I just tried this with my system. It appears that the meta refresh is forcing a complete page reload from Tableau Server, which would then return it to the originally defined filters. This is effectively the same as the :revert parameter.
In contrast, a browser refresh allows Tableau Server to retain its cache, thereby keeping the filters.
A great article on this is Tinkering with Data Refresh & Auto-Refresh « Tableau Tinkering. There are also many discussions about this in the Developer Portal.
I hope that helps.