Many people have come to Meta to vote and comment on the proposed changes to the license. However most people coming from other sites don't have enough reputation to down vote answers. This completely skews the votes and could give an incorrect perception of the community's views.

According to the help center:

Voting is different on meta.

Like normal Stack Exchange sites, Meta allows members to vote on questions and answers. For most posts, votes reflect the perceived usefulness: well-written, well-reasoned, well-researched posts tend to get more attention and more upvotes. Highly-voted and frequently-linked posts may become part of the community-curated FAQ or codified as part of the site’s Help pages.

Unlike normal Stack Exchange sites, Meta invites the community to discuss, debate and propose changes to the way the community itself behaves, as well as how the software itself works. On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself.

However unlike every other Meta site on the network, on meta.SE users gain and lose reputation through votes. So down voting costs you reputation and votes on your questions and answers affect your reputation. Hence people will be less likely to down vote answers and people will be less likely to post questions and answers if they will get down votes which might affect their privileges. Especially since the majority of users will have very low reputation here.

An example is this very question. My privileges on meta.SE should not be changed by votes which show people's agreement or disagreement with the question. And we should be able to post suggestions and vote on questions and answers to show our agreement and disagreement without having affecting our privileges. If voting on meta is supposed to be different then the reputation and voting system should also be different to other SE sites.

I would suggest making the reputation on meta.SE the same as your highest reputation from the other SE sites you're a member of. Then have no reputation changes on meta.SE. I do not think that simply lowering the bar for down voting is correct. Reputation change and privilege change will affect voting and participation behaviour, skewing voting towards up votes only and acting as a barrier to participation.


  • RE the update: Huh? I'd downvote any feature request on any meta site if I disagree with it. That's how meta voting works, not meta.SE voting.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 15, 2016 at 9:48
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Yes I would also. But on any other meta site the person you're down voting wouldn't lose reputation. meta.SE apparently isn't like any other meta site. I think that's broken.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 9:56
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    Well yes, but MSE rep is pointless @kjbartel. Why do you care about it?
    – yannis
    Jan 15, 2016 at 10:02
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    @Yannis If it's pointless then why is it tied to your privileges on this site?
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 10:04
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    True, and that's the only reason MSE has its own rep @kjbartel (there isn't a main site to inherit user privileges from). But then, who cares about privileges and reputation on a support site? It's not like this is a site you'd show off to friends, colleagues, etc... The rep here is just a technicality, and nothing more.
    – yannis
    Jan 15, 2016 at 10:12
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    @Yannis Indeed. Privileges dictate your level of involvement in the site. Which is the core of the question. The current system is preventing proper involvement of SE users which all users should be able to participate in just as they are able to participate in the specific meta for the sites they are members of. Really, this question would better fit in a meta.Meta since it is a feature-request for meta.SE rather than for the whole network.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 10:19
  • @kjbartel This feature request takes the idea further than I'd suggest. Downvoting should still have a cost, even here, so while I support changing the reputation required for downvoting, I cannot support this proposal specifically. I'll submit a new feature request soon which only addresses the reputation required to downvote.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 15, 2016 at 12:11
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    @ShadowWizard This is not a duplicate as I do not think that simply lowering the bar to down-voting is enough. The reputation and voting system on meta does not match what voting means.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 12:38
  • @AdamDavis Why should down voting here have a cost and not any any other meta site?
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 12:41
  • This has the same goal, hence duplicate. Feel free to suggest your way to reach the goal as new answer in there. Jan 15, 2016 at 12:48
  • @ShadowWizard Seems I don't have to as someone else has already posted effectively the same answer to that question.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 12:53
  • @kjbartel Because Meta is a Stack Exchange site for experts to discuss Stack Exchange. It isn't a meta site, it is a full stack exchange site, just like any other stack exchange site.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:02
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    @AdamDavis That doesn't make any sense at all. Do you expect network wide features to be discussed on every single other meta site which the change will affect? The point is to discuss them here in a central place. You might want to read the help center What is meta?.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:11
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    @kjbartel I've been around long enough to know what Meta is and isn't. It isn't fully another stack exchange site, yet it isn't just a meta either. I still believe, as I have from the beginning, that we have to strike a balance which allows all users on every site to contributed meaningfully, while still recognizing that there are people with expertise in the subject of Stack Exchange itself who should have additional rights and responsibilities here. In the case of downvoting, we should have more latitude for users on other sites, but we shouldn't open the floodgates to them.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


You can post an answer here without any rep.

So... If you have something to say... Post an answer.

Voting changes are worth considering, but hardly stop you from doing anything crucial here.

The license changes won't happen for at least another month and a half. Plenty of time to discuss and shore up the plan.

See also: A Proposal for More Constructive Downvoting on Meta: Express Disagreement by Answering the Question

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    You (SE) did bring this upon yourself by using the score of the previous meta post as part of the justification. I strongly prefer arguments over votes on meta for multiple reasons, but in this case I can understand the confusion. Jan 15, 2016 at 8:50
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    That would require a lot of needless answers and comments. It also does not help with ordering of answers which is done with votes.
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 8:51
  • @MadScientist The previous and new posts both are not tagged 'feature-request' hence voting should "reflect the perceived usefulness" and not "indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposed change".
    – kjbartel
    Jan 15, 2016 at 9:33

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