This is a follow-up to the well-received discussion Should the rep requirement for Meta be lowered to 1?

Currently users need 5 reputation to participate in Meta. The reason for this requirement, according to the privilege description, is:

Because we allow anonymous participation, we require a small bit of parent site reputation to prevent spam, and ensure that meta is for active, engaged members of the community.

This leads for WB.SE to the situation that completely new users can't try our Sandbox, which is specifically designed to help new users that are struggling to phrase their questions in such a way that they are well-received by the community. We are excluding the people that need this help the most from making use of this opportunity. It's also difficult to communicate to new users, because right now we have to mention that there is a rep requirement for participating on Meta and therefore for the Sandbox while telling them that they can get help for phrasing their questions in the Sandbox.

At the same time lowering the reputation requirement to participate on Meta may potentially lead to new users mistaking Meta for the Main site or the whole Meta site for the Sandbox. It's also a meta-wide change that would make WorldBuilding from lots of other sites, which may make it more difficult for regular users from other sites to understand what's going on, for example when they see that a completely new user posts something on Meta. We already raised the protection threshold for questions meta-wide for the Sandbox. But so far there seem to be no discussions indicating that this change had any negative consequences for the site.

It's possible to lower the reputation requirement to participate on Meta. ProgrammingPuzzles&CodeGolf already does this. As outlined in Should we remove the reputation requirement for answering on meta? the reason for this is their Sandbox for Proposed Challenges, which is supposed to help new users craft challenges. They also outlined that many other Stacks might not have usecases for completely new 1-rep users to post something on Meta, but in their case there is a clear advantage to allowing new people access to a resource that helps in writing a question for their site.

There was also the question Did decreasing the amount of rep required for meta cause spam? to which a mod on PPCG replied in the comments:

We may have gotten a few more users that mistook meta for the sandbox or the main site, but no actual spam.

And under the only answer, which indicated that normal users didn't perceive any real spam because of this change, another mod mentioned:

Some additional evidence: there are no reports on MetaSmoke for spam on Meta.PPCG ever. Given how good MS is at judging spam, I'd say this is a very strong indicator.

The comments to Should the rep requirement for Meta be lowered to 1? indicate that there some people don't want this change for WorldBuilding. The answers indicate that it would be a good change (Disclosure: one of the three answers is from myself). The votes show support for the different solutions outlined.

  • We can ask to have the rep requirement lowered to 1 for question and answers.
  • We can ask to have the rep requirement lowered to 1 for answers.

It's important to note that everyone with less than 5 rep can already ask about their own posts on Meta..


This post is specifically meant as a . Please vote to indicate whether you think this is a change that you want to see implemented or not. The linked discussion Should the rep requirement for Meta be lowered to 1? is specifically meant as a discussion.

  • Please upvote this feature-request to show that you want the rep requirement for participation on Meta to be lowered.
    • Please also upvote one of the specific proposal answers to indicate whether you want the rep requirement to be lowered only for answers or for answers and questions.
  • Please downvote this feature-request to show that you want the rep requirement for participation on Meta to stay the way it currently is.

The goal of this feature-request is to gauge how the community feels about lowering the rep requirement for participation on WorldBuilding Meta. The votes on this feature-request are the indicator for whether the community wants such a change or not.

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As of today, August 9 2018, the meta rep requirement of 1 is live for questions and answers; Shog just enabled it. All users should be able to post on meta - barring those suspended, of course. This means Sandbox access is universal.

I'd just like to add a couple reminders:

  • Be watchful. This is going to mean more activity on meta, and that could mean more controversy. Flag away when needed; we mods will be vigilant as always for flags.
  • Please guide new users to the Sandbox as needed; hopefully, it will be as visible as possible. If we can direct first-time users there (via chat, or comments) before they post questions, that would be great.
  • This is intended to be permanent, but there's always the chance things could go wrong. I'm going to wait a couple weeks before pronouncing this a success.

Anyway, here it goes! I hope things turn out well.

Yes, we should lower the reputation requirement, for questions and answers

Lowering the reputation requirement to post answers, and therefore to participate in the Sandbox, is a good step to make communicating the usage of our Sandbox to new users easier. It allows easy access to the Sandbox in case people had a bad start and need help to write questions. This is in line with the already existing possibility of asking about your own posts on Meta - our Sandbox is just another way to ask about your own posts by allowing you to get feedback on a draft you intend to post as a question on Main.

But it's important to be consistent. Telling a new user that they can post on Meta, but only in a specific format for their own questions and answers or if they post an answer, ideally only to the Sandbox, is too complicated and unnecessary. We can just allow them to ask and answer normally on Meta. We already migrate questions from Main to Meta from time to time where a new user didn't have the reputation to participate on Meta, for example here. Making only a change to the ability to answer on Meta would also allow new users to answer any question on Meta, so it's not limited to using the Sandbox, which makes this change even more complicated - they can suddenly answer everything, but they can't ask anything, except about their own stuff, whereas the idea behind StackExchange should be to have a Question&Answer site.

We would reduce the amount of posts that were posted on Main instead of Meta with potentially a few more posts accidentally posted on Meta instead on Main. In the end it probably won't make a big difference.

According to the search query migrated:yes is:q we currently have 23 migrated, non-deleted posts on Meta that were migrated here, most likely from our Main site. This is a very small amount of posts when you think about how long the site already exists. This is something our community can easily handle in the rare cases this comes up.

According to Monica Cellio:

There have been 28 migrations here total (5 are deleted): 27 from main, and 1 from Meta.SE. And for completeness: 5 migrations away: 2 to main, 2 to Meta.SE, and 1 to Earth Sciences (really).

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    Personally this is my favourite option. As I can't upvote posts I created I am leaving this comment. – Secespitus Jul 27 at 8:27
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    Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. – Frostfyre Jul 27 at 12:23
  • And for comments as well? I assume there is a rep requirement like on the main site? – Vincent Jul 27 at 16:03
  • This is also my favourite solution. I rarely see posts unfit for Meta. I am confident that people will not abuse it. – Vincent Jul 27 at 16:05
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    @Vincent The rep requirement for comments applies to Main and Meta equally as far as I am aware of and wouldn't be changed with this proposal. That means new 1-rep users could ask a question on Meta and add comments to all answers that are posted under that question, but they couldn't write comments under other peoples Meta questions for example. Basically this feature-request is aimed to make posting answers/questions the same across Main and Meta, not to change any of the other privilege requirements. That would require a separate discussion/feature-request. – Secespitus Jul 27 at 16:09
  • A rep limit of 5 means a single upvote for a question or an answer will give you access. It's basically trivial. Lowering it below 5 only benefits first-time-users who can't learn about the sandbox without posting their question and being told in the first place. What's the plan with those questions? Deletion? Why aren't we trying to help the user in-situ with that first question, in which case this discussion is moot? – JBH Jul 27 at 16:33
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    @JBH This is for users who write a downvoted first question, which means they are still below 5 rep after being told that the Sandbox exists. And this doesn't mean that we should stop helping them with their question on the main site. It's just to give them help for their next question. – Secespitus Jul 27 at 16:45
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    There have been 28 migrations here total (5 are deleted): 27 from main, and 1 from Meta.SE. And for completeness: 5 migrations away: 2 to main, 2 to Meta.SE, and 1 to Earth Sciences (really). – Monica Cellio Jul 27 at 22:31
  • This appears to be the community concensus by a wide margin, but the reputation limit hasn't been adjusted. @MonicaCellio, what's the next step toward enacting the change? – JBH Aug 9 at 17:47
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    @JBH the mods ask the CMs, pointing out this post. Thanks for the poke; I hadn't noticed how high the vote had gotten. – Monica Cellio Aug 9 at 20:11

Yes, we should lower the reputation requirement, but only for answers

Lowering the reputation requirement to post answers, and therefore to participate in the Sandbox, is a good step to make communicating the usage of our Sandbox to new users easier. It allows easy access to the Sandbox in case people had a bad start and need help to write questions. This is in line with the already existing possibility of asking about your own posts on Meta - our Sandbox is just another way to ask about your own posts by allowing you to get feedback on a draft you intend to post as a question on Main.

But we don't want people to mistake Meta for the Main site and accidentally post their questions here, just like we don't want them to mistake Meta as a whole for the Sandbox.

This already happens sometimes, for example here where someone asked whether a certain phrasing would be on-topic. We don't want to have people regularly posting on Meta and having to close those drafts as duplicates to the Sandbox or migrate "graduated drafts" that were accidentally posted on Meta to Main.

Adding a third option only for clarity in voting.

No, let's keep the reputation limits where they are

Vote on this based on your agreement to a statement like "The reputation limit to participate on Meta is fine where it is; let's not change it."

  • I thought that would be implicit by downvoting the feature-request (the "question" part), but it's probably better to have it explicitly as another option. Thanks! – Secespitus Jul 27 at 8:35
  • @Secespitus I like being explicit. (As should be obvious from the other answer I posted to this question.) It makes it much easier to tell what the votes actually mean when we don't risk overloading different meanings onto them. With each possible choice as an answer, it's a simple matter to check the number of upvotes on each. – a CVn Jul 27 at 8:42

Adding the fifth option, because the sandbox, while useful, is not great.
It is hard to find, and there are only a few users that actually provide feedback, and none of them are the close vote brigade that a user will have to face once a question graduates from the sandbox.

Retire the sandbox, get SE to give us access to the Triage queue

This feature is being tested on Stack Overflow, and has been in operation since 2015 or 2016, and it may be time to expand it out to other sites.

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    The downside to this is users in the Sandbox are willingly spending time helping. Review queue users might simply be farming for badges, or might not have the time to help at the level the Sandbox can. – FoxElemental Jul 27 at 15:16
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    The triage queue is designed for quick-fix-to-get-over-the-hump edits that generally occur with only one person, where the Sandbox is a time-consuming team effort to perfect a question. I don't believe it's enough. – JBH Jul 27 at 16:29
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    Disagree. The Sandbox is very different from the Triage queue, and should not be replaced with it. Also, I'm curious what you mean by "the close vote brigade". Many people providing feedback on questions are certainly above the rep requirement to close-vote, and are often active on main. – Dubukay Jul 28 at 17:13
  • This is just a proposal as another option. By close vote brigade, I mean there are a few users that specialize in finding and closing questions that they feel do not live up to the requirements of the site. Most of them do not seem to participate in the sandbox either. It would be nice if there was a way to encourage our communities more prolific close voters into weighing in while questions are still in the sandbox, instead of waiting for them to be migrated. – AndyD273 Jul 30 at 14:02
  • @JBH From what I've seen of the triage queue, it cannot be cleared by a single person, even a mod. That's one of the arguments against enabling it on smaller sites that don't get much traffic, since questions could stay in the queue for a long time if there aren't enough users minding the queue. I don't think that would a problem on WB since our queues seem to get cleared pretty quickly. From the little I've seen of the SO triage queue, it does look like questions get multiple comments/edits to try to fix them. – AndyD273 Jul 30 at 14:12
  • @FoxElemental You aren't wrong, but while the sandbox is useful, it's not perfect. It is hard to find, even if you know it exists. If you search for it you have to figure out if you are looking at the current sandbox, or one of the old unused ones. It's hard to keep track of new questions if you aren't active in chat. Everyone should be active in chat, but very few are. As a prolific sandboxer, how many unique people do you think are in there helping out? Are the people helping out the ones that cast the most close votes, and that you're question has to get past once it graduates? – AndyD273 Jul 30 at 14:18
  • @AndyD273 I try to direct people to it, and we've been seeing an upspike in activity in terms of newer users posting there. It's not hard to keep track, since you can sort it by active. It's not hard to figure out which sandbox is which, because the old ones are closed as duplicates. But I agree that the close-voters don't frequent it often, which is a problem. But the Sandbox enables long-term complete renovations of questions, while the solution you propose is likely more of a "edit to the code" solution better fitted to more technical questions on other sites. – FoxElemental Jul 30 at 14:22

Yes, lower the reputation limit, but only for questions

This seems to me to be the only remaining option. Vote on this based on your agreement to a statement like "Yes, we should lower the reputation limit for participation on Meta, but only for questions, not for answers."

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    I honestly doubt that anyone will vote for this, but it's the only remaining possibility, so here you go. :-) – a CVn Jul 27 at 8:40
  • Can you adjust the rep limits for Q & A separately? – JBH Jul 27 at 16:30
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    @JBH Honestly I don't know, but the intent here was to provide vote targets for all four possible choices. If one or more of them turn out to not be possible, I guess we'll have to adjust the ultimate choice accordingly. (The odds that Stack Exchange are going to implement new functionality just for Worldbuilding SE are... slim.) – a CVn Jul 27 at 21:50

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