Meta Stack Exchange (which emerged from Meta Stack Overflow after the Stack Exchange network was spawned) is great; it gives you a chance to talk about the Stack Exchange network in a disconnected forum so that you don't have to break the fight club rules of talking about Stack Exchange sites on Stack Exchange sites, and can do so generically.

But what about the cases when you want to talk about Meta Stack Exchange? I would assume that the same rules apply in that you cannot talk about Meta on Meta. So where is a guy to go?

  • 29
    given a meta-level of n, the statement that discusses it is n+1, and this statement thus generalizes all depths of meta recursively within itself. Its a miracle I just didn't accidenty the universe with infinite meta multiplying by itself infinite numbers of times. Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 23:26
  • 3
    What kind of things do you want to talk about? You know you can break some recursion with tail calls - you implicitly replace your current frame with the next frame yielding practically the same level?
    – akarnokd
    Commented Jul 13, 2009 at 22:21
  • 23
    +1 You just caused a Stack Overflow of Stack Overflows. Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 6:24
  • ok this might not be a serious comment but meta of meta itself will be leading to stackoverflow (never ending :) ). so i guess questions about meta should be there in Stackoverflow...
    – Umer
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:04
  • 1
    Infinite recursion leads to inception.... and stackoverflow Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 22:14

9 Answers 9



The big problem we ran into, actually, was meta-discussion overwhelming the channel. Every new person wanted to speculate about the rules and their effect, and every violation was followed by a long postmortem. At first, we had a scoreboard showing who was the best at talking without violation, but this quickly turned into a competition, destroying actual chat. When we took down the scoreboard and banished meta-discussion of the channel to #meta-discussion, everything worked out nicely. (And, of course, for discussion of the concept of #meta-discussion people had to go to #meta-meta-discussion, and for chat about how silly that whole idea was, we created #meta-meta-meta-discussion …)


"Where do we go to discuss the Stack Exchange network?"

"Meta Stack Exchange."

"And to discuss that?"

"Meta meta Stack Exchange!"

"... And that?"

"Good god man it's metas all the way down!"

  • Yes, but where do I ask a question about how to ask a question about Meta Meta Meta Meta Stack Exchange? Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 1:23

meta can be called recursively, yielding meta-meta-meta-meta-meta-....


One meta level in any system is all you ever need for unbounded recursion. e.g., higher-order logic can be used to reason about higher-order-logic constructs as well as first-order logic.

meta.stackexchange.com implies meta(.meta)*.stackexchange.com

This has become common practice, and those questions are distinguish by the tag.


When I first came to Stack Exchange sites, I assumed that http://stackexchange.com is a meta for its every site. I would really want it to be this all-encompassing meta with tags or categories like [ask-ubuntu] and [super-user] to navigate between sites. Currently http://stackexchange.com is useless for me with its "Top questions" from topics I have no idea about, like on Biblical Hermeneutics.

That is my solution.


Well it's pretty obvious where THAT line of inquiry will go :P

I'd assume that any meta-level is allowed on meta.stackoverflow.com


Oh, come on -- meta-meta-SO is meta as well, and therefore it belongs here as well. :-)


It would be possible for the developers to create an infinite chain of metas, each for discussion of the one hierarchically above it.

The problem that could be encountered here is on incredibly low levels, almost no moderation would exist. A way to combat this would be a mod-only page showing all threads in metas below x many metas, allowing all mostly-unused metas to be moderated.

Another solution would be an Out Of Community community, where one may discuss all communities (including OoC) and their metas. This would allow for meta discussion of all communities, including meta communities, and easy moderation without a separate page.

  • Your last paragraph perfectly describes the actual MSE site as it in fact exists, aside from the name. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 5:03
  • Not exactly - I meant that the OOC site could be used to talk about itself. The question being asked here is essentially ‘Can one discuss MSE on MSE?’ - and if the answer is no, the OOC site would be different from MSE.
    – Theo C
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 7:24
  • My point was that, in point of fact, the answer is yes, and the described function of the OOC site is precisely the function MSE fulfills. There are any number of hypothetical possible designs that the network doesn't use, but proposing one that differs only in the most trivial of ways from what already exists is not really worthwhile. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 7:32
  • Can I have a Meta OoC? Just kidding.
    – stevefestl
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 3:31

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't any rule that you're not allowed to talk about Meta Stack Overflow on Stack Overflow.

This would allow meta**(2n+1)-Stack Overflow discussion here, and meta**(2n)-Stack Overflow discussion on Stack Overflow.

Loops are far more efficient than recursion and we avoid stack overflow, too!

  • By the way, the highlighting markup (underscores and asterisks) don't work in the dynamic preview the same way as in the post. This is annoying. Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 13:00
  • 1
    It would be off-topic, though.
    – Joe Z.
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 21:38
  • @StevePowell then this post couldn't have bold text
    – someuser
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 0:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .