The answer of François G. Dorais at https://mathoverflow.net/a/23200/12357 has no user name displayed. Is this a bug?


1 Answer 1


That answer has what we call community wiki status applied to it. This is a special sort of status, wherein anyone with at least 100 reputation can edit the post it's applied to. If you look at the revisions of the post you can see where it's applied. It's not a bug. The implementation is rather confusing at first glance, we're working on improving that, for exactly the reason you just raised.

However, it's generally a good idea to avoid wiki status unless you want exactly what it's designed to deliver, making a post editable by a much larger group of people. Since such posts can be edited by almost anyone, the original poster earns no reputation for votes received after the status was applied. Sometimes, it's used for that purpose - but it's a good idea to stay away from that. If it's good enough to post, and doesn't need to be editable by a large group of users, then you should earn points for it.

A great use is a community curated canonical question / answer that addresses a very common, frequently asked question.

More on the future of community wiki can be found on the Stack Exchange blog, but offered as advice. You should of course use it in the way it works best for you.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sometimes at MO1 people would post an answer as a summary of discussion in comments, or on behalf of someone else, and then decline any rep, so choose CW, but not to have a massively editable answer. However it was still handy knowing who posted it. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jun 26, 2013 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ Tim, MO has a lot of use for CW posts, which deviates by a lot from the "SE guidelines", and that's fine. I remember that when CW became a mod setting (for questions) we raised some voices on meta.MSE and more than a handful of outsiders raised eyebrows on that. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jun 26, 2013 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I revised my answer a bit, my goal was to explain what it was, and our advice on how to apply it. You should of course continue using it in the way it works best for you. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Post
    Jun 26, 2013 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRoberts That's a good example of a canonical answer, and definitely what the feature is designed for (intended more for broader editing, but what works well works!) $\endgroup$
    – Tim Post
    Jun 26, 2013 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Jun 26, 2013 at 12:12

You must log in to answer this question.

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