I have this answer to this post that gets a steady stream of upvotes. Due to the fact that more and more users actually upvote the answer (and maybe like it), I continually monitor it, reading it again and again, and checking for correctness, grammar and answer structure.

It came to the point that I revised it so much (10 times, according to this meta answer) and became a Community Wiki. Ok, it's cool. Go community effort!

Curious, I read what a Community Wiki is. Cool, Stack Overflow - Wikipedia style. But I was curious more about the criteria that makes a post a community wiki. Generating a tremendous amounts of answers (mass contribution) or marking it manually as CW, I can understand.

But what makes 10 edits from the original user, or five edits from different users a basis for an answer to be converted to a Community Wiki?

  • 11
    That's unfortunately the reason why I often do not improve my posts if it is just minor improvement.
    – Uooo
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 6:00
  • 8
    A side note: You can also flag a moderator to unwikify your post.
    – user206222
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 6:00
  • 2
    @KnightswhosayNi Wiki would be fine. I'm just curious about the basis of 5-10 edits = Wikification.
    – Joseph
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 6:09
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    @JosephtheDreamer - Community wiki means efforts from more than one person. So I don't see any reason why shouldn't a post be automatically converted to CW after 5 edits from different users?
    – Himanshu
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 6:16
  • 2
    @hims056 - I find it highly irritating that a poorly written question can be posted and edited into shape by 5 different users then anyone that answers it gets no rep because the question was auto wikied. plenty of examples Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:17
  • I once stumbled accross this, too, having one of my answers wikified. Just contacted a mod about it and got it turned back to normal. Of course we all want to improve the internet, but I still want my darn rep for it! Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 12:57
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    @ChristianRau - This is still subject to the whims of whoever processes the flag. I flagged my answer discussed here with the request Can I get this answer un community wikified? The OP managed to make the question CW by dint of editing it multiple times but I don't see why my answer should be automatically penalized and got back a response saying declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 13:19
  • @MartinSmith Maybe it doesn't work on answers when it actually was the question that got transformed into CW (and thus the whole post?). For me it was just my answer (to a non-CW question) that I over-edited myself. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 13:25
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    This is extremely frustrating. I've spent A LOT of time yesterday improving every detail of an answer, finding more and more examples and references and linking to them, just to get my own answer automatically converted to CW. Ridiculous. I hope some mod will convert it back to non-CW, otherwise I might consider deleting it.
    – Bruno Reis
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 19:21
  • @gnat no that's not a dupe by any means. This one here is asking "what is the reason". The other one is asking to disable it. I see you do a lot of those, please think twice before voting to close because other users might just jump on the wagon without putting much thought into this. Commented May 31, 2014 at 22:42
  • meta.stackexchange.com/a/194495/165773
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 7:08
  • @canon: Two questions were merged and there is now a new URL for that answer. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 20:38
  • @canon: It is for the benefit of future readers. You don't get to that answer by following the original link; you get to a question that, at first glance, appears unanswered (e.g. it appears as if the URL is incorrect). Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 20:44
  • 1
    This no longer applies. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 22:19

2 Answers 2


Regarding self edits, Martijn already gave good answer here:

It is a rate limiting measure, to prevent users from bumping a post to the top too often.

I agree with this and it does make sense.

As for five different users editing also causing CW mode, I believe it's also rate limiting of some sort, to prevent too many users from ganging up on a post. In addition, if a post really needs so many editors, it means the original author didn't write a good question to begin with, so taking away future reputation makes sense.

  • Won't a better way to rate limit the bumping of posts be to actually just directly rate limit the bumping of posts instead of "punishing" users for correcting and improving their questions? Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 20:16
  • @James bumping is vital because otherwise important edits can be lost and on the other side, spammy edits can go unnoticed. Having edit that does not bump is a big no no. Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 20:36

The rationale behind converting a post to Community Wiki after 10 edits from the OP, is to prevent people from making minor edits to their posts. If there was no such limit, then people could edit their posts indefinitely, keeping them in the active list, and increasing their visibility (and possibly attracting more upvotes), while "burying" other questions underneath their posts. This is why is you edit your post too many times, it will be converted to a community wiki.

Regarding the conversion after 5 different users have edited the post, it is justified, since many different people have contributed to the post.

What is not justified in my opinion, is the conversion to community wiki of all answers, if the number of answers exceeds a limit (I think 30). I honestly cannot understand why you should punish the answerers for answering a popular question.

  • 1
    Regarding your last paragraph Jeff gave good answer here. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 7:17
  • @ShaWizDowArd Thanx for the link.
    – user000001
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 7:39

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