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Just stumbled upon a recent comment posted by Director of Community Development for the Stack Exchange Network (Robert Cartaino), it sounds like an official guidance to moderators:

Note to Moderators: If anyone requests removal of a forced Community Wiki setting, it should be removed without hesitation (unless the author set it for their own answer or other extenuating circumstances). – Robert Cartaino♦ 16 hours ago

I would like to learn a bit more about that:

  1. Is my reading correct and this is indeed an official guidance that moderators should follow?
  2. What about prior Guidelines for un-Wikiing? Does new guidance supersede, complement, clarify these or something else?
  3. How is this supposed to work, does one flag a post requesting the change or post at meta or something else?
  4. How is this supposed to scale? I just checked sites I am active at and there seem to be many CW posts: over 100K at SO, ~15K at Programmers, 257 at Workplace
  5. Does age of the post matter, if it's 3 or 4 or 6 years old etc? (I guess it doesn't but it won't hurt to ask)
  6. Are moderators supposed to un-wiki individual (flagged?) question/answer or everything that is question and all answers or this is up to them to decide?

Finally, I would like to better understand reasoning behind this approach. Compared to prior guidelines it looks much simpler, could that be the reason or there is something else?

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    The parenthetical remark seems to suggest that some hesitation should always be at play. – user642796 May 17 '16 at 12:50
  • @arjafi that's for sure. As an example, this part is perfectly solid reason for hesitation: "unless the author set it for their own answer". If post author decided to set it wiki, it is hardly okay to change that against their will – gnat May 17 '16 at 12:53
  • I think it sounds like this is particularly applicable to really early uses, like the example from that question, which was originally Wikified in 2008 by the author. – Catija May 17 '16 at 14:47
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    Aren't "forced Commnunity Wiki" and "the author set it for their own answer" contradictory? I took "forced" to mean the (now-retired) process where an answer becomes CW after being edited more than N times or by P people. – Josh Caswell May 17 '16 at 19:00
  • @JoshCaswell my understanding is they are mutually exclusive. It's either system automatically sets CW triggered by some criteria, without asking anyone ("rep denial") or author sets it because they want to – gnat May 17 '16 at 19:04
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Is my reading correct and this is indeed an official guidance that moderators should follow?

"Note to Moderators" and the employee diamond almost certainly mean that the comment does contain official guidance.

What about prior Guidelines for un-Wikiing? Does new guidance supersede, complement, clarify these or something else?

It appears that the comment summarizes the guidelines. The "extenuating circumstances" include the three things mentioned in those guidelines, specificically: the post being an actual community project, the question/answer being subjective/poll-like and no longer allowed, and the poster clearly trying to abuse the edit bump system for reputation.

How is this supposed to work, does one flag a post requesting the change or post at meta or something else?

Assuming that the comment summarizes the guidelines, which clearly state that posters can simply flag the post with a custom reason, flagging is indeed the way to do it. (Posting on meta would probably be a less-than-ideal way because no non-moderator user can un-wiki a post.)

How is this supposed to scale?

Note that this guidance only applies to forcibly/automatically CW'd posts. There are a lot of those, yes, but not every CW post was made so under the old automatic system.

If a user is going wild flagging everything for unwikifying, it would make sense for moderators to make that user slow down. It appears that Shog9 doesn't expect there to be a huge amount of these flags, and suggests that it might only be the very active users who go back and reclaim their posts.

Does age of the post matter, if it's 3 or 4 or 6 years old etc?

The guidelines don't mention age. Any post is eligible for unwikification as long as satisfies the previously-mentioned three conditions.

Are moderators supposed to un-wiki individual (flagged?) question/answer or everything that is question and all answers or this is up to them to decide?

It looks like that's the moderator's choice. Mentioning several posts in one flag would be expedient, but just saying "unwiki all my CW posts" would be lazy and would create extra work for the moderator who has to hunt through the user's post history.

  • as sort of experiment I flagged few posts at different sites with the reference to discussed comment and request to remove forced CW. The way how moderators handled my flags suggests that your assessment is accurate – gnat Jun 21 '16 at 6:11

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