As of the time of writing, we have a rather large number of what can be considered "canonical posts", or posts that are basically frequent dupe-targets and answer very broad/general questions.

However, within these posts, there seems to be a disconnect as to posts reaching Community Wiki status. Some are, some aren't, and some have CW answers but the question itself is not. In short, canonical posts and community wiki status is just downright confusing, at best.

Is there (or should there be) an official stance on the CW status of these canonical posts? Or, should we just let question-askers do their own thing and not interfere?

  • 4
    Important clarification: there is a trigger (based on the number of edits) that will cause a post to automatically become CW. I can't remember the exact numbers offhand. Dec 28, 2016 at 20:55
  • 6
    @NathanOsman MSE says otherwise
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Dec 28, 2016 at 20:56
  • 1
    @NathanOsman based on number of edits or number of editors? Dec 28, 2016 at 20:56
  • 1
    @KazWolfe oh - I didn't realize they changed that policy. Good to know. Dec 28, 2016 at 20:58
  • 3
    @KazWolfe however, some of the canonical posts are old enough to around for that trigger, and are probably CW because of that
    – muru
    Dec 29, 2016 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


Community wiki posts have a lower privilege bar for revisions. Historically this was useful, but now that any user can suggest an edit (even if they don't have an account), I don't think this is an especially useful feature.

In the case of canonical posts, we want them to be high quality because they represent our site, so I'm not sure whether the lower bar to editing is a good thing or not; encouraging editing is great, but waiving quality checks is a concern.

A blog post by Grace Note on The Future of Community Wiki argues that community wiki questions are almost never a good idea, and may only be useful to suppress a post from becoming too huge:

Sometimes you have content which is valuable and on-topic, but is perhaps a bit too popular. It runs the risk of overwhelming the rest of your site if it grows untamed. In these circumstances, community wiki can be a way to preserve the value of these posts while stifling their growth.

This could be the case for some canonical posts, but it's probably not a good idea to make them CW from the outset - why suppress something that hasn't even started to grow? See what happens first, and if answers to a post threaten to run to multiple pages, consider cooling it down with CW status.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .