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Having 200 reputation points on Superuser should not allow me to get 100 points in StackOverflow.

I got easy 100 rep points on SO by linking my account on SU.

Getting points is very tough if you have limited(or nil) knowledge, and I feel this is diluting the quality of SO.


My question is whether the knowledge I demonstrate on SuperUser (things about FireFox and Email) qualify me to vote on StackOverflow?

Could this be an avenue of abuse for bad intentioned users?

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100 rep is almost nothing. It is not diluting the quality of SO. – jjnguy Aug 20 '09 at 20:33
Your punctuation is inconsistent. Hopefully someone with more money than me will be able to fix it. – Andy Mikula Aug 20 '09 at 20:34
My Edits are not showing up, is that a bug or have i lost it – Rishi Aug 20 '09 at 20:38
@Rishi: You edited over my edits and you were rolled back. Just leave it as it is now. – GEOCHET Aug 20 '09 at 20:38
They won't show up in the first 5 minutes. Also, it is possible that you are having edit collisions with other editors. – jjnguy Aug 20 '09 at 20:39
Please leave Rich's edits be. They improve readability of the post. – jjnguy Aug 20 '09 at 20:45
You are operating under the popular misconception that rep is an indicator of technical ability. It is not. – EBGreen Aug 20 '09 at 20:51
Rep is actually an indicator of addiction. It's sort of like a radiation counter: the higher the number, the less your chances of survival. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Aug 20 '09 at 20:56
@Pesto: +1 for obligatory Fallout 3 reference. – GEOCHET Aug 20 '09 at 20:57
Say if 10 users simultaneously game the system? one of them posts an answer and bang 9 upvotes and 90 points – Rishi Aug 20 '09 at 20:57
@Rishi I would say those users have no life. – Troggy Aug 20 '09 at 20:59
@Rishi: There are counter measures in place for gaming. – GEOCHET Aug 20 '09 at 21:00
@Troggy LOL, everybody is missing the point ,its possible to game the system. – Rishi Aug 20 '09 at 21:02
Manual Moderation? – Rishi Aug 20 '09 at 21:03
@Rishi Any system can be gamed. That is why we have mods. Besides, SO has so many high rep people that bad users are weeded out and hardly make a dent. – Troggy Aug 20 '09 at 21:04
up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, but your knowledge of how to use and act on SuperUser do give some hint as to your ability to behave properly on StackOverflow. Besides, it's not like you really get all that much power to abuse. You can upvote (big deal), you can flag things for the mods (which, at worst, only draws attention to yourself), you can edit CW posts (which just about everyone else can then fix), etc. Do you get the pattern here? Not exactly the most disruptive behavior. Sure, you can be a pest by posting useless questions and answers, but you could do that with 1 rep, too.


In response to your additional question about using a group of rep-linked accounts in order to abuse the system, I think this is a minimal threat. The system apparently has tools to detect sock puppets and malicious voting trends. Jeff or the mods can probably tell you more about that, though (Of course, if Jeff made me a mod, I could save them the time of typing up a separate answer... I'd even share any upvotes with him).

Further, you'd first have to get all those accounts 200 rep each on another site. At that point, wouldn't it just be easier to turn those accounts against SU or SF? They'd have more rep to abuse. I really think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

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Mod tools, hmmm that ought to do it – Rishi Aug 20 '09 at 21:07

Since rep is supposed to simulate trust on the website, the creators assume that if you have enough trust on website 'A', you deserve a little trust on website 'B'.

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Getting the rep bonus for account association goes with the assumption you have learned the site rules through one of the other sites.

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100 reputation does not give you any significant privilege, and only gives you a minor encouragement. I see no harm in this.

There are minor things that having 100 rep allows:

  • 1 Leave comments
  • 15 Vote up
  • 15 Flag offensive
  • 100 edit community wiki posts

They are assumed to be OK since you have demonstrated at least a basic knowledge of a sister site that operates very similarly.

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These privileges you get with 100 rep are privileges that you get because you have proved yourself to understand the principles of how the StackExchange communities works. So if you understand the principles of one, you will understand the principle of all. – awe Jan 13 '11 at 9:38

It's not diluting anything. It says that if you are on another site, participated and learned the operation of that site, we are going to give you the most basic head start here.

It is being used as a tool to encourage users to take an action that is beneficial to the site. The sites are better off for the feature so everyone who participates is rewarded.

If virtually everyone start off at 100 points (rather than starting at 1), it's all relative. What's the difference?

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How does this dilute SO's quality?

You can post a question to SO as a brand-new user.

You can post an answer to a question on SO as a brand-new user.

Sure, you can't vote or comment without a little rep -- but even on a highly specialized site like SO, just about anyone can get the rep necessary for that relatively quickly.

The 100 point head start from the StackExchange-based LOJ sites is designed to make it so that an active user of any one of them can at least minimally use the others -- specifically regarding voting and commenting. It gives no other real power, including no power to vote to close, no power to vote to delete, and no real damaging power.

I see it the way others tend to see it: This is the system saying, "we know you, you know the secret handshake, you get a minor head start. Go forth and learn."

It'd be different if 100 rep were enough to edit posts, retag at will and generally wreak real havoc. But it's not.

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100 Doesn't even give you the ability to downvote, only upvote. – Caleb Aug 17 '12 at 12:29
@Caleb: It did in 2009, when this was posted. – John Rudy Aug 20 '12 at 23:53

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