I'm a member of the community (StackOverflow). This community is here to discuss that community. Why, even though I'm a 10k+ user on the real community, am I treated like a second-class citizen here? It seems kind of cliquey. I want to volunteer my time to StackOverflow, but not usually through meta discussions. But when something hinders my ability to work on SO, I want to be able to discuss it here without being stifled.

I also understand that this community has unique considerations from a moderation standpoint. An SO moderator might not make a good meta.SO moderator. I suggest we draw a line between permissions that facilitate participation and those that facilitate moderation. Here are the ones I think primarily facilitate participation:

  • Leave comments
  • Vote up
  • Flag offensive
  • Edit community wiki posts
  • Vote down
  • Show total up and down vote counts (because it allows you to guage the actual popularity of an opinion).

Allowing anybody to leave comments was a great first step. My proposal is that the above permissions would either be granted to all people who have the equivalent permission on SO (or even another sister site?) or to all people (i.e. no rep requirement).

Incidentally, since votes in SO often are used to guage the popularity of a suggestion, I don't think there should be penalties for downvoting but that's another, related topic.

It just makes no sense to me that you can have people that have full participation rights on meta.SO even though they have never really participated on SO, meanwhile I'm a very active member on SO and am hindered from talking about it here. It's like having a town hall meeting but only inviting the people who hang around town hall.

To sum up some of the comments, in reality much of what I'm talking about you already get from account association so I'd be totally satisfied if we lowered the vote down and vote split rep requirements to 100.

  • 1
    On the same vein, my lack of participation here means I had to rely on search to try to find duplicates, and didn't find one...whereas those who hang around all the time will probably know where to look and find one :-). But that I can take responsibility for. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:49
  • 4
    Upvoting, flagging, and CW editing are all available to any user who has at least 200 on Stack Overflow (or any other site, for that matter). So the main things are downvoting and the vote count split. The latter of which seems fairly benign to allow. There is a post on the topic of downvotes, though, so I'll see if I can fetch that for you. ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:52
  • 4
  • 3
    Not trying at attack you or start a flame war, but why do some of these things (showing up/down votes, etc.) matter to you? You're certainly able to post, vote up or down, flag requests, etc. already. What are you missing from your abilities on SO that are so important? Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:52
  • 5
    This is a duplicate, although I'm having trouble finding it. I agree with this, but you realize the 100 rep bonus you get for association gives you 4 of the 6 privs you asked for, and gets you really close to a 5th? Viewing split vote counts is the only one that actually requires any decent amount of rep Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:53
  • 6
    @Michael I find split vote count really useful on meta; you can tell if a feature request/bug is mostly ignored or just has a lot of votes canceling each other out Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:54
  • I haven't found the downvote question, but this is a similar question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/79795/….
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:56
  • @Michael Mrozek I'm obviously coming from a place of ignorance; being so low in rep here myself, I hadn't taken that into consideration. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:56
  • @MichaelMrozek 95% of the cases it's just being ignored. You can also tell by the amount of comments and posts it's attracting. If it's not attracting negative comments and posts, then you can safely assuming it's attracting few, if any, downvotes.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:56
  • 1
    @Michael: For me, it's obviously just showing the vote split which actually irks me every time I come here, because I find it interesting to see where popular opinion is on some suggestions. But I'm talking out of my early experience here as well. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:56
  • Hmm maybe what I really would want is for the vote split requirement to be lowered to 100 to be covered by the association bonus. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:01
  • Aw, hell, its Mark. Everybody pretend we aren't having fun.
    – user1228
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:06
  • @Will, aww crap I don't really have a reputation do I? I guess the frank truth is that I'm only really on meta if something distracted me from participating at SO. So please don't take the fact that most things I say on here are negative as a sign, look at my SO participation (and lack of meta participation) as the indication that you're doing almost everything right. In this case something distracted me from SO, so I came to meta, then something distracted me again so I was in a bad mood ;-). Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:36
  • @random: I'm pretty disappointed that you unilaterally closed this as an "exact" duplicate. If you read through the question you linked, it is pretty specifically about wanting moderator permissions to carry over from SO. I was very deliberate about proposing that moderator rights are separate, and only participation rights would carry over. That makes them starkly contrasting discussions. Please post the real duplicate or reopen. Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 3:54
  • The other was about having the same privileges and participation level rights on Meta as they earned on SO. Where is the new hotness in your question?
    – random
    Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


Due to the 100 rep site association bonus the only things you are missing out on are downvoting and showing the vote splits.

Downvoting is only a post or two away, and vote splits are nice to know, but hardly required to successfully interact with the site. There is a very strong correlation between downvotes and negative comments/answers on a given post, so vote splits are really just icing on the cake. And as Grace Note points out, you can find that information out through other processes - just not as conveniently.

  • 5
    Plus, vote split can still be accessed even without enough reputation, by using the timeline view. It's not easy to find, though, but that's what spreading the word is for.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 18:57
  • @Grace: Thanks, I hadn't seen that before. I'm not sure I'd call it a usable workaround given the effort you have to go to, but it's better than nothing. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:00
  • What association are you talking about... I can see my "related accounts" in my profile, but I can't see a place to associate it... to what? my account here? how?
    – jachguate
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 23:27
  • 1
    I don't particularly agree with the splitting: meta.stackexchange.com/q/82442
    – Trufa
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 23:49

I want to volunteer my time to StackOverflow, but not usually through meta discussions. But when something hinders my ability to work on SO, I want to be able to discuss it here without being stifled.

I don't really see how you would be stifled. As others have pointed out, you can already do all of the following:

  • Leave comments (1 reputation)
  • Vote up (15)
  • Flag offensive (15)
  • Edit community wiki posts (100)
  • Vote down (125)

The only privileges which I think are necessary to discussion of SO issues are comments and secondarily, voting (and of course creating posts as well, but that's 1 rep). At 125 reputation and above, you're able to do all of those things and more, which I don't find unreasonable.

Users with >1000 reputation can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but vote counts aren't that important if all you need to do here is occasionally post a question about problems on SO.

  • 1
    I very, very rarely check a vote split, and more often than not it's on my own posts.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 20:24
  • 1
    @Adam: I'll trade you that permission for something. Though I have nothing you would want :-). I do it all the time. It's really hard to gauge what the community feels sometimes. For instance, a -10 post on SO is almost always a REALLY bad answer or question. But here, I'm sure Jeff Atwood has plenty of answers which would show a severely negative score and yet would have maybe 50 upvotes. In those cases it's really hard to tell whether it's really unpopular or fairly split. Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 20:29

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