See also https://meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/67604/revisions for a proof-of-concept.

It seems that, the community-wiki checkbox is only hidden for general users, but it is not validated on server-side. This makes it possible for the client side to inject the CW checkbox and force a question to be CW even if the user isn't a mod.

  • 1
    @Kenny, security through obscurity only works if you leave things obscured.
    – Pops
    Oct 14, 2010 at 13:55
  • 18
    Nice! So the Community Wiki Police is now the Community Wiki Secret Police. Not bound by silly trials and human rights, we fight to prevent all illegitimate rep gain. Bwahahahahaha!
    – Pekka
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:00
  • 3
    @radp: Not "still". The question I've linked was not composed by me, so in principle I should not be able to turn it to CW even before today's change.
    – kennytm
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:01
  • @Kenny: oh wow.
    – badp
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:08
  • Here's a question: Why is this question Community Wiki when it doesn't appear anywhere in the revision history?
    – Aarobot
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:59
  • Additionally: Although this is probably serious, it's less serious than it sounds; using this exploit will only make the question Community Wiki, not the answers which is what happens when a moderator does it. So as a regular user concerned about rep-farming, there'd be no real benefit to doing this as opposed to flagging for moderator attention.
    – Aarobot
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:01
  • @Aarobot: (1) I checked the CW checkbox when posting the question. (2) Right, but I fear that the answers can also be force-CW'ed one by one. I haven't checked if it's possible.
    – kennytm
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:09
  • @Kenny: Yeah, I thought of that a few minutes after posting my comment. Still, that would be damn tedious.
    – Aarobot
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:13
  • 5
    @Aarobot Nothing greasemonkey couldn't fix. Oct 14, 2010 at 15:15
  • 1
    But can you uncheck CW through parameters?
    – user27414
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:34
  • Does anyone know if moderators can reverse CW back to owned by user? Oct 14, 2010 at 16:36
  • @Null: AFAIK, mods cannot reverse CW.
    – kennytm
    Oct 14, 2010 at 17:00
  • @Null Definitive version of Kenny's comment: Community Wiki cannot be reversed by mods.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Oct 14, 2010 at 17:27
  • 2
    @KennyTM ... I unwikid this, but moderators do not have access to this kind of feature as it would possibly result in data loss (eg. for a CW->normal->CW chain)
    – waffles
    Oct 15, 2010 at 5:42
  • 1
    @Jon, I hacked the db, I could add the feature for devs, but not sure its worth it
    – waffles
    Oct 19, 2010 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Well this was a bug, turns out security by obscurity has its own pitfalls.

Will be deployed to the rest of the sites later.

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