I basically have three questions, all about edit disputes: How can I avoid edit wars, who has the final say over the content of an answer, and what do I do if an answer was locked?
Who has the final say over the content of an answer?
If there is an unresolvable dispute about the content of an answer, does the original author have final say, the community opinion (eg as expressed via comments), moderators, or someone else?
My reasoning would be that independent of good reasoning or valid sources, the original author of an answer should always have the final decision about the content of their answer, as it's their name associated with it. It also seems that giving others the final say would be hard to manage and that it could easily lead to edit wars.
If other users disagree with an answer and their edits where reverted by the original author, they are free to voice that disagreement in the comments, to downvote the answer, to create their own answer (if applicable), or to create a new question about the disputed topic (if applicable).
Handling repeated edits / avoiding edit wars
I'm also wondering what to do if a user repeatedly edits/reverts an answer against the expressed wishes of the original author (possibly without giving a reason for the edit and/or ignoring the reasons for the existing version)? Should these edits just be reverted each time, should a moderator be contacted (if so, how?), or should something else be done?
How to handle locked answers
When an answer is locked, the description reads:
This post has been locked while disputes about its content are being resolved
This sounds like a temporary measure. But what if the dispute cannot be resolved? Will the answer be locked forever, making all future edits impossible? This doesn't seem ideal, especially if the lock is the result of an edit war, meaning that the lock will possibly be permanent.
The text also gives off the impression that the answer is wrong or highly disputed. But what if only one user repeatedly edits an answer (possibly without giving valid reasons)? In that case, the text seems misleading.
Is there a way to unlock an answer without reaching a consensus with a user that fundamentally disagrees with it?
Because I think that locking an answer in the case of one user repeatedly editing an answer against the wishes of the original author is not a good idea. I don't think that it meets the reasons for locking, and I think that it could easily be abused.
If I don't like - possibly well-sourced - content in an answer, I can just repeatedly remove it. Either the original author gives up after a while and keeps my edits, or the post gets locked after a while, giving the impression that the content was in fact wrong or disputed by more than that one person, and making votes, further edits, etc impossible. Either way, I have reached my goal.
To me, it seems that the correct solution would not be to lock an answer in such cases, but to contact the user editing the answer and telling them to stop.
This concrete answer brought the questions up for me, but it's mainly about how to handle these situations in general.