I'm conflicted on a question of voting on meta questions. The original question is a significant and important topic, but I disagree with the proposal.

The example that caused the conflict (but there will be many other examples) is Lose the [statistics] tag?

I think the topic is significant and worth discussion but I hold the opposite opinion to @oddthinking on this specific issue.

So, on meta, what way should I vote?

  • 1
    In response to this, I improved the cited question to not contain a particular proposal. However, Matt is still asking a valuable question for the general case.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 23:19

3 Answers 3


Warning, personal preference ahead:

I consider meta discussions as proper discussions: i.e. the question gives the topic and opinions / arguments are relegated to the answers.

Even though this isn’t the case in practice (the question almost invariably offers and defends a point of view), I tend to upvote questions that I think are important discussions, and then downvote answers according to my preferences (or, if no such answer exists, write one).

For instance, and to make this meta-meta, if you had suggested downvoting questions you disagree with in your question I’d still have upvoted your question even though I disagree with that suggested policy.


on MSO (and by extension general meta rules) down-voting is always disagreement with what the OP is suggesting.

It might make more sense to have question votes be this is/isn't and important topic and allow answers to handle the agree/disagree part, but really there isn't much difference between disagreeing and thinking the question isn't worth discussing and remember this whole system started with programmers who are lazy creatures and someone writing and agree/disagree post is more effort than just voting on the question like that. Also because closing and deletion are still both options on meta things that aren't important should be closed/deleted.

On a side note it probably wouldn't hurt to draft up and "official voting rules/meaning of votes" post and tag it faq.


Meta Stack Overflow FAQ covers this topic well:

Are upvotes and downvotes different on meta?

Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites. On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion.

Of course, everyone will have their own personal voting preferences that they will follow anyway, both for Meta and the main site, but it is helpful to know what the "standard practice" is.

My personal voting preference is usually something like this-

  • If I agree with a feature request/bug, I upvote the question.
  • If I disagree with a feature request/bug, I don't vote on the question, but I'll either upvote or write an answer saying why I disagree.
  • If I find the question to be offensive, ranty, rude, or just complaining I'll downvote the question.

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