to share his views.
    – vartec
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 13:08
  • 1
    Fair enough, if you want to subtly call names, then this discussion is over. Thank you for your time.
    – Wertilq
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:21
  • 1
    I have no knowledge of the individual incident that is caused all this, but your post pretty much describes the stack Exchange line of defer to the author, and flag it if you really can't stand what the author wrote/rolledback. It should be more upvoted.
    – Ryathal
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:54

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