I've recently started up a community FAQ over at Code Golf, basically copy/pasting the SO one. It contained this excerpt:

Flag for a moderator to mark community wiki. Any FAQ post not yet community wiki should be made into a community wiki.

That post got these comments:

Why CW-ify? I don't see that FAQs need to be easy to edit.


I've added the faq tag. I agree with Peter that it doesn't need to be easy to edit. ;-)

That makes sense, so why are FAQ posts CW?

  • 3
    Typically it was because should you really receive reputation for something that ends up being a product of the community and not you? Mar 17, 2014 at 21:05
  • @George Ah, good point, but with the impending MSO/MSE split that soon won't be an issue anymore.
    – Doorknob
    Mar 17, 2014 at 21:06
  • @George however in that case it will become community wiki naturally from many edits. If you write it perfectly the first time it seems like a seperate issue. However; an FAQ does get additional attention Mar 17, 2014 at 21:29
  • 3
    FAQ question should always have one single, canonical, answer. That answer is then maintained by ordinary users who keep editing it to make it correct and up to date. So @George comment holds true, in ideal FAQ entry it's product of the community and not a single user. I'm not familiar enough with per-site metas, but MSE will inherit most, if not all, the FAQs from here so it's still very much relevant. Mar 17, 2014 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Let's first look at what Community Wiki posts do:

  • Greatly lower the reputation requirement for editing the post
  • Prevent the post from yielding reputation from votes
  • Reduce the profile of the attribution

Edit reputation requirement

A big issue with the reputation requirement on meta (the exception being MSE), where these posts are hosted, is that there are no suggested edits. An edit can only be done by higher-reputation users.
posts are generally about one subject at a time, with one all-encompassing answer to that subject. This means that, whenever something changes about the state of affairs regarding that post, it should be easy to amend and update, rather than requiring someone with high-reputation to edit it. There is, essentially, no way (except for a flag) to inform these high-reputation users of the necessary edit.

That said, by the nature of the SE system, such a post would become a Community Wiki organically - after a given amount of edits it is automatically converted.

Post reputation yield

That's a tricky one. See, non-MSE metas don't actually have reputation, so this seems irrelevant, doesn't it? Well, kinda. The reputation (or, rather, the computed votes) still exist, contribute to tag score and various badges. The fundamental problem of actual reputation yield, however, is relevant only to MSE, so this can - largely - be ignored for non-MSE metas.


There's a big difference between how a Community Wiki post is attributed and how a regular post is attributed. A Community Wiki post is much more subtle, and points out rather clearly that the post is a community effort, rather than the work of a single user. posts are not supposed to be the work of one user, but a community aid, decision or other important notice. Attributing these (with the coverage they get) to a single user seems rather dishonest to the community at large.


In my opinion, especially that third point is a good reason to keep the Community Wiki status on posts, even on non-MSO metas. More often than not these posts aren't even original content, but instead stripped straight from MSO, so it makes sense to go with low-profile attribution.
At the end of the day, it's up to the individual site to decide, but I feel there are very good reasons to maintain this.

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