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David Arenburg wrote in "Restrict up vote rights":

I won't post examples because I don't want to create any Meta effects

This refers to increased voting and other attention given to a post under discussion on a child meta site.

On reddit, some subreddits serve as meta-discussion areas, and some of these have a guideline to discourage "meta effect" or "sub invasion" by linking to a separate read-only view on the hostname np.reddit.com. ("NP" here stands for "no participation", not a complexity class.) This way, users have to manually remove the np. from the URL before voting or commenting on a post.

Would it be a good idea for Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites to likewise have read-only sites such as np.stackoverflow.com, np.softwareengineering.stackexchange.com, and the like to discourage unwanted meta effect? Perhaps the existing code for read-only mode can be reused.

  • What if there was a need to participate? The meta effect is almost impossible to beat, as the curious will go looking for the question even if it's not linked. – Marshmallow Jul 24 '15 at 21:42
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    On reddit, if there is an actual need, the user would chop off the np. and reload. The np. functionality just discourages unwanted drive-by participation. – Damian Yerrick Jul 24 '15 at 21:43
  • Oh, sorry, /me runs away in shame. I misread the question. Would you mind editing so I could change my vote? Thanks. – Marshmallow Jul 24 '15 at 21:59
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I kinda feel like building this into the site would cause more confusion than it would save.

That said, nothing stopping you from building your own tool for this purpose if you think it's sufficiently important.

Heck, you don't necessarily even have to; systempuntoout's venerable StackPrinter service works just fine for this:

  • As of March 2017, stackprinter.com is giving 500 Internal Server Error. – Damian Yerrick Mar 8 '17 at 16:23

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