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I am very confused as to the true/original/intended purpose of community wiki? Based on my experience, questions are turned into community wiki on 'iffy' questions that are borderline allowed or somewhat-argumentative/subjective...I also have observed that questions with a lot of answers or will have a lot of answers are turned into CW...why is this?

Can anyone inform me on the true purpose of CW, and why we use it, and what we intend by turning a post or question into a CW? Thanks!

somewhat of a duplicate of meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/11740/ … but looking more for the purpose of CW...

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I'm not sure how this is different from the faq post you linked to –  Michael Mrozek Sep 4 '10 at 5:32
@Michael Reading the FAQ it is a bit confusing and technical. I think it needs to be "dumbed down" a bit. Also, it doesn't cover the not part of CW. I will try and update it over the weekend or early next week. –  Diago Sep 4 '10 at 5:35
@Michael @Diago: the FAQ doesn't even attempt to say why one should use CW. eg is it to be used just to prevent rep gains on popular quesitons? (No.) –  Philip Potter Sep 4 '10 at 7:38
@Philip FYI. Multiple notifications do not work in comments. –  Diago Sep 4 '10 at 7:50
@Diago I did not know that. maybe that's another one for feature-request. –  Philip Potter Sep 4 '10 at 9:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted


To allow anyone to collaboratively edit a question or answer. Since it's a combined effort no rep can be gained. Furthermore it requires less reputation to edit. All questions become CW after a certain amount of edits.

It is not

  • An excuse to post subjective question
  • An excuse to post polls
  • A get out of jail free card for posting questions that does not meet the criteria for a specific site

Further information available in the FAQ here.

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In particular, its primary purpose is collaborative effort, not removal of rep gain. People shouldn't demand CW to stop someone gaining rep, only to enable them to edit an answer. –  Philip Potter Sep 4 '10 at 7:36
@Philip Agreed. Do you feel I can improve my answer to indicate this better? If so, any suggestions? –  Diago Sep 4 '10 at 7:48
you could make it CW and I could edit it directly :P but seriously, I think it's simple enough to say something like "making something CW is the poster's choice, not his duty". There's no situation I can think of where the same post could be allowed as CW but not as non-CW. However there are some who use CW to deflect rep gains from insanely popular questions, and if they want to do that they can. But it's not reasonable to demand others do it too. –  Philip Potter Sep 4 '10 at 9:37
@Philip And give up the opportunity to gain reputation. You gotta be kidding. This is the Wild Wild West. Every measly upvote helps :) –  Diago Sep 7 '10 at 20:52

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