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There is a rep barrier to marking a question Community Wiki: the point being to withold it from people who lack the experience to understand the purpose of CW. However it seems to me that perhaps the barrier is too low because a few times now I have come across questions which are clearly programming related and answerable but which have been marked as CW. Here is the latest one, which triggered my question.

I know there is no way for the questioner or a random editor to reverse this, to prevent people toggling it to game the points system. But having questions wrongly marked CW is bad because:

  • it blurs the ownership of the question. I have just edited the question I linked to (it had a shocking lack of punctuation) and now the identity of the OP is lost.
  • the CW status might discourage people from answering the question because there's no rep to be gained.

So what, if any, action should we take? If we flag it for Moderator Attention can they un-Wiki it? Or is CW really a one-way street?

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I think Diamond mods can Wiki and Unwiki posts. – Earlz May 26 '10 at 17:58
I agree that blurring ownership of the question is bad when CW is used improperly. But I would point out that it's by design for CW in general; that's part of the "Community" aspect of Community Wiki. – Pops May 26 '10 at 18:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

CW is a one-way street. There's no going back. Mods can make a question "fully" CW (i.e., convert the question and all existing non-CW answers to CW), but they cannot undo CW on any post.

I don't think the problem lies in the CW mechanism itself (aside from the implementation issues, which is a separate discussion) -- I think the problem is in educating users on what CW really means.

This is a particularly difficult thing to do because there isn't one clear definition of why a post should be CW. There are many different opinions on when CW should be used, or not used, so it's understandable that a new user won't be able to figure it out correctly all the time.

There is a long tooltip if you hover over the checkbox, but it only lists the consequences of CW, not the conditions under which that feature should be used.

When to check the "community wiki" checkbox?

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