In response to this old feature request to lower the score threshold at which answers are blurred here on Meta SE, @Shog9 replied (emphasis mine):

I've lowered the threshold to -8 for consistency with the score at which we drop questions from the homepage.

Ditto for the handful of other meta sites where this actually matters.

Now, this was over 6 years ago, and naturally the feature request is marked . But, more Meta sites have high activity today as compared to 6 years ago, so I request that we take another look at which of them could have their threshold lowered from -3.

I think there is an advantage to doing so simply because voting is different on Meta. And @BenjaminGruenbaum put it quite well in an answer to that feature request:

I think that this visual cue is not useful in meta where answers express agreement and disagreement rather than usefulness of the answer. Reading an unpopular opinion is useful and helps me make up my mind on a subject. I almost always read the majority of answers when reading a thread on meta where on SO I almost always only read the first, or top two answers. Again, this is because these unpopular opinions make sense in meta and may still be useful.

The sites that have the threshold currently set at -8 are also among the oldest sites on the network, and they are:

This list misses a lot of sites with heavy traffic today, including (but not limited to):

Each of these sites has a large number of questions with scores less than or equal to -3 and -8 on their respective Metas, comparable with the sites in the first list (except SO and MSE, which are anyway exceptional).

I understand that lowering the threshold does not make sense for those sites with low Meta activity (in particular, with little voting). I don't have a cut-off in mind for what counts as "high activity", but I'm sure some line can be drawn that is more reasonable than the current status quo.

So, can the list of sites that have -8 as the threshold score for blurring of answers on Meta be expanded to include more "high activity" Meta sites?

  • 1
    Why is this exactly a problem? Except for it being inconsistent between sites?
    – rene
    May 8, 2020 at 18:46
  • I've added an additional argument for implementing this into the request. But it would also be nice to know why it "actually matters" with those other sites as well, ideally with data. May 8, 2020 at 18:53
  • @rene This answer explains the original reason for it nicely. However, as I previously commented, I'd like to see why it matters for those sites as well. May 8, 2020 at 18:54
  • @rene I basically agree with the accepted answer on the linked thread, namely that the visual cue of blurring is not as useful on Meta sites where votes basically represent (dis)agreement. On high activity Meta sites, an answer (or suggestion) that sits at -3 or -4 is still worth reading and contemplating and may not be really representative of the community's disagreement. I have seen poor suggestions easily hit -10 or lower (and conversely, great arguments easily go above +20). This is not the case on lower activity Meta sites, where posts struggle to get more than 5 votes in any direction.
    – user313042
    May 8, 2020 at 19:01
  • My experience is based on my participation on Mathematics and Music Fans (a high activity site and low activity site, respectively). The visual cue of blurring out of an answer at -3 or lower is simply not as useful on Mathematics as compared to on Music Fans. I would rather that the threshold be lowered to -8 there, just as it is over here on Meta.
    – user313042
    May 8, 2020 at 19:01
  • @SonictheStay-HomeHedgehog Thank you for the edit, it is certainly an improvement to the feature request. But I am not sure what data I could come up with to strengthen my point, apart from noting the comparable numbers of downvoted answers, as well as my personal experience with two sites of varying levels of activity (namely, Mathematics and Music Fans). If I knew how to do anything nontrivial in SEDE maybe I could write down a query to compare Meta activity (voting) levels. . . But I suppose even that would only be an argument in favour of "uniformity" more than anything else.
    – user313042
    May 8, 2020 at 19:08
  • Practically - this might be something for the sites themselves, through their mods to request.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    May 9, 2020 at 5:29
  • @JourneymanGeek That's fair enough. I'm not sure, but I don't think the original list of sites requested this feature individually, since it seems from his answer that Shog just used his judgement to decide which Meta sites can have a lowered threshold. Hence, I thought a single uniform request here would make more sense.
    – user313042
    May 9, 2020 at 5:35
  • I should have said "which Meta sites other than MSE" in my previous comment.
    – user313042
    May 9, 2020 at 7:04

1 Answer 1


I’m not convinced this is necessary. In fact, I think it would be detrimental.

For example, no answers in the past year plus on ELU Meta scored -8 or lower. ELU Meta isn’t really a high-activity site (though the main site is).

The same is almost true of RPG Meta, which I think gets more traffic (or at least votes).

(Compare for example the difference with MSO, which may be the most active meta in the network.)

  • I don't think it is appropriate to compare with SO or MSE, which are very different beasts. As I mention in the question details, the rest of the sites in the first list have similar or even lower number of questions on their Metas with scores -8 or lower (or -3 or lower) than ELU Meta and RPG Meta, which you have taken as an example in your answer. So, I don't understand why this should be good for some sites but detrimental for others.
    – user313042
    May 9, 2020 at 5:02
  • I took a cue from your answer to add links to the sites mentioned in my question body.
    – user313042
    May 9, 2020 at 5:13

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