On Math Stack Exchange (and on Stack Overflow, and presumably other sites as well), there are sometimes questions intended for the main site that are asked on meta instead. This is presumably because the site design is virtually identical except for

While I strongly believe that efforts should be made to further visually distinguish main sites and meta sites (as was proposed in this meta Stack Overflow thread, which inexplicably has an accepted answer), I would like to propose here that when a user is about to post on meta for the first time, an announcement, for example, using placeholder text in the question-writing box,

  • explain to the user where they are,

  • ask if that's where they want to be, and

  • provide an unmistakable link back to the main site, for if they decide they are in the wrong place.

As Mariano says in the post that prompted this one,

Given any such question, it is very easy for a mod to move it to the actual math.SE site, and users with sufficient reppoints can vote to have it moved themselves, but it would be immensely more efficient to fix whatever problem it is that is making people post them here in the first place.

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    This happens more often than you think. It happens here all the time. In many instances, the asker asks here because they are suspended from asking questions in the main site. If any announcement is to be made for this type of user, I don't want no hand-holding but something a bit more stricter. These people have been given many chances already and often still don't get it. Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 22:52
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    @Jeff: It seems that there is no way around that. If someone is suspended on the main site, either they should still be allowed to post on meta (opening the possibility for them to try to ask their questions there), or they should simultaneously be suspended on meta, which would prevent it, but would also seem to limit their ability to bring public attention to what they may feel is unfair treatment. Either way, a simple reminder that meta is meta isn't going to affect their behavior. Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 23:23
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