Yes, I'm aware of discussions, leaks, etc. that have gone on recently regarding potential plans from SE to implement this network-wide. However, for the sake of this post, let's ignore those, and consider this as a standalone request.

tl;dr: I believe that here on Meta Stack Exchange, it often takes more effort to write a question, as much as or even greater than writing an answer, and the reputation gain should reflect that.

Here on this site, it often takes much more research, thought, and effort to write a well-received question than it does to write a well-received answer. When writing a question, you have to do a lot of research (e.g. "based on the prior posts and what's going on, is this idea likely to be positively received by the community?", "has this idea been proposed before? [if so,] what are some arguments against the reasons for not implementing it at this time and new arguments that weren't brought up in that prior post?", "am I presenting my ideas in the right way", etc.). Even for a non- post, you have to be nuanced in the ways you present your points so that people will be likely to give you a good answer or get a good picture of your idea.

Whereas to write an answer, it's much simpler, as often the question author has already done quite a bit of the work and research for you, so that all you need to do is make an opinion on it, or find the relevant post where something is mentioned. (That's not to say it's easy, but it is, as a whole, relatively easier than writing a question.)

If you were to go through my questions, you'll see that as a whole, they are rather long, containing many nuanced points, but if you go through my answers, they are as a whole shorter, and much of the research behind them just things mentioned in the questions they were answering. When I was writing them, I would take much more time writing a question than an answer on average.

Some similar points were raised back when the reputation gain was changed to 5 in 2011: *

Meta Stack [Exchange] is already different. The other sites, and even the site metas, are Q&A sites. Here, you're not really writing questions (useless you're using [the tag]), you are writing opening posts. That's because [Meta.SE] is actually a forum, not a Q&A site. On [Meta.SE], a very good point can be articulated in the opening post. It does not work at all like other Stack Exchange sites. On [MSE], "questions" are just as important as "answers."

Based on that, I believe that the fact that less rep is awarded for writing questions than answers here on this site to be pretty lopsided. I'd argue that at least here on Meta.SE, it should be upped.

That's not to say that the same analogy can be applied to all sites, however. On some sites, e.g. Travel, it's more beneficial to retain the current reputation gain, because of the large amount of zero-research questions from new users (about, e.g., UK visa refusals, of which most are duplicates). There are also a bunch of posts already arguing against this being implemented network-wide for similar reasons, but most of those arguments don't make much sense for this site.

If you disagree with this request, it would be very nice if you explained why, so I can edit this post to address potential concerns.

To those suggesting eliminating Meta reputation

There was a study conducted as to the effects of using a different model for awarding privileges: either the sum of all sites, or the highest reputation on a single site. Both were found to unfairly bias Stack Overflow users, while the current model would help keep things fair. As was explained by Shog9 in the post:

The biggest potential problem with either of these approaches is simply the raw volume of voters on Stack Overflow.

The second-biggest potential problem would be the massive skew between upvotes and downvotes. When considering agreement or disagreement, this could be an issue.

The smaller potential problem... Is that it becomes even less enticing to actually participate here. Because there's no reputation, because voting is skewed toward SO, because the only people who have to participate here are rank newbies who can't post on any other meta... And employees.

Also, as argued by some folks in the comments, this site is essentially a Q&A site...about Stack Exchange. Stack Exchange is "its own area of expertise" (as put forth by ArtOfCode).

Finally, a bunch of users (including me) derive most of my network reputation from contributions to this site, so they'd stand to lose quite a bit of their network rep.

* That quoted answer was written before the ; back when it was written, the site today known as MSE was then known as MSO.

Yes, this is a repost of my prior answer to a now-deleted question. However, as it doesn't contain any of the arguments raised in leaked posts, community members have decided it's OK to repost such answers. As other discussions talk about having this raised network-wide, and my answer wouldn't make much sense there, I've opted to post a new question instead.

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    Just get rid of rep on meta altogether. Other meta sites do without rep; why should it be a thing here? Nov 9, 2019 at 19:18
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    @Randal'Thor I edited that into the question. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:24
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    "Also, I derive most of my network reputation from contributions to this site, so I'd stand to lose quite a bit of my network rep." - not sure how that's relevant, unless you think Stack Exchange network decisions should be based on what benefits Sonic the most. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:30
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    @Randal'Thor There are other such users too. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:31
  • Well, of course most high-rep main meta users would oppose the elimination of rep on main meta. They've got a vested interest in it. Doesn't mean it's actually a bad idea. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:31
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    @Randal'Thor Note that I've also supplied another argument against it right before that sentence. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:32
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    @Randal'Thor FWIW, I'd also oppose eliminating Meta rep. Yeah, yeah, "vested interest" me if you wish - but less that, more the fact that it's something lots of folks have spent time and effort investing in for questionable reward; taking rep away takes away even that questionable reward. I'd be up for synchronizing privileges to a degree, but we shouldn't remove a reward for folks who put effort in here, just as we shouldn't remove a reward for folks who put effort in on, say, SciFi.
    – ArtOfCode
    Nov 9, 2019 at 19:44
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    @ArtOfCode There's no rep reward for people who put effort in on other meta sites, so why this one? Nov 9, 2019 at 19:46
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    @Randal'Thor Because, as I said, there was a study conducted as to whether SE should switch to an aggregate sum method or a highest rep method, and SE didn't want to bias SO so they decided to keep the current model. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:47
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    @Randal'Thor Network meta is a slightly different concept and a whole new area of "expertise", if you can call it that, to a per-site meta.
    – ArtOfCode
    Nov 9, 2019 at 19:47
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    @Randal'Thor: There is no main site that corresponds to MSE. For all intents and purposes, this site IS a regular main site, merely one about the network (which gives it the 'Meta' name). Nov 9, 2019 at 19:47
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    @Rand, just reach into your pocket and pull out the cash, if we can't have worthless rep give us what you don't value.
    – Rob
    Nov 9, 2019 at 23:26
  • Here's an idea.... scrap Meta all together. Sonic...Sonic...are you OK? Speak to me! Nov 10, 2019 at 3:38
  • @Mari-LouA Meta...the here and now you've stolen, time to take it back! Nov 10, 2019 at 6:21
  • @ArtOfCode then don't remove their rep, if you must. Just stop adding/subtracting from it based on activity here. If we make everyone use network rep, then those who have MSE rep can keep it, it will still be counted in their network rep after all.
    – terdon
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


The issue with trying to attach something as subjective as "effort" to questions and answers is that it differs between people quite a bit. For example, my personal experience has been opposite to yours. Look through my questions and answers, my answers took a lot more "effort" than my questions.

I agree with Rand al'Thor here, rep should be removed from MSE and privileges should be based off the site you have most rep on. I know you touched upon it so I'll address your points:

Both were found to unfairly bias Stack Overflow users, while the current model would help keep things fair.

Let's face it, people who use(d) SO will always have an advantage over other users because of the sheer number of questions available for them to answer, the age of the site, and the vast difference in the number of users. It just isn't reasonable to discount a fairly decent suggestion because of this, I believe this bias will always exist.

Also, I derive most of my network reputation from contributions to this site, so I'd stand to lose quite a bit of my network rep.

I guess we could make it so the change is not retroactive, so, your contributions going forward will not earn you rep but your rep will still be counted toward your privileges, I believe this provides a viable middleground.

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    No, it's not a viable middleground, since those high-rep users will lose a massive incentive to contribute. Also, it is worth noting that there was a time when this site actually did bias Stack Overflow users - prior to April 2014, this site was called Meta Stack Overflow and served as both the "capital city" meta and the meta for Stack Overflow. Bias toward SO was this precise reason that SE opted to split off the site into two separate sites. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:41
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    @SonictheReinstateMonica-hog right and I'm aware of the split. The issue is that you can't forever hold onto the biases that may have existed because as I mentioned the bias will always exist. What I've suggested is what I believe to be the best middleground solution. Of course, the other option is that we leave everything as is and we all carry on with our lives, which I guess I'm fine with too.
    – Script47
    Nov 9, 2019 at 19:44
  • @SonictheReinstateMonica-hog quite frankly, if someone contributes here, to the site that is only about the network, only for the rep, then I don't want them to contribute at all. You should only be here because you care about the network. So if removing the rep removes someone's interest in being active here, then great! They shouldn't have been active in the first place.
    – terdon
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:28

Basically you have a simple algorithm where a computer is trying to "know" 10M+ people and figure out how to "trust" (and indicate to others how much they can "trust") that person.

You get the reputation system

The presumption in awarding +5 rep for upvoted questions, and 2× that (+10 rep) for upvoted answers is that people who supply good answers are 2x more trustworthy to the site.

A person supplying a good answer is demonstrating 2× the subject matter knowledge per vote "useful" as far as the site is concerned than a person supplying a good question. This may or may not be accurate about the users, but to the site's simple algorithm it is not a bad mechanic to guess.

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    That's the point I'm trying to make in the post here. That users who post questions are equally trustworthy as those posting answers, here on this Meta site. Nov 10, 2019 at 2:18

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