Possible Duplicates:
Shouldn't my Meta Stack Overflow and Stack Overflow reputations be the same?
Should reputation from SO carry over to Meta?

I know there have been questions in the past about rep sharing between meta.stackoverflow and Stack Overflow, but I believe these all predate the sharing of rep between the other metas and their parent sites so the existing answers do not address the fact that the current situation is inconsistent.

Today, meta.superuser shares rep with Super User, meta.serverfault shares rep with Server Fault, and I believe a similar rep sharing is in place with all other Stack Exchange sites other than Stack Overflow and meta.stackoverflow.

I could see an argument for not sharing rep between meta sites and their parent sites (though I disagree with all of the arguments of this sort that I've seen). I could also see (and happen to agree with) arguments that metas should share rep with their parents. I can't, however, see any reasonable argument for not sharing rep between meta.stackoverflow and Stack Overflow when all other metas share with their parent site.

Any answer that argues that reps on meta.stackoverflow and Stack Overflow should be split should also give a good reason for them not being split on the other sites. Let me say right now that I do not consider "for historical reasons" to be a good argument for the current inconsistency: recomputing rep for meta.stackoverflow and Stack Overflow users should be pretty easy, and given that it'll only increase everyone's rep on both sites it seems unlikely that anyone would complain about unfairness.

  • 4
    See: Shouldn't my Meta Stack Overflow and Stack Overflow reputations be the same? and then see Eliminate meta rep and then see Should reputation from SO carry over to Meta? and then, after careful study, start a discussion that is both informed by and significantly different from past discussions.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 20:46
  • 6
    Everything is easy when you're not the one coding
    – random
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 20:48
  • @random: pithy. What exactly would be the difficulty? Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:00
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    Please don't take my pretty Meta points!!!
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:11
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    @Laurence: see Grace's answer (or Jeff's answer on the first question I linked)... Meta.SO is effectively Washington, DC - putting it under the jurisdiction of one SE site would unfairly penalize users from all the other sites. Of course there are other ways to solve this problem... But why spend any time and effort fixing what's already been fixed?
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:13
  • Understanding the difference between metas and Meta is the big difficulty herein
    – random
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:16
  • @Shog9 "fixing what's already been fixed"? Where's the meta that shares rep with Stack Overflow? If there isn't one then the problem hasn't been "fixed", just rationalized away. Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:24
  • @Random perhaps meta.stackoverflow should get a more appropriate name, and then a real meta can be created for stackoverflow.com. Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:25
  • The renaming of this place to something besides "Meta Stack Overflow" has often been brought up. However, the other ideal name, Meta Stack Exchange, is already in use to handle the SE 1.0 sites exclusively. And as inactive as it is these days, it still needs to exist while there exist SE 1.0 sites that are not decommissioned. So it's something of a rock-and-hard-place issue for changing the name.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:28
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    @Laurence: you're arguing that a lack of consistency constitutes a serious problem here. However, your solution creates more work for both the SO/SE team and Meta users without bringing any benefits apart from consistency for the sake of consistency. Every feature starts at -100 points - you have to provide a compelling reason for the change, not just point out that it could be done.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:30
  • @Shog9 What is the compelling reason for Super User to share Rep with Meta Super User or for Server Fault to share rep with Meta Server Fault? The same exact reasons apply to Stack Overflow. Isn't the point of Meta "Whatever" to serve the users of "Whatever"? Meta Stack Overflow fails in this role because the users of Stack Overflow are crippled by having a low rep on Meta. Meta Stack Overflow is essentially a separate "ruling class" community where the members of one community (Meta) get to decide on the fate of another (Stack Overflow). Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:49
  • @Shog9 and the sad thing is, this is self-reinforcing. Of course every proposal to have rep shared gets shot down because the people who have nothing to gain are exactly the ones who have the voting power on Meta. So even if the benefit to Stack Overflow users as a whole would be great, the high-rep Meta users are against this sort of idea as it doesn't help them as it redistributes power. The Washington DC analogy does seem pretty apt after all. Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:52
  • @Laurence: no one is "crippled" by having low rep on Meta. If you have at least 200 rep on SO - or any other SE site - you get the 100 association bonus upon signing up on Meta, enough to post, comment, and vote. As for the rest of your comment... I've already addressed most of this in my answer to your other question, so let's lay this duplicate to rest.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:54
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    Most of the high rep Meta users are high rep Stack Overflow users. Most would benefit from such a merge, in addition to boosting many of the people more active on SO. The thing is, we're simply not Stack Overflow's Meta site in the same vein that other sites have Meta sites, so the analogy you provided doesn't actually work. It's more apt to say that Stack Overflow's Meta is non-existent than it is to say that Stack Overflow's Meta is a special case, a statement that is already being addressed in your other question.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 21:58
  • 1
    @Laurence: Meta rep is ridiculously easy to come by, assuming you actually have some knowledge of how the sites work (or know how to search and read). If you want to be able to down-vote stuff, just answer a few newbie questions and you'll be able to. There may be some truth to the "high-rep users get more up-votes" theory, but having seen many new Meta users rack up points with ease I'm not convinced - especially when that complaint is so often leveled by users who, like you, get down-voted for proposing some change and failing to justify it.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Stack Overflow isn't in a parent-child relationship with Meta Stack Overflow like the other sites are with their respective sites. Meta Stack Overflow is intended to handle not only issues with Stack Overflow, but for the Stack Exchange Network as a whole. It is also the specific place to ask questions about Data Explorer, Area 51, and Careers which otherwise lack their own meta sites and even reputation in some cases. In essence - Meta Stack Overflow is the site for all of the Stack Exchange Network. Tying reputation to Stack Overflow would undermine that, since not everyone who knows the engine is particularly active on Stack Overflow.

Other per-site-metas are directly tied to their parent sites - not only is your reputation tied, but you use the same account. You also need an account with at least 10 reputation on the parent site to post on them. Their design is such that they can be considered in the same unit as their parent site, whereas Meta Stack Overflow is not in the same unit as Stack Overflow.

  • I thought it was like this: MSO has parent/child relationship with SO, but is also the parent of all of the other metas. At least, that's what the migration options would lead me to believe...
    – SamB
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 18:51

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