Why is participating in meta a privilege in Stack Overflow? https://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/participate-in-meta

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    This is literally answered on the help page you linked. If you have any specific issue with the explanation there, please adapt your question accordingly. – l4mpi Jan 16 '20 at 14:10
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    This was closed as a duplicate of Why are meta communities restricted by reputation per community? but it is not a duplicate of that question. That question is asking why 5 rep on one site doesn't allow you into all metas on all sites. This is asking why 5 rep is required at all. – doppelgreener Jan 16 '20 at 14:19
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    Getting 5 reputation isn't exactly a major impediment to participation - you can get that with two accepted edits. You can also get more than that with a single upvote on any of your posts (10 points) or an accepted answer (15 points). – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Jan 16 '20 at 14:46
  • Note that if you get the Association Bonus, you will unlock access to all Metas. – Robert Columbia Jan 17 '20 at 0:45

Right at the bottom of the Participate in meta privilege description you've linked:

Because we allow anonymous participation, we require a small bit of parent site reputation to prevent spam, and ensure that meta is for active, engaged members of the community.

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