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As happens more often, a user asked on Meta why upvotes no longer resulted in an increase in reputation. As it turns out, the post was automatically made into a Community Wiki post after 10 self-edits. The general advice in this case seems to be "flag your post and ask for this to be undone".

I had the impression that this was generally accepted and on various occasions have seen such posts be unwikified.

However, in the comments a user advised to

... just delete it and post it again. You have gained no rep from it anyway and maybe who ever gave you the +1 originally will do so again.

I advised against this, but the user's arguments were (seemingly) strengthened by this particular case (see the comments), which had not been unwikified, and his own similar experience.

It seems the OP of the first link has now gone ahead and reposted his answer. This all leads me to two related questions:

  • What are the criteria taken into account by moderators to accept or reject the request to undo the CW status of an answer (is it the same as for a question)?
  • And are there any negative repercussions a deletion and repost of a wikified answer might have for the OP?
  • Just an example: I once flagged this (for a user I don't know), and there it did work. – Arjan Aug 11 '13 at 11:05
  • Maybe a cw'd answer should still give the original poster gained reputation pre-cw (if it's not currently the case), this should at least be fair – user1306322 Aug 11 '13 at 11:12
  • as for that particular case, not getting a response after three hours is quite not the same as getting a rejected flag. – John Dvorak Aug 11 '13 at 11:17
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    The answer is still community wiki, @Jan. So unless his flag got lost, it must have been declined. – Cody Gray Aug 11 '13 at 11:20
  • weird... 16 revs is quite a bit, however. – John Dvorak Aug 11 '13 at 11:32
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    You'd expect the flag to be honored if every edit was made by the original poster. Punishing a contributor for improving and maintaining his answer doesn't make much sense. Whether CW actually encourages others to maintain an answer is an open question. – Uphill Luge Aug 11 '13 at 12:11
  • Is there any reason you're asking specifically about SO? I wouldn't expect SO to have different policies (not that there are any policies on SO or elsewhere AFAIK). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 11 '13 at 12:45
  • @Gilles More or less because my knowledge about CW treatment doesn't reach beyond SO. I didn't want to assume similar rules for all sites. But you're probably right in saying that there might not be a big difference (if there is one at all). – Bart Aug 11 '13 at 12:47
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Undoing community wiki is a very small part of a moderator's activity, and there aren't any official rules. So I can tell you my own criteria, but there's no guarantee that another moderator will see things in the same way. Note that I'm a moderator on some Stack Exchange sites other than Stack Overflow; some sites may have their own policy (but again it's something that comes up so rarely that I doubt anybody's come up with an extensive policy).

There are three reasons why a post would become CW involuntarily: if it's been edited by its author too many times, if it's been edited by others too many times, and if the question has received too many answers.

In the case of a question with too many answers, there's not much we can do: any time someone posts a new answer, the question and all of its answers will be re-wikified. The measures here are more preventative: protect a question if it receives too many answers from new users that end up being deleted (that happens automatically after three deleted answers that protecting the question would have blocked); close a question if it's too much of a poll.

If the post is an old, long one that has had many minor edits that came in naturally to fix minor issues, or to update it based on remarks in comments or on changes in what is being described, I would tend to remove the CW status. If a post has been useful for years, the continued attention it's received through edits reflect the quality of the post, and the author should keep being rewarded for it.

If a large fraction of the edits come from an edit war, I'll remove the CW status. It takes two to engage in an edit war, and there's no reason to penalize the author for that.

If the post started out as a fastest-gun-in-the-west placeholder and was gradually fleshed out to something decent, I'll leave it wikified. You can have it fast, or you can have it last, pick one.

If the post started out small and a large fraction of the current content comes from edits from other people, I'll leave it wikified. That's what CW is for: collaborative posts.

I'll be far more prone to un-wikifying a question than an answer, because the answers to a CW question are also CW.

This isn't an exhaustive list, just some common patterns. (Common as in, I may have seen them arise at least once, not necessarily on a site where I'm a moderator.)

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