So, you've got a new user. They ask a really poor question (P.SE 10k link) poorly written, off topic, or any other number of other things.

There is no way to redeem such a question on the site, it falls into the embarrassingly bad category and got deleted. There is only so much down voting and trying to help in the comments can be done (comments are a poor way to educate someone about the fundamentals of asking a question on Stack Exchange... but thats another matter).

in this particular anecdote, the person came to MSE and asked, and was given the advice to ask on the per site meta. However, the question was asked on P.SE itself and then ultimately migrated.

One difficulty in this entire process is that it means that without that sympathy up vote on the misasked question on the main site, the OP is completely unable to ask on the per site meta.

Help > Privileges > Participate in Meta

Participate In Meta
Privilege Type: Communication Privilege
Awarded At: 5 Reputation

And so, the person who asks a really poor question can't get to meta to ask why its really poor without a sympathy up vote.

And so, without excess bouncing of a person through the meta bureaucracy, how can we actually get someone to be able to ask on meta with only 1 rep?

Ok... so the reasoning behind this is:

Because we allow anonymous participation, we require a small bit of parent site reputation to prevent spam, and ensure that meta is for active, engaged members of the community.

Unfortunately, I don't know how often other sites get meta spam... or how prevalent it was in days before this permission was put in place.


Is the requirement of 5 rep or a registered user sufficient to keep away the meta spam while allowing people who genuinely need help the ability to post on meta (without coming over to MSE where the question is off topic)?


My suggestion: allow posting on a per-site meta to anyone who either

  • has 5 rep, or
  • had at least one question posted on main site, which was not deleted as spam/offensive. (Deleted for other reasons is okay.)

This may be a decent way to keep spammers out and let other folks in.

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    What's stopping a spammer from posting spam on the main site, then posting spam on Meta five seconds later? – David Robinson Aug 24 '14 at 22:24
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    @DavidRobinson They might. But when spammer's account is destroyed (because of main site spam), all its posts are deleted. – user259867 Aug 24 '14 at 22:33
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    @DavidRobinson That's also more effort than just posting it directly here or onto a main site, so I suspect that wouldn't occur much if at all. – JonK Aug 24 '14 at 23:49
  • This was my thought as well, though I'd suggest it be "Allow one post on Meta". – jscs Aug 26 '14 at 21:55

So suppose the user who ask a really poor question can post on the per site meta. He post a new question "Why was my qustion delted?" and what he gets as answer? Three guesses. Right! Links to the help center, to relevant section.

Those links are also available in the close banner visible to him as the OP of the bad question.

So, there's no point letting such users post on the per site meta. Those willing to improve and who have at least some potential will put the little effort required to gain 5 rep - two edits, one fair question or answer.... really doesn't take lots of effort.

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  • Realizing that the alternative is that they go to MSE, post a question here, then post on the main site, get a sympathy up vote for some reason and then a migration to the meta site... and we've got three questions where there should only be one because they can't ask on meta. – user213963 Aug 24 '14 at 22:23
  • @MichaelT still, no point encouraging them in my opinion. I roam MSE and legit "why my question was closed/deleted" are extremely rare - so it's really not a big deal. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Aug 24 '14 at 22:30
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    The rareness of such questions on MSE is not surprising: there is no clear path here from other SE sites. I am also a bit skeptical about the idea that users who haven't learned to ask a good question themselves, should be trying to earn points by editing posts by others. – user259867 Aug 24 '14 at 22:43
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    @Thursday Not long ago MSE doubled as the SO meta. In those dark times, "why my question was closed/deleted" questions appeared daily in MSE (and as Shadow mentioned, very rarely they were anything more than pointless rants). – yannis Aug 25 '14 at 10:19