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I gather that users who register on this site who already have a certain amount of reputation on StackOverflow get a "starting bonus" to their reputation here. Is there a good reason why this can't also be done for users coming across from MathOverflow?

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MO is a 1.0 site, using an earlier version of the SE software. There have been numerous discussions on this topic at meta.stackoverflow (see here for example), and the short answer is that for technical reasons this cannot happen unless MO becomes SE 2.0 compliant, which itself is something under debate.

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Given that the bonus is only 100, I think we should regard it instead as a compliment to the MOwers: obviously the SE team think that any MOwer coming here will do so well that they don't need a start-up, whereas those coming from SO need all the help they can get!

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