Some questions and answers are marked Community Wiki and are owned by a community wiki user:

image showing the "owner" of a CW post is "community wiki"

(in fact, this very question is one of them)

  • Why have Community Wiki posts?
  • How do Community Wiki posts work?
  • How does a post become a Community Wiki post?
  • How can the Community Wiki status be removed from a post?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 2 '09 at 12:21

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  • 57
    I love how this is a community wiki on community wikis. – haykam Jun 24 '16 at 4:19
  • 7
    I searched for What are “Community Wiki” posts? and finally reached its answer which is also posted by a community wiki. – ViVi Jul 13 '16 at 11:13
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    @Peanut - that's pretty Meta for Meta ;-P – Howard Pautz Aug 24 '16 at 19:49
  • @HowardPautz New Meta.SE post: "What is meta? ascom pls explain" – haykam Aug 24 '16 at 22:21
  • @Peanut - sorry, that was meant tongue-in-cheek (:-P) as in a "Wiki for Wiki" ... Meta for Meta ... (Meta-level / Meta-physical for the Meta Site :) – Howard Pautz Aug 24 '16 at 22:27
  • 3
    @HowardPautz Exactly, but meta on meta is more meta than most leading meta – haykam Aug 25 '16 at 21:06
  • I just posted a question can I see example of a community wiki post, because it doesn't really say anywhere clearly "THIS IS A COMMUNITY WIKI POST". This subtle hint on the right bottom of post in pilot-vision font was not enough for me. – Marko Avlijaš Oct 14 '16 at 11:55
  • The first thought that came to mind when I saw this is, "It better be by the community wiki..." – Kröw Jun 12 '17 at 0:40

Why have Community Wiki posts?

One of the goals of the website is to be a continually evolving source of good information. Community Wiki posts help enhance the wiki aspect of the site.

For more information about the proper use of community wiki, see The Future of Community Wiki.

How do Community Wiki posts work?

Community Wiki posts work by partly transferring ownership of the post from the original author to the community. They make the post easier to edit and maintain by a wider group of users, but they do not contribute to any user's reputation.

Some of the key features are:

  • A much lower reputation (100 instead of 2000) is needed to freely edit a community wiki post originally made by someone else. 1
  • Voting on a community wiki post (up or down) does not affect any user's reputation.
  • Accepting an answer marked as community wiki does not affect its original author's reputation, and does not give +2 to the question author.
  • Bounties awarded to answer marked as community wiki still give reputation to the original author.
  • The original author still gets badges based on community posts.
  • The original author keeps the reputation gained (or lost) before their post entered community mode.
  • The original author still receives notifications for substantial edits or comments on the post.
  • The user listed in the author box need not be the original author. Rather, it is the user with the highest percentage of authorship in the final revision, determined by the number of lines inserted or deleted, with a bonus (factor of 2) for the original author.

How does a post become a Community Wiki post?

There are only three ways that a post becomes community wiki.

  • The answer's (not question's) author checks the community wiki checkbox when composing or editing the answer. Note that this checkbox isn't available to new users. The checkbox also is not available if the question being answered is already a community wiki. 2

  • If you post an answer to a community wiki question, your answer will also be community wiki.

  • A moderator has reason to believe that the question or answer serves better in community wiki mode - if you believe your post should be converted to a community wiki, you may flag it for moderator attention.

In the past, questions could be made community wiki by their authors or by certain automatic triggers but now the only means is by a moderator converting it to community wiki. When a moderator converts a question to community wiki, all existing answers will also be converted in addition to converting future answers.3

How can the Community Wiki status be removed from a post?

Community Wiki status can only be removed by a moderator.

If community wiki status is removed from a post, reputation is automatically recalculated as if the post was never a wiki.

Miscellaneous

  • Rollbacks cannot remove community wiki status.

  • The Community User4 might appear as the last editor of a post, even a non-wiki post. This happens either 1. when an edit by an anonymous user is approved, or 2. when it randomly pokes old unanswered questions so they get some attention. In the latter case, this will only be shown in certain overviews and on a notice on the question, and not an actual revision in the revision history.

  • If you are looking for an example community wiki post, see this question and this answer. They are all community wikis. You can easily identify community wikis by the text "community wiki" where the author's profile picture should be.


1 The original author of a community wiki post can always edit it, even if he or she has < 100 reputation. Other edits made by users with less than 100 reputation must be reviewed in the usual way before being applied.

2 Since October 2010, there is no community wiki checkbox when asking a question.

3 In the past, converting a question to community wiki would not automatically convert the answers, so you may see non-Community Wiki answers to older Community Wiki questions. If you would like to edit them, you can flag for a moderator to add Community Wiki status to the answer. (Newer answers to these older questions will automatically be Community Wiki.)

4 See Who is the Community User?, or read the Community User’s profile.

  • 3
    So basically the only benefit is to enable users with a low reputation to edit the post? Or did I miss something? – GôTô Mar 20 '17 at 16:36
  • 17
    @GôTô I think there's more. I don't do substantial edits to other users' answers. I do formatting, grammar fixes etc., but hardly ever expand their answers. My reasoning: their answer, their reputation, their job. I may write a comment ("And what about…?") and hope the author of the answer will improve it; or I leave my separate answer (e.g. "The alternative way to do it is…"). When the answer is Community Wiki then I read it "don't add your answer, improve me instead". The benefit is usually one comprehensive answer instead of many concurrent, competing, sometimes partial ones. – Kamil Maciorowski Apr 5 '17 at 8:40
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    @KamilMaciorowski interesting how a simple label changes the way you see it. I understand, although I personally don't share this approach. Thank you for sharing this – GôTô Apr 5 '17 at 22:17
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    @KamilMaciorowski: Your comment should definitely be merged into the answer above! ;) Especially as it still leaves the "WHY?" part basically hanging. (The linked old "Future..." page also felt insufficient to me.) (I know that I, too, could do it myself; one reason for hesitating is that I'd just be unable to not add something like "And as Kamil Maciorowski said in his comment...", which is kinda directly against the (anonymous) spirit of c. w. :) ) – Sz. Jun 23 '17 at 12:29
  • 9
    I've been a member of SE sites for a while, and recently became a lot more active. I really like how balanced and matured SE is nowadays, but Community Wiki is the one feature that doesn't seem well thought out. Seems like the only purpose is to remove rep, which maybe has its niche cases, but also sounds like kind of a screw-you to the author. In any case, there must be plenty of other features/benefits SE could add if they are serious about the feature, and documentation/presentation could be made more streamlined. – Stephen Jul 11 '17 at 2:56
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    True, I was about to make something a community wiki, but I stopped. – Manohar Reddy Poreddy Aug 18 '17 at 3:52
  • 1
    Just like @ManoharReddyPoreddy I, too, was debating making an extensive answer into a community wiki, but then reading this post basically "talked me out of it". (No advantage; only disadvantage.) I would have assumed that the answer would at least have increased exposure to those looking for an answer covered within, but as far as I can tell it's still just based on the regular vote system. Unfortunate if an answer was down-voted before substantial improvement (wiki or not) because it may never see the light of day... – ashleedawg Mar 14 at 16:54

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