I just want to get this straight. On Stack Exchange, there are reputation-walls everywhere.

  1. Why do I need enough reputation to comment? This forces me to make an answer, which always gets downvoted because it doesn't have enough info. I wanted to make a comment, but it's impossible as requires 50 reps.

  2. Just yesterday, I gave a resource link to someone, but it got downvoted. And what am I told? "Go discuss about this system in Meta". But the problem is I couldn't (You need 5 rep to ask here). So I had to come over here, to the Meta Stack Exchange, just to ask this. And just as I was hoping for the better, I get limited posting.

  3. Why can other people edit my own post when it is my question? I understand when it fixed spelling/simple thing, but this allows people to change the question itself. It should at least be reviewed by the Owner of the question.


3 Answers 3


The purpose of these sites is to create Answers for Questions. Q&A isn't the only important thing in life, but it is important enough that we built all these sites for that express purpose.

Comments, voting, etc. all exist merely to further that core purpose. We see very little value in encouraging commentary outside of areas that directly contribute to better questions or better answers... And even then, it's preferable if you can submit an edit that directly improves either.

With this in mind, surely it makes sense that the three actions which require no reputation are:

  • Asking questions
  • Answering questions
  • Editing existing questions or answers

All of those directly contribute to the core goals of these sites. You don't have to do any of them, but if you're interested in participating then start with one of those activities. Once you've been around for a while and seen how your own questions, answers and edits are treated, you'll come to appreciate how little noise there is, and how commentary is usually reserved for things you - as an author - actually want to see. How unlike every other site on The Internet, comment threads do not normally overwhelm all other forms of feedback, drowning out useful information and punishing those who create useful documents by wasting their time day-in day-out for the rest of eternity.

But until then, just trust me: begin by writing useful answers or insightful questions. The rest will follow.


The limit on comments is effectively an anti-spam mechanism since questions and answers are mostly community moderated. Comments aren't and they are not that visible as questions/answers. And the reputation barriers are very easy to overcome. If you suggest two edits which get approved, you already have 5 reputation, which is enough to participate in Meta.

It isn't hard to participate. It is hard to do so without knowing (and first reading and understanding) the site rules. Since SO/SE is very different from your regular discussion board and is a lot harsher on the rules, it might come of rude, but it isn't.

I am glad you took the time to post here, and I hope this won't bring you down. We all started at 1, so we know how hard it is to get started, but I know you can.

  • This is my problem. This post already has -1. Sure I can get started.....sure.....I have knowledge in 9 programming languages, and host 5 websites, but everything I have done so far, has been marked down, 0, or I deleted because it was way too low. Its easy enough to say "We all started there" but you are not in my position right now. I am seriously considering deleting my account on SO, SE. Nov 10, 2015 at 15:26
  • 3
    But why? People didn't like your answers, or your answers weren't according to the rules. If you answer with a comment, yes, you will get down-voted. Write a fully fledged answer and I am sure you will see the positive results of it. Nov 10, 2015 at 15:27
  • I can't even comment....... Nov 10, 2015 at 15:28
  • So, just wait until the question is clear enough to answer. Nov 10, 2015 at 15:30
  • I currently have a question limit. It's working great now isn't it? Let me see: I cant ask, cant comment, cant vote on ANYTHING, and in order to vote, I have tried to answer questions, but they were down voted, by moderators in fact. There is only a single person that has helped so far, but that question is still at 0. Nov 10, 2015 at 15:33
  • 1
    So what moderator down-voted you? How do you know? Voting is anonymous... Nov 10, 2015 at 15:34
  • Because he also commented... Nov 10, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    So who cares? Even if he did, why care? He is just a user that judged the usefulness of your post. And it wasn't useful (according to that user). Nov 10, 2015 at 15:36
  • I can't say much else. I am very disappointed with the site now. And yes, I do care. It affects reputation, which in turn limits pretty much everything. I AM considering deleting my user, it has nothing beneficial so far. Even now, I edited my post, but someone took the whole edit out. (Yes I know you did) Nov 10, 2015 at 15:40
  • 2
    So a user trying to improve your post shouldn't do anything? Don't you see we are trying to be helpful here? Nov 10, 2015 at 15:40
  • Helpful??????? Ok, this has gone too far. All I can currently do is post answers that say "You might get banned" when writing. Literally nothing else. I'm serious. Nov 10, 2015 at 15:43
  • @phi I read your comments and I am glad you took some advice to heart. Good work! Nov 10, 2015 at 22:30

Not every question requires clarification and not any questions can be answered only with links.

There're plenty of questions from newbies or not really advanced users, and it's possible to answer them pretty easily. Do mind that typically it's disliked by the community if you answer the duplicate questions, so it's encouraged to check if the question has already been answered before.

As you seem to know 9 programming languages, it's pretty simple to see the questions asked only in those tags. Use Site search for this purpose (e.g. to search for java and c++ questions, enter [java] or [c++]). Once you reach 50 rep (only on SO, the other sites require 1 rep, i.e. nothing to earn), you get instantly notified about new questions (live updates), this provides you with an ability to get the new questions as fast as possible.

Until 50 rep, you'll have to reload the page to see the new questions.

Also, as for the edits: I don't think anything bad happens when anyone can edit your question. Because it's not actually anyone - it requires 2000 rep for the editor to have their edits to go through instantly, so don't worry some inexperienced user messes up with your question :) (btw: adding "edit:" is discouraged, because any edits can be seen via revisions)

  • Then why does every single edit say EDIT: on other questions? Nov 10, 2015 at 15:41
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    It doesn't. And if so, feel free to edit it out. You will get 2 reputation if that edit is approved :) You see how easy this is? Nov 10, 2015 at 15:42
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    @Philipposs this happens when they are not experienced enough to know that every edit is recorded and intentionally add "edit:" - this doesn't happen with any suggested edit automatically though.
    – nicael
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:44
  • 2
    Fixed the "EDIT" message. Thanks for that Nov 10, 2015 at 15:57
  • Nicael BTW have you reported "1 new questions" in your screenshot already? It's been some time since I last read your bug reports. :P
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 10, 2015 at 21:02
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Well, you seem to underestimate me :D meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/309923/… (it's just SO specific, so I reported on MSO)
    – nicael
    Nov 10, 2015 at 21:04
  • Oh. All hail Nicael
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 10, 2015 at 21:15

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