Related: How do downvoted questions/announcements affect staff/moderators?

I have wanted to post something like this at least since I saw a staff member drop all the way to one reputation on the basis of one poorly-received announcment, but thought that it is about time to do so with the recent posting of the above question.

Reputation on a Stack Exchange site is supposed to represent how helpful a person has been to the community. This matters for ordinary users and even elected moderators (who "answer" for their behavior both to the community and to the company).

This idea breaks down when it comes to staff posts on Meta Stack Exchange - a staff member's primary goal is not to be helpful to or provide value to the community, but to dutifully enact the orders given to them by the company. For that reason, let us allow (but not requre) staff to "opt-out" of reputation tracking at least here on Meta Stack Exchange. Their reputation could be locked at an appropriate amount, tracked silently "behind the scenes", or simply not stored at all, but regardless, it would not be displayed. It would probably be replaced with some sort of "Staff" designation, and could include recognition of achievements related to their role, such as employee awards they have received or their latest employee performance evaluation statistics.

I would wish to say that we could expect staff to find the best of both worlds - to make all announcements they need to do as staff but only in ways acceptable to the community, but I know that is not really realistic. The alternative is to push the idea of a reputation "hit" out of the minds of staff so that they can concentrate on their work, and also to discourage members of the community from judging the staff member based on their rep.

A staff flair might look something like this:

Proposed staff flair with no rep but with employee awards

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    Would be nice if you could crop that image from all the free real estate – Luuklag Oct 11 '19 at 14:57
  • Also, if you hadn't included gold badges for sales, or anything the like you would've received my upvote. – Luuklag Oct 11 '19 at 14:58
  • @Luuklag the sales award is just an example. It's not an inherent part of the feature request. – Robert Columbia Oct 11 '19 at 14:59
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    If SE is concerned about their staff’s reputation on Meta, they can create an account to post announcements similar to the Community account or use wikis. Why make it so complicated? – ColleenV Oct 11 '19 at 14:59
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    Somewhat related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/299167/… - also, to @ColleenV's suggestion: we can assign ownership of these posts to anyone, including the Community user; we don't need to create a new account for that purpose. I'm not sure that really helps anything though. – Shog9 Oct 11 '19 at 15:00
  • Is it really an issue for us? Probably privileges to use the site are not coupled to the reputation for staff members, the meaning of rep for them should not be very high. I would say that it's up to staff members to decide if they want these numbers to be displayed or not. – Trilarion Oct 15 '19 at 8:47

If an employee or their response isn't being helpful to the community - either through the fact that it's just a poor response, or is a policy being enforced which has notable disagreement - then the system is working as intended.

The only real hope then is that the staff takes that feedback into account when iterating on what policy changes need to happen next.


Please no.

I've been on SE a decade. One of the unique features of the site was how folks who worked here were members of the community.

We already kind of have a divide between the community and the staff.

While some decisions are unpopular - it might be worth considering the feeling of the community in these situations.

Considering the current friction - I do hope to see the day where folks are mindful of each other's feelings, and communication is actually clear, frank and open and this seems silly.

On the short run though, it merely hides the symptoms of the problems, not actually solve anything. In fact, a staff member who's hiding their rep might be under more pressure in some cases.


This is not how a staff member should be thinking:

✘ How can I post something that goes against the community without losing reputation?

This is how a staff member should be thinking:

✔ I should be posting something that's useful, sincere, and represents the community.

If, as the question states, "a staff member's primary goal is not to be helpful to or provide value to the community," then there's something seriously wrong; something far more seriously wrong than just some downvotes.

  • Should staff members be thinking that? I thought they should think: "I should post something that's useful for the company and maybe that also goes well with the community or maybe not, but that's not the primary concern really." – Trilarion Oct 15 '19 at 8:43

If someone doesn't want to yave their reputarion affected by a post, they can always make wiki posts.

Wiki posts carry the name of the author and of their most active editor. I know by experience that you also get badges the usual way with wiki posts.

Most importantly, reputation is unnafected by votes in wiki posts.

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