This is getting kind of ridiculous. On one hand, it's best to have questions that are conducive to knowing what they're about. On the other hand, the number of people who drive-by add what the querent feels are spoilers to the title... can we find a middle ground?
First of all, lets get this out of the way, so we can focus on the real question:
Edit Wars Are Bad, Stop Having Them
If you make an edit to a question, and the OP rolls it back, stop there. If you want to make an edit to a question and you see that it's been edited before and then reverted, stop there. Don't keep making edits that the OP is just going to undo. Instead,
- If an edit war is already in progress, flag the question for moderator attention (so it can be locked), and
- Come here and seek clarification.
At that point, once there's consensus, a moderator can step in, edit the question appropriately, and lock it that way. Hopefully that also satisfies the OP that the edits are justified, instead of just pissing them off that we keep messing up his post.
The OPs Decisions Are NOT Final
On SE sites, there is a custom of giving a lot of weight to the decision of the person what made the post, especially when that post is a question. But it's also very clear in the site's Terms of Service: Once you hit that post button, the question belongs to the site. It is explicitly allowed and encouraged for everyone else to edit questions to make them better, and to adhere to the standards of the site.
What the OP personally believes regarding spoilers is helpful, since they presumably know the spoilers and can judge them. But it's ultimately not what matters. If we (the community) know better, then we edit the question to fix it -- if needed, after talking it over in comments, or chat, or meta. That's how it works.
Spoilers -- What Are They Good For?
As far as question titles go, that policy is, and has been for a very long time:
- Your title must be meaningful, and
- Try really hard to avoid spoilers.
First and foremost, above all else, question titles must be meaningful. Any question title that takes the form "Why did pronoun do pronoun?" is terrible. No one reading that title is going to know what your question is about, so they aren't going to know:
- Can they answer it?
- Do they also want to know the answer to it?
- Is it a duplicate of the question they're writing up right now?
etc. Meaningful titles are of paramount importance. Meaningful titles trump spoilers. If you legitimately cannot think of a single way to write your question title that does not include the spoiler, then too bad. I can tell you, in many years of fixing terrible question titles, I've yet to come across one where that was true, but I suppose it could happen.
Of course, it also helps if you genuinely know what a spoiler is. For starters not every new piece of information you learn in a book is a spoiler. Just because you didn't know Raistlin's shoe size, or childhood bully's name, or whatever until Chapter 86, doesn't make it a spoiler. A spoiler is something that would literally spoil the enjoyment of the book if you put it in your question.
Unfortunately, we only have a somewhat vaguely defined policy for what a spoiler actually is, but the definition that seems to have worked best over the years includes all of the following:
- Only major, unknowable plot points can be spoilers. It has to be something that would literally ruin your enjoyment of the work if you knew it ahead of time (e.g. it should have some degree of surprise, shock, twist, unexpectedness, or at least major plot significance to it.) The fact that the good guy beats the bad guy in the end is not a spoiler; the fact that the good guy kills the bad guy could be.
- Spoilers are spoilers regardless of the age of the work. We don't assume people have read/watched old works here, so don't spoiler for them.
- Spoilers stop being spoilers when they become common knowledge. Everyone knows Darth Vader is Luke's father because literally everyone on the planet misquotes that line in the movie these days.
- Spoilers stop being spoilers when you can see it in the trailers/commercials/back of the book/etc. If the publisher didn't think something was secret enough to keep hidden, we don't care either.
If the question title were something like:
Where did Raistlin get the Dragon Orb he uses to talk to Dalamar?
That gives away none of the plot of any of the previous novels, because knowing he has an Orb in War of the Twins cannot spoil Dragons of Winter Night, and it says nothing about the plot of War of the Twins that you shouldn't already know before you start reading it. Plus, it's such an insignificant plot point -- the Orb is just an excuse to let Raistlin talk to someone across time, it could have literally been anything.
There's a few different things going on here. I'll take them in order of importance.
1) Stop editing this question.
Once the OP has explicitly rejected your edit, stop being a jerk by continuing to try to edit it against their wishes. Seek meta consensus.
Three rollbacks is ridiculous. Nine title edits is doubly ridiculous.
2) Why didn't a moderator sort this earlier?
There appeared to be a short edit war going on between Josh Caswell and MyCodeSucks. A moderator then stepped in and made things worse by overriding the OP and editing a spoiler back into the title, something that the OP and others clearly felt should be hidden, necessitating a further rollback. This is the point that the question should have been frozen, if not earlier.
3) Don't edit spoilers into titles.
We've already have an agreed policy on spoilers.
"Don't consider the age of the material."
"Avoid spoilers completely in the title."