I often hear the term "meta effect" on many meta SE sites. What is the meta effect? I have Googled it but can't find anything about it on any meta site.

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    – random
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 5:09
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    @random I dont understand... how does it answers my question. please explain. :)
    – SMR
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 5:14
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    @SMR: if you read the answer he linked thoroughly, the definition is right there. Ctrl+F if necessary. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 5:14
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    Where have you seen it written with a hyphen?
    – random
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 5:15
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    I'm tempted to show you by downvoting all your posts... ;-) (serial voting will be reversed though and I might be banned/punished)
    – rene
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 7:42
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    – gnat
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 9:33
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    The Googler becomes the Googled. Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


It is the effect of mentioning a post from another site on a meta-site. This draws more attention to the post you link from the meta-site's audience, resulting in more views than you'd get from the host site's audience alone, and often more votes. Whether those votes are up or down will depend on the quality of the post, of course...but either way, that's the "meta effect".

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    Sometimes it's more extreme and more than just votes. I remember a case where a user complained about unjustified downvotes or something like that and turned out he's a spammer. As expected, his remaining posts were flagged and nuked. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 6:17
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    the meta effect brought me up here :) Commented May 11, 2017 at 1:56
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    Here, have an upvote. I think it's the meta-meta-meta effect, if you land here whilst looking for references for the meta effect so that you can talk about the meta effect.
    – E.P.
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 17:09
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    A recent example on Music: Practice and Theory had a user do a similar thing, posting a bunch of comments asking for downvote clarification and going to Meta. User then asked about the 40-vote/day limit, and an eagle-eyed user realised that asking about that on day one of their account was suspicious, and the user was unmasked as a proxy for a suspended account. Basically the Meta effect.
    – user45266
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 3:50

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