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My answer here was made into community wiki. I have 2 questions about it:

Question 1: Who made my answer into community wiki?

Question 2: I flagged for moderator attention to undo it, but I received this: "declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it" what does this mean?

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    $\begingroup$ @Fundamental thank you for good title. $\endgroup$ – user 1 Jan 23 '15 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, I disagree with making this answer CW against user 1's will. However questionable someone might find that the user posted such an answer without it being CW, it's still user 1's decision. I personally don't find it questionable at all. He's answering the question appropriately, it's a service to the community. It's better than just leaving it as a comment and increase the workload of the Answer Crusaders (did I get the name right?). $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Jan 23 '15 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ I also recall reading somewhere (here it is) that CW is not supposed to be used as a reputation denial mechanism. So making that answer CW is actually against the purpose of CW. $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Jan 23 '15 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ thank you @Git Gud $\endgroup$ – user 1 Jan 24 '15 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud Yes, you're correct that CW should no longer be used for rep denial. The moderators still receive flags requesting that certain questions be made CW. I have not personally obliged such a request for a while (for the reason that it strongly smells of reputation denial). I'd much prefer it if the questions users don't think should be "worth" reputation were simply closed. (Often the "too broad" reason is more than suitable.) Though that's a topic for another meta-thread. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jan 24 '15 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer I used to interpret CW as questions which are of interest to the community at large, specially those who are not technical in nature. This has caused me to flag certain questions to request that they be made CW. I realise now this was wrong, but it's standard practice here on MSE. What to do about it? $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Jan 24 '15 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Git Gud: on MSE, like MathOverflow, CW is indeed for questions that don't have objective answers, and it is a reputation denial mechanism. This is another example, I think, of the SE blog being out of sync with the reality of particular communities. When I mark my own questions or answers as CW, it is to avoid reputation for them, not to encourage others to edit them. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jan 26 '15 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Arthur Fischer: I see the point of the SE blog that it would be nice to have a different way of saying "don't earn rep for this post". But, until we have a different way of doing that, we will still need to use CW for that purpose. Unless I have missed some alternative method that already exists? $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jan 26 '15 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud I personally feel that if a question is "not worthy" of earning anyone reputation, it probably doesn't belong on the site and should be closed. Many of these questions become "popular", but popularity is a poor measure of fitness to the site. As much as CW should not be used for reputation denial, it also should not be seen as permission to ask terrible questions. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jan 26 '15 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl: Read the above. In short, we have such mechanisms: closing and deleting. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jan 26 '15 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Arthur Fischer: and when I don't want to earn rep for a particular answer? $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jan 26 '15 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Carl: There is technically nothing stopping a user from checking the "community wiki" box before they submit answers. But just as one doesn't earn rep from upvotes on such answers, they also do not lose rep from downvotes. What is a noble gesture by one user could be an abuse by another. It is generally better to avoid making one's answer CW unless there is reason to expect that it will be continually maintained by a number of different users for a long time. On the main site, I don't think this happens very often. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jan 26 '15 at 12:54
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Currently, there are only two ways an answer can become community wiki:

  • the author can do this by checking the community wiki box that appears below the post-editor box.
  • a moderator (or some other diamond-encrusted -entrusted user) can manually convert it to community wiki at any point.

(This has been the case since all automatic CW-conversions were removed from the system in April 2014.)

So, yes, a moderator did convert your answer to community wiki.1 This action and also the declining of your flag are likely both rooted in an uncertainty about what to do with answers of this sort. Of course, the answer you gave is likely the answer sought by the asker, which is perhaps the crux of the issue. I think this uncertainty is felt fairly widely in the community, and feel it pretty strongly myself. I am coming to be of the opinion that the real issue is with the question.2

But as this really doesn't concern your (or anyone else's) answer, the decision to post it as non-CW should have been respected.


1 Up until community wiki was removed from the answer this action was visible in the revision history. Now it is not, and is even hidden from the moderator timeline of the post. Very odd, if you ask me.
2 For a pretty good (IMHO) exposition of this viewpoint see Raphael's answer on meta.cs.SE.

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    $\begingroup$ Moderation is an ongoing learning process for everyone on the team. I think I've learned something in typing this up. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jan 24 '15 at 9:36

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