An edit war is when two or more contributors to an article on Wikitravel continuously edit and re-edit the article to get across their point of view. For example, contributor A writes:
Contributor B changes the article to:
Contributor A changes this back to NST. Contributor B changes it to DLT again. And so on, and so on, and so on. It's the wiki equivalent of two children shouting in each other's face: "Am not!" "Are too! "Am not!" "Are too!"
Edit wars are normally pretty bad things. They (usually) cause needless conflict and detract the attention of a lot of people from the task we have at hand. However, sometimes these conflicts are needed; sometimes we need to figure out an important issue of policy, of style, of whatever, and the edit war triggers that discussion.
As of this writing, we haven't had any serious edit wars on Wikitravel. But, in anticipation, this article is about how to deal with edit wars.
What to do
If you get caught up in an edit war, here's what you need to do:
Severe edit wars
Note that we believe that Wiki works, and that an open page is the best policy. Any time two or more people can't work out their differences on talk pages, in public forums like the Travellers' pub, or between themselves, we've failed. An important part of what makes Wikitravel powerful is that we believe in working things out directly, and not a lot of hierarchical nonsense.
However, that said, if an edit war has become severe, and discussion on talk pages isn't working, and the importance of the issue is worth undermining our principles of openness, then one of the Administrators can declare a cooling-off period, protect the page in question so no other edits can take place, and demand that the interested parties come to consensus on a talk page.
Page protection is very rare. We have two protected pages on Wikitravel -- both are license text that we have to keep as verbatim copies. When a protection happens it will make the next time more likely, and the third time after that. We'll get in a situation where people expect administrators to be the Big Boss and come in and tell everyone what to do. We don't want that. Let's avoid it.
You can contact an administrator to ask them to protect a page, but that doesn't mean they're going to do it. Make sure that all other means of solving the problem have been exhausted, and that a sufficient amount of time has passed that shows it won't be resolved without intervention. Remember that nobody likes a tattletale; you should be pretty darn sure that your problem is worth a cooling-off period.
During the cooling-off period, the combatants should work out a new consensus version of the article on a talk sub-page, such as Talk:Toronto/best goth club. Once they've come to consensus, an admin will unprotect the page.