All meta questions must be tagged with one of , , or . New users should not be able to use the discussion tag:

  • People come to meta with the conception that it's somehow supposed to be chattier or more discussion-oriented. Perhaps it is more, relative to SO, but we actually have pretty similar standards for constructive-ness. Most "discussions" are started by a low-rep user and just simply answered and resolved by a high-rep user in one shot.
  • Most things a new user wants to "discuss," they think is an insightful, new discussion. But really it reduces to support - support in the sense that high-rep users are just going to take the time to inform them on SO culture. I think this is more rewarding anyway - it makes much more sense for me to be informing and onboarding a new user than holding a discussion over points I've been over dozens or hundreds of time on meta already.
  • Some questions are posted as "discussion" by new users when really they amount to "I need help." E.g. "how can I make this question better?" "where does this question go?" etc.
  • "Support" encourages the ethic that most new users who come to meta should be onboarded, no matter how redundant, mal-informed, or silly their questions are. I would say the worse a meta.SO suggestion is, the better a chance it is to inform someone of how to participate in our community. This is awesome. But it's... support. Not discussion. I want experienced users knowing this is a good activity to engage in.
  • What triggered this question exactly?
    – Mat
    May 21, 2013 at 20:41
  • 2
    It seems that your argument is that because a significant number of discussion questions by new users are actually support questions, we shouldn't let them ask discussion questions. I agree with your premise, but disagree on the conclusion. Just because lots don't ask actual discussions don't mean that they can't, or shouldn't be allowed to.
    – Servy
    May 21, 2013 at 20:41
  • 1
    @Mat My money's on a mass cleanup of questions on meta changing discussion questions to support.
    – Servy
    May 21, 2013 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


If you require a minimum reputation for questions, then users below that reputation threshold will just mistag their questions. This will achieve nothing useful.

And bad questions on MSO are closed very quickly anyway, I see no need for further restrictions.


I respect the intent but this will have the opposite effect. New users need to be respected that they can hold intelligent discussions even if you expect the result to be their proposals be vetoed. The great opportunities to educate simply wouldn't happen if new users were told, "you can't start discussions here."

Yes, I agree we want a strong culture on meta of giving support to any confused user, no matter how redundant the points are or off-base the feature request. For the most part we have that. I personally have a distaste for "help me improve this question" posts that receive downvotes because the question is really dismal, even though the meta.SO post is highly sentient - and I agree that as support that's a great question but as discussion a poor one. But I think the "support" culture on meta.SO is strong anyway and certainly not worth this feature request.

In other words, you should cater to the inexperienced user who can't infer culture beyond the UX, not the experienced users who "get it" already. Your proposal is backwards on this axis.

  • 10
    What are you doing ? May 21, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    @returnPhaDaPhunk well, I had the idea, already completely wrote up the question, realized it was a bad one, had already completely written it up, then thought it's plausible enough someone else could have it and should have the research effort for reference. Plus sometimes the spirit I expressed in this answer I need to reference on other answers and it's nice to not repeat that.
    – djechlin
    May 21, 2013 at 20:43
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk seems the apparently ridiculousness of this question is frowned upon though. But I'm not opening up a meta thread to discuss that.
    – djechlin
    May 21, 2013 at 20:44
  • So if I understand correctly, you realized your question was not good, understood why, wrote a relativly big answer with nice formatting (all at once since it hasn't been edited) all of this within one minute ? May 21, 2013 at 20:45
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk clicked "answer your own question," this had all happened before I posted it. The answer was probably 2-5 minutes to write.
    – djechlin
    May 21, 2013 at 20:46
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    Oh I see. When my question is not good, I usually choose not to post it instead of answering myself telling me i'm wrong. May 21, 2013 at 20:48
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk that's odd :P but yes I actually felt this was good practice and I wanted it documented somewhere that redundant discussions/feature requests are worth the chance to indoctrinate.
    – djechlin
    May 21, 2013 at 20:49

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