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Reading around on meta you realize that downvoting here is not the same as on stackoverflow.

Downvoting is quite more "subjective" as many questions here don't deal with technical problems, but instead deal with discussions that can be related to quite a few topics.

A Stack Overflow profile is a professional representation of yourself.

In the same way, your Meta Stack Overflow profile can be taken like that by some people as well - who may not be informed or know exactly how Meta works.

Apologies if this has already been discussed somewhere else; my main point is that connecting downvotes or disagreements to reputation causes reputation to be affected by popular subjective opinion. Doesn't look good to see a question or answer with -20 to someone who doesn't understand Meta.

My question asks three things and states one last:

  1. Should reputation by connected to downvotes

  2. If reputation doesn't mean anything why have it? Was it supposed to mean something else but since many are not happy with the way things work they say "ignore it". If something is broken just ignore it?

  3. Could rep penalization fear lead to people being wary of contributing?

  4. Finally, negative reputation on MSO could be misinterpreted outsiders.

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    I don't quite understand what you want to discuss here - what's the main point/issue you want to address? – Oded May 24 '13 at 9:47
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    Please don't use backticks as quotation marks; I've fixed your post to not look like you are talking about code keywords. – Martijn Pieters May 24 '13 at 9:47
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    This Meta is the only one with reputation. And it's largely pointless. Just ignore it if that's what you're worried about. – Bart May 24 '13 at 9:49
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    If they're not familiar with the SE network and how its sites work then they shouldn't be using it as a basis for anything. If they are familiar with it then they'll know to actually read your posts rather than just going by post scores. – Anthony Grist May 24 '13 at 9:49
  • @MartijnPieters Is that why I couldn't get meta stackoverflow profile to compile? – JJJ May 24 '13 at 9:49
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    Meta : forget reputation. They are just some random numbers spilled on the page. – Krishnabhadra May 24 '13 at 9:51
  • @Oded , I added my question to the edit. Finally, if reputation on meta doesn't mean anything why have that number in the first place xmm ? :) – Menios May 24 '13 at 9:53
  • @Martijn Pieters, thanks - won't do that again. – Menios May 24 '13 at 9:55
  • Hi MeewoK, I get a lot of downvotes AND on SO.. I'm sure as I learn more about programming I'll see the folly of my posts.. but hey, we all have different abilities and skill levels.. I find this forum helps me cope with the SO forum – user310756 May 24 '13 at 9:55
  • @gnat, not really. The link you post to discusses how proposals/ideas are quickly squashed by the most active members in some cases. My question asks three things: 1) Should reputation by connected to downvotes 2) If reputation doesn't mean anything why have it? Was it supposed to mean something but since many are not happy with the way things work they say "ignore it". 3) Could rep penalization fear lead to people being wary of contributing? Completely different points and question... – Menios May 24 '13 at 10:00
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I think what you're trying to ask is Are there potential negative professional consequences due to the subjective nature of voting on Meta? and, by extension, If so, should we remove reputation loss from downvotes?

First off, reputation on meta is largely meaningless. The only real purpose it serves is to grant additional privileges. It is, as you're already aware, a reflection on whether people agree with your opinions, and not necessarily an indication of your ability to communicate or solve problems effectively.

Could heavily downvoted questions/answers on meta potentially affect your job prospects? Possibly, but should you care? If a company is using your profiles on the various SE sites to judge your suitability, you should expect them to know how the sites actually operate; if they're using a tool they don't understand you probably don't want to work for them in the first place.

If they do know how the sites operate then there shouldn't be an issue. They'll know that reputation on meta is mostly meaningless and either ignore it completely or actually take the time to read your posts and judge for themselves.

In the end, all voting is subjective. People are free to up- or down-vote for whatever reasons they like, at any time, and post score isn't necessarily directly linked to quality. I wouldn't necessarily consider my highest voted answers to be the best ones I've written.

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    Nice answer. Which leads me an epiphany.. essentially privileges on MSE are given those those who: Hold the same opinions as the majority of active users ... Anyway, your answer cleared quite a lot of stuff for me as well as the comments above. – Menios May 24 '13 at 10:11
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    good point meewok – user310756 May 24 '13 at 10:26
  • thanks, which leads me to think reputation/voting mso might be slightly broken... – Menios May 24 '13 at 10:42
  • +1 just for rewording the question in a way that I can understand it. – Daniel Daranas May 24 '13 at 10:43
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    ...essentially privileges on MSE are given those those who: Hold the same opinions as the majority of active users... The same is true for any other SE site...go, try it, try to answer a PHP/MySQL question with "Just use the mysql_* methods". The difference is that it is more obvious and direct on Meta. "which leads me to think reputation/voting mso might be slightly broken" Oh please no...we've been through this discussion so often already. If you have a better idea, post it as a feature-request. – Time Traveling Bobby May 24 '13 at 11:00

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