The below is no longer relevant since posts are no longer converted automatically to Community Wiki after being edited

As the Community Wiki process can't be undone and is automatically happening after five people edit the same post, it will be good and essential idea to add warning: "Your edit will make the post Community Wiki, sure to continue?" or something along those lines.

Just happened to me (was the 5th to edit a question) and I never intended to make it a wiki. Yes I know, will check how many people edit it before but it was new question so never assumed four people edited it already. :/

Edit: as "compromise", it will also be really cool to have count of how many people already edited the question, this way if I'll see "edited by 4 people" I will think twice if my edit is really necessary.

Edit II: I was under the impression that having the "root" question become CW all answers also become CW as result and no reputation is gained - however I've just noticed that impression was wrong and the answers are safe and sound.... so this is really just to prevent situation where one action (editing a post) is triggering other action that is not trivially related (making it Community Wiki) without any warning, especially when that unintended action is not reversible.

  • Not to be picky and drive you nuts here, but not all Community Wiki conversions keep all the answers safe. The ones triggered by editing (thus, the ones in question here) will not affect any existing answers (but will affect all new answers). The one triggered by getting too many answers will convert all existing answers, as will direct conversion done by a moderator.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2011 at 20:35
  • @Grace no nuts, any info is good info - thanks! I'm learning things here bit after byte! ;-) Feb 14, 2011 at 21:04
  • I think the announcement of the change is in an answer to Can we disable automatic community wiki conversion for answer edits?. Oct 25, 2017 at 19:26
  • @PeterMortensen meaning this should be closed as duplicate? It's already closed, reopening will require 5 people so not sure it's worth the efforts. Oct 25, 2017 at 22:02

2 Answers 2


I'm on the fence on this. I think it would be good to have the warning so it makes people stop and consider if that edit really needs to be done. The drawback to this is that it might prevent people from making edits that really do improve a post, just so they aren't the ones to push it into CW mode. Improving the content should be the primary concern, and I can see how this might cut both ways.

  • I can understand.. so maybe instead of editing let the 5th person send notification to all those who edited before explaining what still need to be changed? This way one of them will most probably see it soon enough to come and make the edit without wikiing the post. Feb 14, 2011 at 13:50
  • @Shadow: If you see something that really needs to be edited, I'd say just go for it regardless of how many editors there have been. If it's just a small change that the post can live without, then you might just add it as a comment for the OP. They can edit up to 12 times on their own post before it goes to CW. Feb 14, 2011 at 13:54
  • Thanks @Bill that's exactly what I would have done if some alert was showing up - you can just pop the famous orange box it will fit in perfectly and given the right text, people will do exactly as you told me now. :-) Feb 14, 2011 at 14:01
  • 2
    @Shadow Don't forget, if you really want to, comment replies can be addressed at editors. So if you won't want to be the 5th, you can try to ping those users.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2011 at 14:10
  • @Grace you mean that if you edited a question but didn't comment on it, the @ will still work when directed at you? Cool! :) Feb 14, 2011 at 14:13
  • @Shadow I mean exactly that, yes. ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2011 at 14:14

Five different people seeing something in the post that needs to be changed, one after the other, seems like it would be an anomaly, and suggests that either the post is reasonably popular, or relatively old, or very poor.

Perhaps before implementing this feature someone can take a bit of time gathering examples and statistics on how bad this problem is, and what type of questions are going to cw through this process.

  • Naturally this is all true, but even if question is poor it doesn't mean it has to become CW - or if it does, at least with some kind of premature warning.. Feb 14, 2011 at 15:00
  • @Shadow - Well, perhaps it does mean it should become CW. There are two things that CW mode accomplishes - it lets many more people edit the question, and it prevents the OP from gaining more reputation from it. If it's a question which needs frequent or significant editing, then opening it up to more people for editing makes sense, and further after 5 different people edit it, can one really claim that the OP "owns" it and deserves the continued reputation increase? Keep in mind that this is not a trivial amount of editing.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 14, 2011 at 15:13
  • thanks, I was under the impression that having the "root" question become CW all answers also become CW as result and no reputation is gained - however I've just noticed that impression was wrong.. so this is really not as "urgent" as I thought. Will edit my post to reflect this. :) Feb 14, 2011 at 15:55

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