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The logic seems hollow -- it might make sense to prevent answer duplication but why should the person who asked the question not have the reputations added?

Or am I missing something here?

  • meta.stackoverflow.com (the main site for system and design questions) – Nicole Jan 14 '11 at 17:19
  • 1
    @Renesis Meta Stack Overflow might be able to answer general questions about community wiki, but Programmers.SE has a lower threshold to trigger automatic community wiki, something most people are unaware of. – user8 Jan 14 '11 at 17:50
  • @rene the threshold is 15 posts on programmers and Super User and 30 posts on most other sites – Jeff Atwood Jan 15 '11 at 0:43
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The mechanics of the community wiki flag are as blind as Lady Justice: if a post is marked community wiki, reputation stops accruing regardless of what the circumstances behind that which is marked as such. Simply:

function addRep(value) {
  if (!this->communityWiki) {
    this->user->addRep(value);
  }
}

As for why there's no distinction, we need to go back to what the community wiki flag is for.

The community wiki flag is used when it's determined (either by the original author of the post or automatically) that the post could benefit from the community taking ownership of it. Since the community as a whole takes ownership of the post, there's no single person to award the reputation to and it is not awarded at all.

To put it another way, once the community wiki flag is set, you are no longer considered to be the owner of the post, so that's why you stopped getting reputation for it.

In this case, it looks like you ran into an automatic triggering of the flag that occurred when the answer got 15 answers. You can think of the reason why posts automatically convert to community wiki as a reaction to problem with scope: the vast majority of constructive, pointed questions only have a few answers. When a question starts to get a ton of answers, two things have likely occurred:

  1. People are providing new answers, intentionally or unintentionally, to slightly tweak existing answers
  2. The original question is very broad and its scope not very well defined, allowing for a plethora of ways to answer it that are likely irrelevant to the original intent

In both cases, community ownership winds up being a good thing as it allows others to address the quality of both the question and answers: community wiki relaxes the rep requirement to edit, so answers can be made more useful and distinct and the question can be made more specific by people who would otherwise just post a new answer.

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