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Specifically I am talking about this question, the answer to which is getting a lot of suggested edits from new users along with some from veteran users.

The question's nature is kind of too-broad (asking to identify over 100 characters) which is why I can partially understand the community effort.

But the OP hasn't marked his/her question as Community Wiki.

Usually when I see people crossing a line on editing which really should be another answer, I reject it. But I am confused about this one. I have already approved edits to the existing answer and deleted one answer which went their own way instead of editing it in the existing answer.

So in this situation, what is the optimal course? Should we let the community make edits to fill in the gaps? Should we reject those edits and tell the editors to post their own answers? Should we make the answer Community Wiki? Or taking drastic measures, should we close the Question as too broad?

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    CW is a failed experiment anyway. – Valorum Nov 22 '18 at 12:46
  • Yeah i feel dumb asking this. But what is "Community-wiki" i click the tag but it has no usage guidance. I assume it means as was pointed out, alot of different users can share one answer by gradually editing/adding to it. And it's a failed experiment? Sounds like there's a bit of sci-fi stackexchange history that I missed – mr.eaver Dec 3 '18 at 14:19
  • @mr.eaver See here for Community wiki details. As for failed experiment comment, I believe Valorum might be better suited to elaborate on that given that I am not aware if there ever was an official statement admitting their failure. – Aegon Dec 3 '18 at 14:29
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    CW used to be automatic (across the whole SE network) if a post got too many edits from too many different people. That feature was disabled many many years ago, when it was realized that it helped no one. The history isn't sf/f specific; you can find plenty of commentary on it on the main SE meta site. Currently the "unofficial official position" is that CW should just not be used. – KutuluMike Dec 3 '18 at 19:09
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    e.g.: "Most of the time, you should be asking yourself “How can I improve this post so that community wiki isn’t needed?” Community wiki is like a cheese knife: it is a specialized tool to be used sparingly." -- stackoverflow.blog/2011/08/19/the-future-of-community-wiki – KutuluMike Dec 3 '18 at 19:12
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    See also Shog9's answer here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/46765/community-wiki-reboot – KutuluMike Dec 3 '18 at 19:14
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This answer should be marked as community wiki or another one should be posted as such in its place.

The thing is general practice with these sorts of posts in the past has been to post an initial answer as Community Wiki and then other users edit it. For example see these:

Therefore, it is highly likely that these users just assumed it was already a community wiki answer or didn't notice if it is or not. Whether this is acceptable behaviour or not is debatable but considering common practice I would say it is.

I have currently flagged for moderator attention to turn the answer into a community wiki one considering the mass community effort that has gone into it. However, if this is declined we should really create a new community wiki answer for people to edit instead of this users answer.

As for if this should be closed as Too Broad, no it should not. List questions that are finite and reasonably scoped are fine.

However, finite and well-scoped list questions are allowed here.

Are all list questions off-topic?


Note: This answer is addressing this specific case only not the general case of treating some normal answer as Community Wiki.

  • I'd say that 100+ characters is pushing the limits of "Finite and Well Scoped list". We can't simply judge based on finite number. Where do we draw a line? 200? A thousand? 20-30, that's reasonable and finite. 100+, that's too broad, if you ask me. – Aegon Nov 22 '18 at 12:53
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    @Aegon This is at the median of these sorts of posts. If you read the linked meta you'll see we aren't just judging on a finite number but some other things too. Common sense has to come into it. Also the community, network and outsiders generally like these questions, they bring in a lot of views and that is always a good thing. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 22 '18 at 12:56
  • I may have missed those things then? My impression of that meta is that if the list is reasonably finite, like the 13 doctors or the number of Enterprises (I don't know how many there are but I am assuming <30?), it's fine? But the list we have on hand certainly exceeded the boundaries of reason. – Aegon Nov 22 '18 at 13:02
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    @Aegon You've got take into account the well scoped part too. Also what is reasonably finite is inherently subjective so different people will have different interpretations. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 22 '18 at 13:03
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    @Aegon - There are two hundred eighty-five thousand ships named Enterprise seen or referred to in the show; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/15/… – Valorum Nov 22 '18 at 14:40
  • @Valorum Well I'll be damned. – Aegon Nov 22 '18 at 15:43
  • @Aegon - You know what they say about asking a silly question... – Valorum Nov 22 '18 at 17:37
  • The poster is a new user. When he posted the answer, he didn't have the 10 rep required to post a community wiki answer. Does that change anything? – b_jonas Nov 22 '18 at 22:21
  • In addition to @b_jonas, the OP might also haven't known about CW, or even how SE works at all... – Andrew T. Nov 23 '18 at 6:31

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