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Well, every once in a while, something like this happens.

Question is migrated.

enter image description here

User logs in with "another" account and posts an answer.

enter image description here

Now, obviously they can neither accept their answer, nor can they reply to other answers, edit their question, et cetera.

What is the easiest way to tell those users what to do?

share|improve this question
Most of the time at least one of the accounts is unregistered which fundamentally is the source of the problem. – ChrisF Aug 25 '11 at 12:33
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The problem here is that they didn't log in at all.

  • on Stack Overflow, registered user with a certain credential
  • on Super User, unregistered user

They posted as an anonymous unregistered user. If they don't even attempt to log in, we can't match their accounts.

Basically they need to click "log in" and use a matching credential for this to work.

Update: if we have any association at all (the user has the same account), we'll correctly match up all their content going forward. In the past if a user was merged after content had been migrated, users on the losing side of the merge were out of luck, since their unique ID changed to the new master and that's what we'd be looking for when seeing which posts they should own upon first logging in.

Now, with everything costanzafied, we'll search not only your brand new shiny account ID, but all previous IDs as well (any that have been merged in).

For the case in the question, it is possible to recover the post if you're still "logged in" as the unregistered user (the owner of the original post) and register. Then, logging into the second site will recover ownership of the post. If you've cleared cookies, etc, and aren't "logged in" as the unregistered user anymore...we (still) can't really do anything to auto-recover ownership there.

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In the end I'm looking for the simplest way to tell them what to do. How would you put this as a comment? Couldn't there be a case where the user hasn't registered on SO as well? – slhck Aug 25 '11 at 12:51
if the user didn't register on SO, they're screwed -- we have no way to connect them to the question cross-site. – Jeff Atwood Aug 25 '11 at 21:20
So basically, if they're registered, tell them to log in, if they're not, just leave it as-is and eventually delete/comment-ify answers? – slhck Aug 25 '11 at 21:54
yes, log in or register on the new site but it only matters if they were previously registered on the other site – Jeff Atwood Aug 25 '11 at 22:01
So just to make sure: If they are unregistered on the "parent" site (like here), there is absolutely no way to ever gain control of your question anymore? – slhck Aug 27 '11 at 9:43
yes that is correct, because they never had control before. I'll double check with the team though. – Jeff Atwood Aug 27 '11 at 9:45
Did you by chance find out about the process? I just had the same thing happening again. – slhck Sep 7 '11 at 15:59
we are changing the way this works a bit; Nick will be editing this soon with a proper answer reflecting the new state – Jeff Atwood Sep 8 '11 at 23:38
@Nick So with a registration required to ask, this is more-or-less not an issue anymore, right? (at least for stuff migrated from SO) – slhck Sep 23 '11 at 13:36
@slhck - true, but only in the SO case...and also not true for already-migrated content that doesn't match the conditions above. I ran a fairly thorough fix up last night of all accounts/migrations/posts of all old content that we could associate to users (and prepped for future logins/claims of content), so we should be in as good a shape as possible moving forward. – Nick Craver Sep 23 '11 at 14:19

I have thought it would be very helpful to have a notification in the top left that says something like:

Your question[1] was migrated from (first SE site)[2] to (second SE site)[3]. Please log into (second SE site)[4].


  • link #1 would say "question" and link to the new question
  • link #2 would be the name of the first SE site ("" in the questioner's example) and link to that site's home page
  • link #3 would be the name of the second SE site ("" in the questioner's example) and link to that site's home page
  • link #4 would be a link with text of the second site's name that links to the login page on the second SE site
share|improve this answer
Good idea! I'm all for a bit more feedback. Maybe even take out #2 and #3, because I can imagine they would confuse. Ultimately, you want users to click on the Login link, and not somewhere else (and thereby lose the notification). – slhck Aug 25 '11 at 14:55
That's true. Maybe leave the notification the same just don't link #2 and #3. – Joseph Aug 25 '11 at 15:51
By the way, you could make this a real feature request question here on meta, so you get more input from the community. I think it's a valid request since this is a common problem. Just add a bit of arguments why it would be necessary (e.g. the fact that the current status is just confusing). – slhck Aug 27 '11 at 20:58
Thanks, I'll do that. – Joseph Aug 28 '11 at 1:49
See this question. – Joseph Aug 28 '11 at 2:23

I've been doing the latter.

{User}, if you "associate" the account here with your account at {other Stack Exchange site} you'll regain control of this question.

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But how do I "associate" them? (i.e. what are the steps involved?) How do I put this for a user who hasn't used SE before? Even I myself have a hard time actually understanding the information outlined in the FAQ. – slhck Aug 25 '11 at 12:29

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