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This is more of a question of community expectations or general recommendations than official rules, since I know that technically anyone can post an answer to a question.

It seems that most questions posted here are in the form of ordinary users asking for clarification, bug fixes, or features from the administrators and moderators.

Since these questions expect some kind of "official" response, it seems like it would be unwise for an ordinary user to post an answer to them.

Even with more discussion-oriented questions, it seems that the only people posting responses are those with enough time and experience on Stack Overflow to rather authoritatively know what "the community's" policy or opinion is.

So what exactly qualifies one to post an answer on a Meta Stack Overflow question?

Is there a guideline for how many years of experience or reputation points you should have on Stack Overflow before answering questions here?

share|improve this question
Downvoted because I disagree that there should be a requirement to post an answer. However, I am interested in this topic, as I have participated in questions that never received an "official" answer (i.e., by a mod or SE staff member) that I felt needed one. As an example, try to determine whether code golf questions on SO should be closed/migrated. There's quite a few accepted answers on both sides of the fence, but none by mods/devs that I've ever been able to find. – user164291 Jul 29 '12 at 20:13
@phoenix old code golf questions should be closed, new ones (up to a week old) migrated, if they are acceptable by Code Golf standards. One of the reasons you see conflicted opinions is because it's a misplaced discussion - we don't get to decide what questions we send over, the Code Golf crowd decides what questions they want. – Yannis Jul 30 '12 at 1:44
up vote 16 down vote accepted

There are four kinds of questions on Meta:

  • questions:

    These are the only questions per se, and they're very similar to the questions on the main site.

    The asker requires assistance with one of the site's features, and everybody who can help him is free to do so.

  • s:

    Discussions aren't really questions, but they seek the opinion of others on some particular matter. As a result, answers to discussions aren't really answers, but replies. Everybody is free to make his voice heard in a discussion. That's what they're for.

  • s and reports:

    Like discussions, bug reports and feature requests aren't questions either.

    Replies usually present opinions on whether the feature in question should get implemented or whether the current behavior is considered a bug, but can also present counter-proposals or help finding the bug.

    Questions wearing one of these tags ultimately require an official response, but not in the form of an answer. When it has been decided how to act, a Moderator can apply one of the Moderator-only tags to the question. These tags are:

share|improve this answer

Yes, the guidelines are:

If you are a user interested enough to answer, you can answer.

Note: this is no different to the other Stack Exchange sites (possibly barring Stack Overflow, due to its size).

The value of answers/questions on meta is measured by the same yardstick on all Stack Exchanges - votes.

share|improve this answer
I have come to believe there is one particular guy who downvotes essentially every answer on meta; it's his hobby. Don't worry about it. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Jul 29 '12 at 19:09
@ErnestFriedman-Hill - I've got proof to the contrary - lots of answers that were never downvoted... – Oded Jul 29 '12 at 19:10
@ErnestFriedman-Hill: Serial downvoting would be caught and reversed by automated scripts. – Keith Thompson Jul 29 '12 at 19:50
@keith serial voting is against one user - if someone is habitually downvoting every meta answer, their votes wont be reversed, as they are votes on posts by different users – Yannis Jul 30 '12 at 1:47
You can answer on meta. But are you sure you can answer this meta meta question? (By the way this comment implies a meta meta meta question). – Toon Krijthe Jul 30 '12 at 9:28
I'm So Not Truly Meta, Even This Acronym – Almo Jul 30 '12 at 13:41

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