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This is from my answer here. It sparked some interest, and I felt it should have its own discussion.

Background - The Problem with Reputation

As it stands, reputation surrounding community wiki (CW) questions can be unfair or even inconsistent. This would be fixed by removing reputation gained by posting CW answers, regardless of when they were posted.

Consider when a person asks a question that should be CW, and is only later changed to match this status. Often times, people will post their answer as non-CW, often to try to get a bit of reputation before the question is migrated to CW.

Once the question is made CW, any further answers will not generate reputation. This creates an inconsistent state of reputation, where people have earned reputation off of CW questions, which should be impossible.

Arguments For Reputation

One argument was "the intent of the author was for it not to be CW". Of course, this means we would have to never change the CW status of a question and assume the poster always intends correctly. There is reason to be believe this isn't always the case, though. Sometimes the CW status of a question needs fixing, and answers should match.

This would cause a bit of rep loss for myself and others, but I feel it would create a more consistent representation of reputation. Community Wiki questions are questions that do not affect reputation at all, and then we have regular questions.

Change Request

In short, I consider the ability to keep reputation on a previously non-CW question a loophole. Loopholes, while resembling free-hand circles, are generally not good.

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Thanks, that looks much better. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 21:46
    
@raven, fixed it for him. –  Lance Roberts Dec 4 '09 at 22:05
    
@Gman: Just so you know, you just got my last upvote of today. Luckily, I think we're not terribly far from UTC tomorrow. :) –  John Rudy Dec 4 '09 at 22:49

4 Answers 4

Because edits by just a few users can cause a question or answer to become community wiki, removing all rep from questions/answers that become community wiki will not work. All you would need is a cabal of 4 people who agree to edit all or some significant fraction of a person's answers and/or the questions that a person has answered and you'd remove most or all of their rep. Even in the absence of nefarious conduct, legitimate questions can become community wiki simply by being around long enough to be edited by several people or because you've taken the trouble to keep it up-to-date. Losing rep because a question gets edited into community-dom is worse than the problem the solution attempts to correct.

From the FAQ:

How does a post become a Community Wiki post?

There are several ways a question or answer can enter community wiki mode, and most of these ways will occur automatically based on the rules of the system.

Posts enter community wiki mode when:

  • The body of the post has been edited six times by at least four different people.
  • The post has been edited eight times by the original owner.
  • The post's author checks the community wiki checkbox when composing the question or answer.
  • The post is edited by its original author, who when doing so opts to check the community wiki.
  • The question generates more than 30 answers. In this case, the question and all answers will enter community mode, as will any future answers.
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But I think if that's the case, the problem lies in the edit->cw process, not the other way. If sufficient edits make a cw wiki, yet we disagree that it should be cw, then the edit->cw bar needs to be changed. Also, grouping together and editing peoples posts to make them lose rep seems to me an evil thing to do, though I can see it would be too much extra work to detect or deal with that. :/ –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 21:46
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The edit rule is there to prevent people using the edit process to continually pop the question to the front page to get more attention (and votes). It's unlikely to be changed. –  tvanfosson Dec 4 '09 at 21:57
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Then maybe community wiki isn't the right answer, but a lock or the inability to bump. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 22:36
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Or maybe just leave it the way it is and live with the fact that rep is unfair, inconsistent, and basically meaningless except as a game to play. –  tvanfosson Dec 4 '09 at 22:42
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@tvanfosson: Rep will always be unfair, inconsistent and basically meaningless. That's part of the fun! Sadly, some folks take it very seriously: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31867/jealousy meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31842/misery meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31770/unfair, etc. I guess THE INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS –  John Rudy Dec 4 '09 at 22:54
    
Oh I don't take it seriously, at all. It's just that when a system has inconsistencies it means there's often some way to fix it and simplify it. Making a no-bump lock would merge well with a minor-edit feature, for example. After the edit-threshold is reached, subsequent edits are forced minor. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 22:58
    
@GMan: I didn't think you were taking it too seriously. I just hope you weren't thinking this proposal (which again, I support!) will stop the influx of people complaining ... –  John Rudy Dec 5 '09 at 0:36
    
Oh, and @tvanfosson: I finally get to give you your deserved +1 now that it's tomorrow. –  John Rudy Dec 5 '09 at 0:37

I actually back this proposal. However, there is the problem mentioned by tvanfosson, which I didn't think about until he brought it up.

I think, in order for this to work, the mode of conversion to wiki would have to have some impact on whether or not to remove rep gained. And unfortunately, I don't know if how a question came to be wiki is tracked.

In my mind, the following options should remove rep:

  • The post's author checks the community wiki checkbox when composing the question or answer.
  • The post is edited by its original author, who when doing so opts to check the community wiki.
  • [not mentioned in FAQ] A mod sets the post to be community wiki.

And the following options should not:

  • The body of the post has been edited six times by at least four different people.
  • The post has been edited eight times by the original owner.
  • The question generates more than 30 answers. In this case, the question and all answers will enter community mode, as will any future answers.

The reason is these last 3 really are the system conversions to wiki, whereas the first three are intentional state changes by someone of authority (either the author or a mod).

With a system like this, I'd be totally behind the idea.

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Hmmm, I think I could agree with this proposal. I'll have to ponder further before committing though. –  ChrisF Dec 4 '09 at 22:27
    
My name is Æther and I approve of this message! –  Ether Dec 4 '09 at 22:48
    
Should remove the poster's rep or everyone that commented as well? What about the rep gained from comments (do you get rep for having an upvoted comment?) –  Chuck Vose Dec 5 '09 at 1:01
    
You gain no rep from comments, so it wouldn't matter for them. –  John Rudy Dec 5 '09 at 1:22

Perhaps a compromise could be to make all existing answers CW once the question is made CW regardless of how it was converted.

That would remove the loop hole described here:

Consider when a person asks a question that should be CW, and is only later changed to match this status. Often times, people will post their answer as non-CW, often to try to get a bit of rep before the question.

But other than that I don't see the real benefit in changing the system. It works 95+% of the time.

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That's already in place, though now you've got me doubting. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 21:33
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@GMan - existing answers aren't made CW unless a moderator make the question CW. See my answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31806/… –  ChrisF Dec 4 '09 at 21:35
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Hm, I didn't know that. :] I like this answer, then. The only problem is what tvanfosson brought up about edits. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 21:44
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@GMan - I'm not advocating removing rep when posts turn CW, just closing this loophole –  ChrisF Dec 4 '09 at 21:47
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Oh, I see. But this still then leaves us in the state of having earned reputation from a question which clearly shouldn't and doesn't earn reputation. –  GManNickG Dec 4 '09 at 22:06

Please don't do this. Community Wiki is muddy enough as it is. The few people who might benefit from it don't really understand what it is, and adding incentive to force more questions into Wiki would just make it the ultimate mosh pit.

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I'm not sure I understand what's muddy about CW. It's rather clear-cut to me. –  GManNickG Dec 6 '09 at 6:01
    
On the one hand it seems to be trying to emulate copyright (e.g. after a certain period of time elapses something becomes public domain; after a certain number of responses or edits, it becomes community wiki). On the other hand, it seems to be a way of trying to negate questions that shouldn't be there in the first place. I personally still find it confusing. –  Kaji Dec 6 '09 at 7:53

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