Voting on Meta sites generally express agreement and disagreement with a proposal, unlike on the Q&A sites where they indicate useful/good vs. non-useful/bad content.

It seems to me that a down-vote on Meta Stack Exchange should not carry a -1 rep penalty, which only discourages down-voting. With this discouragement, questions on Meta SE will be biased towards agreement, since for every up-voter, there may be several in disagreement who don't want to lose the rep for down-voting.

Can the penalty for down-voting on Meta SE be removed?

  • 9
    Meta sites generally don't have reputation. The exception is Meta Stack Overflow (this site)!, which is the engine Meta.
    – waiwai933
    Sep 30, 2010 at 0:12
  • @Waiwai: Didn't realize that - question changed to reflect meta SO only. Sep 30, 2010 at 0:25
  • 4
    Downvoting because I disagree, and for the sheer irony :)
    – Ether
    Sep 30, 2010 at 0:40

2 Answers 2


I don't really see the need for this.

People downvote pretty freely here, much more so than on the parent site, so I'm not sure encouraging more downvoting is necessary. Also, upvotes are more abundant here -- yes, there is a penalty for downvoting, but you get upvoted more here, too, so you have more rep to work with.

Moreover, I don't think it's a good idea to remove the self-penalty without removing the inflicted penalty as well. I think the rep system needs to stay in tact as it is, or be removed entirely like the per-site Metas.

  • 3
    you'll change your opinion immediately once you know how things works. A user with too many downvotes in Meta is banned from furthur asking any questions/ posting any suggestions. So now do you think there's a need for this?
    – Pacerier
    Jun 12, 2011 at 12:47

Er.. what? Downvotes on child meta sites carry no rep, up or down.


Voting up or down does not affect reputation. You are now free to vote purely based on post content, without worrying about how your vote might positively or negatively affect someone’s reputation score.

And from the faq on a per-site meta itself, let's say.. programmers..


Reputation here is entirely derived from the parent website; your reputation is the same as your reputation on the parent website, synchronized hourly. Votes here do not affect your reputation in any way. However, you can earn unique badges here on the meta site.

  • Oh, I guess I missed that in all the excitement. Sep 30, 2010 at 0:38
  • 6
    Jeff. Not true, it seems. meta.stackoverflow.com is most definitely taxing me -1 for each downvote (I had already amended my question to refer specifically to this site). Sep 30, 2010 at 0:40
  • 3
    @software I said "CHILD META SITES". Meta.SO is no mere run of the mill child meta, it's a standalone site over a year old -- it is the Washington DC of our country, the capitol. Sep 30, 2010 at 0:41
  • 8
    No need to yell. waiwai933 already pointed out (in a comment, where it belonged) that I was mistaken in thinking that all meta sites behaved like MSO. And I immediately amended my question accordingly. Sep 30, 2010 at 0:52

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