I am completely confused with meta. When I post a question people scream that it is duplicate and downvote. And they recommend me to comment the original post. If I do they downvote and scream it is off-topic. Whatever I post on meta is wrong. Is there any allowed way how to participate in meta? It seems to me that the most subjects were already covered and if it is not allowed to discuss existing topics, then it seems to me that meta is locked for participation. :-(


  • Thanks for link to interesting wiki to read. – Leos Literak Apr 6 '14 at 8:50

The most important thing to understand about Meta is "There is no they." There are a number of people who may disagree with each other. If you bounce around like a pinball trying to avoid angry people screaming at you (which, by the way, is a mischaracterization of the comments on your answer) you will never be happy.

If you have a question, start by searching. If someone already asked, great! You have your answer. If you can't find it, ask. Perhaps it will be marked as a duplicate. This is still great! This is not someone screaming at you. You have your answer. And the site has another way for new people to find that answer, when they search using your words.

Never ever post a question as an answer to another question, or as a comment. That's not how meta works. If you do, your "answer" will probably be deleted, and people will tell you that you did it wrong. The system is self correcting.

Why do you want to "discuss existing topics" anyway? Do you want to learn more about a feature? Then don't ask vague and general questions, ask highly specific ones and include links to the related questions you've already read. Do you want a policy or practice to be changed? It's rarely a good idea for such a question to be your first - it requires a fair amount of background information to make a good feature request.

And most important, do not read emotion that isn't there. Downvotes, calm comments that "this doesn't belong in this section", and close votes are not screaming. Don't take them that way. (Trust me, meta does scream from time to time but those posts tend to get deleted so you won't have seen them.)

  • I usually want to change something but I am often not the first. If I submit new question to support similar idea, it gets closed very soon. So I thought that I will support somebody else's proposal but it does not seem to be correct way either. So I feel excluded. – Leos Literak Apr 5 '14 at 13:03
  • You can just vote up feature requests you agree with, or answers you agree with. The StackExchange model doesn't want a number of answers that say "I agree" - you express that with voting. Your agreement isn't unwelcome, it's just that it needs to be expressed the way SE expresses it – Kate Gregory Apr 5 '14 at 13:09
  • And does it get any attention when it is several years old topic? – Leos Literak Apr 5 '14 at 13:12
  • 2
    @LeosLiterak: There are several ways to draw attention to older posts that don't involve answering; you could put a bounty on the post, for example. – Martijn Pieters Apr 5 '14 at 13:23
  • Please take a look at my linked answer before it gets deleted (as somebody proposed already). Shall it be posted as answer to that question, to some other question or posted as new question? I really do not know what to do. My answer introduced additional case why reputation shall be kept if post is deleted. – Leos Literak Apr 5 '14 at 13:51
  • Your "answer" is in fact a question or feature request and does not belong there. You are not the first to think of it. Please read meta.stackexchange.com/questions/145630/… to understand the current rules about edit rep and deletion, and see what others have suggested. Only add an answer to that question if you have something new to contribute. If you just want to agree with someone, vote. – Kate Gregory Apr 5 '14 at 13:54
  • If I remove this question, @KateGregory will lose 70 points of reputation because the answer does not exist for 60 days. Would it be fair? She wrote nice post and I can destroy it. And community can squeeze me with downvotes. My humble opinion is that this rule shall be changed. – Leos Literak Apr 6 '14 at 8:57
  • that's why the rules don't let you delete a question that has an upvoted answer. It's also a good example of why suggesting feature changes is something you should wait a while to do, until you know the existing features. – Kate Gregory Apr 6 '14 at 11:52
  • I can see many deleted posts in my reputation log, unfortunatelly I cannot see now if their answers were upvoted. If you are right that is a good news. – Leos Literak Apr 6 '14 at 14:11

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