I had mentioned on this question that the question comments is an inappropriate place to discuss meta issues. Charles replied that if it is an inappropriate place to discuss these issues, the original comment asking the OP to switch to community wiki is also out of place.

I feel that it is perfectly acceptable to post a comment on a question asking them to change to community wiki. If we instead posted the request in meta, there is no guarantee that the author would ever even see the post and have an opportunity to change it. Not to mention that meta would be filled with unnecessary "can you change this question to cw" requests.

I guess I would say that the difference between a comment asking the OP to switch to CW and a discussion on whether or not it should be CW is that the former directly relates to the question on hand while the latter has to do with site policies themselves.

5 Answers 5


Community Wiki has been disabled.

As of October 2010 users can no longer mark questions CW.


Making a question Community Wiki doesn't make it any less subjective, and as we are supposed to be asking objective questions this "get out clause" shouldn't be encouraged.

All CW means is that the poster is giving the community full rights over the post and doesn't want any rep that may accrue through voting.

It also smacks of bullying as do comments on people's acceptance rate.

  • 1
    You make a good point about the original purpose of community wiki, but I do think it's also important to establish our community's expectations around how CW is used and to encourage correct usage. Gentle, polite comments on questions that are meant well should be okay. Bullying is never okay.
    – Rahul
    Sep 1, 2010 at 20:57
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    @Rahul - while I accept that the meaning of CW has shifted across all the sites, I think it is worth stating the original purpose from time to time.
    – ChrisF
    Sep 1, 2010 at 20:58
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    I 1000% agree that a question shouldn't be made CW because it's too "subjective." On this site, I think we've been pretty consistent about calling for CW on list questions only. Sep 1, 2010 at 21:18
  • And I second that. CW isn't a get out of jail free card. It's for list style questions. Since there isn't any best conference in the uk, how could you choose a concrete answer for the question? Sep 1, 2010 at 23:13
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    Agreed, CW for list questions and in the future we can look at each one case by case (such as fun questions, etc)
    – Rahul
    Sep 2, 2010 at 7:57
  • @LoganGoesPlaces & @Rahul - CW ISN'T for list questions. That was never the intention, regardless of how it is misused on SO. Here's a good discussion on the purpose of CW: meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/8/…. Community Wiki was designed for collaborative answers, because anyone can edit an answer (or question) made CW). Yes, some of those questions may be list questions, but that is NOT what it was created for. Sep 17, 2010 at 14:18


And we should put this in the FAQ.


I don't even get what community wiki is for. If its not obvious then its bad UX. I refuse to read the manual or FAQ. Just like every other user in the universe. Only 5% of audiences read those things and they can easily be wrong or misinterpreted.

Again, if its not obvious, what makes you think people will understand it? What makes you think 95% of people will bother to read the FAQ? Don't fight peoples natural instincts. Do a better job of UX.

People WILL use the site as they see fit, not as the owners make the rules. Sorry, this is just the law of interfaces. Argue with god, not me.

Should I mark this answer as community wiki? ;)

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    I was on the verge of up-voting you (because I totally agree about reading the FAQ, etc.), but ... does it matter if new users don't immediately understand what CW means? If the core community does, they have the option of making something CW, and will pretty quickly once the site reaches a certain threshold (see SO).
    – Bobby Jack
    Dec 14, 2010 at 12:18

As I stated - if it is appropriate to ask to make a question community wiki then it is equally appropriate to ask the other meta issues about the question in comments. How can one "meta" question be appropriate and others are not? Double-standards are not the way to go.

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