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Until a year ago, when posts were edited by the same author at least 10 times, the post is automatically converted to a CW-post. This was perhaps reasonable if the edits happened within the same day. However, this also affects edits over longer periods. As I constantly maintain my answers over years, generally to fix outdated/broken links, improve/alter based on comments, and/or to reflect the current state of technology, a few of my older and more popular answers suddenly became auto-CW'ed this way. Among others, it are the below ones:

This felt like as a punishment. It's as if my edits over years were not appreciated by the system. Moreover, the CW status implies in some way that answer is subjective/grayish and I just don't find it fits the posts in question. This was also reflected by the community via the below meta posts:

As per the first meta post, this has one year ago been changed by disabling all forms of auto-CW conversions. I also noticed that moderators are able to undo a auto-CW conversion.

So, hereby I want to request you, can you please undo the auto-CW conversion on the abovementioned posts? I also wonder what happens to the "missing" rep collected by votes during the CW period. Would this be automatically recalculated, or doesn't this change anything?

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First off, I want to note that this specific situation (maintenance edits by one author triggering CW) was first addressed back in 2011:

community moderators, at their discretion, can now remove community wiki status from particular posts.

This also inoculates those specific posts from ever being auto-converted to community wiki again, so they can be edited indefinitely with no forced wiki.

So for 4 years now you've had the option to reclaim reputation (and apparent ownership) lost to wiki-conversion by simply flagging a post for moderator attention and asking for it!

Guidelines for un-Wikiing

And that's still the case: generally-speaking, moderators will cheerfully remove CW status on posts as long as...

  1. They don't appear to be actual community projects (lots of substantive edits from multiple editors maintaining the post over time).

  2. They're not part of some old discussion / poll / GTKY question that was only allowed under the old rules for squishy-subjective posts.

  3. You weren't clearly abusing the system by making dozens of worthless edits merely to bump the thread.

...In other words, those cases where the system clearly got it wrong and converted the post to CW unnecessarily. Which... Is a lot of them.

Why no auto-unWiki?

That just leaves the elephant in the room, aptly identified by Patrick:

If this rule is applied, it should be applied to all posts that became auto-CW.

We admitted the auto-conversion wasn't working as intended and removed it - so why not revert the changes made while it was in place?

Because that'd just be replacing one naive mistake with another one. The heuristics used for these conversions may have been overly-simplistic, but they were based on actual observations that did apply to other posts - not 100% of them, but still a fairly large chunk.

If a user has to know this is the 'rule', and have to flag it by hand, it could benefit only the ones quite active.

Which is actually a pretty good reason for not doing it automatically. Folks like BalusC who diligently maintain their vast body of work will have little problem reclaiming CW'd posts, while posts from those who disappeared years ago will continue reaping the benefits of the lower editing threshold and more obvious multi-editor attribution functionality of Community Wiki.

The same applies to all those questions and answers that are maintained here purely because they're used as wikis, or those that are locked for historical significance - we've since found better ways of handling these (mostly by just closing them with less fuss), but at the time the rule was Community Wiki; in many cases, that's why these posts still exist in any form.

Conclusion

If you find a post of yours (or anyone else's) that clearly shouldn't have been wiki'd, just flag it & politely request that it be removed; reference this thread if you want.

Once the status is removed, the owner's reputation will be recalculated to include any points that would've been granted had the status not existed in the past, and eventually these posts will also count toward any badges that might otherwise ignore them.

  • "include any points that would've been granted had the status not existed in the past" -- wonder how this will (will it?) impact reputation of users who voted down answers that were CW in the past. Would these users get retroactive -1s? if yes, would they be able to find out about this, and what would be their options if they would want to retract their votes? (not that I worry personally, I think over 90% answers I vote down aren't CW anyway) – gnat May 28 '15 at 19:03
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I think your request is fair from your point of view, you do quite some work to keep up the quality of your posts, but to make it even fairer:

If this rule is applied, it should be applied to all posts that became auto-CW.

If a user has to know this is the 'rule', and have to flag it by hand, it could benefit only the ones quite active. Doing this request on a per question / answer basis seems unfair to me then (it would also require a lot of moderator attention). It should apply to all, or none.

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    I agree (have +1) but you of course know the implications of "it should be applied to all posts that became auto-CW". There would be a gargantuan rep shift, and as auto-CW was (seemingly/mostly) implemented to avoid bumps, a lot of the rep earned from CW reversal could potentially be given to undeserving edits which were nothing more than a crappy bump. Which, without the auto-CW being there to handle it at the time, such posts might have been handled differently, i.e. downvoted more, deleted, etc. – James Apr 13 '15 at 18:06
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    @James I understand. I didn't propose to return the reputation not awarded in the meantime. That seems a bad idea indeed. I just ask to be fair. Nor to favor the little group which is into the rules. – Patrick Hofman Apr 13 '15 at 18:49
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    Oh I agree, while Meta is there for everyone to come if they wish, even the many who choose not to might do so if they knew how much juicy info there was to be had (sometimes) – James Apr 13 '15 at 18:52
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when posts were edited by the same author at least 10 times, the post is automatically converted to a CW-post. This was perhaps reasonable if the edits happened within the same day

I actually disagree with that old setup.
We should encourage people to edit their post as many times as needed within the same few days, to make sure it's a good post.
Users might not have made those final adjustments not wanting a CW and losing rep.

Perhaps this was one of the motives behind their removing it, in addition to the "bump" issue, and others.


In your response to Qantas94Heavy asking about your rep, you responded:

I have way too much

In which case, is there a particular reason you want to change them to non-CW?

You're entitled to having them non-CW as are other users following Stack removing the auto CW system, but if you don't care about the rep, why not leave them as CW for the good of the community?

Being CW means someone else might fix broken links or add new technology notes to your answers, saving you time having to do it.
And you surely cannot maintain 16 thousand answers?

As I constantly maintain my answers over years, generally to fix outdated/broken links, improve/alter based on comments, and/or to reflect the current state of technology, a few of my older and more popular answers suddenly became auto-CW'ed this way

With them remaining as CW you can still do all of the above, with the added bonus that other users can do the same. And thus we have a great potential for some good content becoming even better, or even just remaining good because it's maintained by the masses.

Given your > half a million rep, you've obviously helped around the community a humongous amount, and I'm not stating you have no right to your posts being non CW, nor should you leave them as CW. Just if you don't care about rep, I wonder why you wouldn't prefer them to be owned and managed by community as a whole?

This felt like as a punishment. It's as if my edits over years were not appreciated by the system.

The system is made by people, people who care about the greater good and all users, and this is a good attitude as then no-one is left out.

And "punishment" is not a factor, at all. It was simply how the "system" was setup to operate.


I also wonder how many of your 16K answers are now CW? Are you going to want more changed?
Again, I'm not saying you shouldn't, just if many others follow suit then there's going to be a huge change in rep all over.

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    1) +1. 2) I'm not doing it for rep. CW status implies in some way that answer is subjective/grayish and I just don't find it fits the post in question. Surely I can maintain them all. I only don't do it proactively. On every vote I receive on a post whose content I don't exactly remember anymore, I read the post from top to bottom again and update where necessary. 3) 47 and I don't expect more "soon". Note that there are a few more which were auto-CW'ed, but I personally find them in a "gray" area, so CW is okay on them. – BalusC Apr 13 '15 at 17:25
  • "CW status implies in some way that answer is subjective/grayish and I just don't find it fits the post in question" you should put that in your question (IMO) as I did not see a real reason why you wanted to do this (not that you need a reason since the site allows CW reversal). And while there is a debate there (for another day) I don't particularly disagree that CW posts look a little less prominent in some way. – James Apr 13 '15 at 17:57
  • As for maintaining them whenever you get a ping, and obviously quite meticulously, for me you can have all the rep from CW reversal X 10. I've seen plenty of heavily upvoted older answers very much in need of some TLC and updating, and you doing so is commendable. – James Apr 13 '15 at 17:58

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