It is unclear to me whether I should:

  1. leave a comment on the question that it should be CW
  2. add a CW tag to the question
  3. edit the question and put "Should be community wiki" at the top
  4. flag the post for moderator attention saying that it should be CW
  5. do nothing, and let the system magically handle it somehow


Strongly related: Should the community wiki police be shut down? (response from management)

  • 4
    I vote for #5. That's my usual method.
    – mmyers
    Sep 22, 2009 at 21:40
  • This should be community wiki.
    – tvanfosson
    Sep 22, 2009 at 21:43
  • 4
    ^ That comment should be CW. Sep 22, 2009 at 21:46
  • yo momma should be community wiki? Sep 22, 2009 at 21:50
  • 4
    Now if only we could all agree what the definition of "a question that should be community wiki" is... Sep 22, 2009 at 22:09
  • 1
    We don't have to agree, I am fine to decide for everyone ;)
    – RedFilter
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:21

7 Answers 7


The question you should ask yourself is WHY do you think a question should be community wiki?

  1. Is it because its not fair that someone gets tons of rep for easy questions?
  2. Is it because users with 100 reps should be allowed to edit and improve the question?

Almost always the answer is 1.

But ... the system is inherently unfair, easy and soft answers get tons of rep. Subjective is the most lucrative tag. Very complicated questions and answers often get a very small number of votes.

My recommendation would be to move over to another question OR flag for moderator attention. Don't look for fairness in this system, look for utility.

The trouble with leaving a comment is that you have to remember to delete it and its very easy to sound adversarial. Going harsher than that and editing with the intention of making something wiki is considered abuse.

  • I'm with Cletus on this one, the whole community wiki thing is a failed experiment that just introduces tons of noise.
    – waffles
    Sep 23, 2009 at 0:05
  • or, 3. Because they are often annoying :)
    – RedFilter
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:15
  • I am testing your theory by adding the subjective tag.
    – RedFilter
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:20
  • @OrbMan its not a theory meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3486/…
    – waffles
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:55
  • The moderators at times try and clean up a question once they have done the switch, and it can be flagged for cleanup as well. We try and do the same with migrated questions. Sep 23, 2009 at 5:59
  • @Sam: interesting, I never noticed that, I guess because I don't tend to answer those kinds of questions, and I never view questions ranked by number of votes. After some thought, I agree with your noise comment. I am tending towards #5 at this point.
    – RedFilter
    Sep 23, 2009 at 10:40

Options #1 or 4 would be my recommendation. It lets the poster (#1) or the mods (#4) know that it should be wikified.

I would strongly recommend not doing options #2 or 3 (CW tag or editing the post). Adding a CW tag is like adding a belongs-on tag -- it's considered bad editing practice. Personally, I believe #3 is also bad editing practice -- among other things, the OP doesn't necessarily get notified of his post being edited (I don't think?), but he/she will be notified of the comment being added.

  • good point on the tagging being a subversion of good taxonomy
    – RedFilter
    Sep 22, 2009 at 23:25

I'd go with #1.

Number 2 does nothing to describe the content of the question, which is what tags are suppose to be for.

Number 3 is basically a more forceful version of #1, which many users likely won't appreciate.

Number 4 is only good for really clear cut CW questions. If a moderator doesn't agree with you then it won't help. Just say it should be CW and see if other users or the OP agree with you.

Number 5 is only good if you don't care.

Just be warned if you do this often others will accuse you of being the CW police.

  • 3
    I have yet to find a CW I didn't agree with. The difference between the moderators switching it and the OP switiching is important to keep in mind. If we switch the question the answers are also switched, where if the OP does the answer remain non-wiki. Sep 22, 2009 at 21:59

It's usually based on how obviously CW it should be.

  • Not so obvious. Do nothing probably. It's probably going to sort out
  • Kinda obvious. Comment about it, shop around for others to agree.
  • Obvious. Flag it.

If its your own question and you're not sure. Then add a question to see if people think it should be a CW. Usually if you're not sure, just ask around. You can always change it into a CW. But not back.

  • If it's really obvious, it will likely attract enough answers to auto-wiki it quickly. From the perspective of a 20k user, the amount of rep gained before "soft" questions are auto-wikied is pretty much negligible.
    – mmyers
    Sep 22, 2009 at 21:58
  • 1
    For me it is almost always obvious...
    – RedFilter
    Sep 22, 2009 at 23:28

After more research, according to Should the community wiki police be shut down?, Jeff Atwood says, "If you think something should be community wiki then flag it for mod attention with a comment to that effect."

So #4 it is.


I mark comments like "should be community wiki" as noise.

There's a management response somewhere that this is OK.



Add a comment and downvote it until it is made CW ( that's what other have made to me in the past and it works!! )

If it is not worth the -1 rep for downvoting it, why should you care if is CW or not.

If it is worth the -1 dv, then other will follow you example and at the count of -4 or -5 it will be made cw.

I have never been too happy with the "made it cw" comment. If a question is meant to be cw, one of these must take place:

The system is not designed to make a post cw by adding comments.

Still if you don't like the rep-surf, downvote it. That's what dv are for, to show you don't find it useful.

  • 2
    @Oscar, Jeff stated that it is considered abuse, also it often has the reverse effect, as the post becomes controversial and attracts -1 +1 fluctuations
    – waffles
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:54
  • @Sam: Now that you bring it, yeah, I have notice that too. Guys go and say "Why the DW this is ok +1 to correct it" .. mmhh That have happened with other never with mine :( Nice comment
    – OscarRyz
    Sep 23, 2009 at 1:58
  • 2
    With the new time limit on reversing downvotes this also becomes a problem. If it is not done fast enough the downvote can't be reversed. Sep 23, 2009 at 6:00

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