After 11 edits (12 versions) from the same user an answer becomes community wiki. There are lots of questions regarding the way in which this happens but none (that I could find) regarding "Why". And humans hate not to know why!

Most other reasons for community wikification make obvious sense; if a post has been edited by many many users it doesn't really belong to anyone anymore. But the 11 edits creates a perverse incentive not to edit your own posts to perfect them. Previously I would return many times (possibly weeks after I'd posted) to improve a big answer but I basically don't do that anymore unless I can remember exactly how many times I've edited before or now that I'm not completely new to the site, look at the "edited" link and see that I still have several edits left.

That's the reasons against this system, but I'm presuming there are reasons for 11 self edits leading to community wikification, which brings me back to why?


This question refers to a behaviour which no longer exists. Posts are no longer automatically converted to community wiki


1 Answer 1


It is a rate limiting measure, to prevent users from bumping a post to the top too often. It was introduced a long time ago, during the Stack Overflow private beta period, in fact. Jeff and Joel discuss this in Stack Overflow Podcast #20 (which I happened to listen to just yesterday).

If this bites you for legitimate reasons (your answer evolved over time, following the complexities of a changing question, or because of new insights to a complex problem), flag your post for moderator attention, use other and request that a moderator revert the CW flag change.

This has happened to me once or twice, and the flag has always been quickly handled and my request to revert honoured.

  • 1
    Does editing still bump, as far as answers go they seem to show up in a random order May 12, 2013 at 12:35
  • 2
    @RichardTingle: editing answers bumps questions in the 'Active' tab. I believe that site homepages do take active posts into account in what is shown as well. May 12, 2013 at 12:36
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    This suggests community wikification is being used as a punishment of sorts, surely this wasn't the intention of community wiki? Also; isn't this using a sledge hammer to crack a nut, wouldn't a more direct solution be just to stop bumping after so many edits. May 12, 2013 at 15:51
  • 4
    Bumping is important, we can't supress bumping since that would allow folks to start doing evil stuff after n trivial edits, @Richard. An alternate solution would be to simply limit edits to a single post to n per day, but of course that might discourage someone from making useful improvements (and has other issues once other editors get involved).
    – Shog9
    May 12, 2013 at 17:55
  • @Shog9, Or only count edits from the last 30 days when for “auto wiki” Apr 10, 2014 at 12:04
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    @IanRingrose: Auto CW is gone, as of yesterday. Ding ding, the witch is dead! Apr 10, 2014 at 12:05

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