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Is there any reason not to clean up comments on migrated questions?

  • "This belongs on ServerFault"
  • "Delete this as dupe"
  • "Duplicate question here [link]"

So the question's been migrated, and the duplicate question has been merged/deleted. Am I going to be stomping in anyone's Cheerios if I delete these comments? And if so, are they legitimate Cheerios?

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Likewise, unrelated to migrating: "Should be CW" –  Arjan Sep 2 '09 at 13:27
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Stomped on Cheerios are a pain to get out of carpet unless you have a dog. –  Rob Allen Sep 2 '09 at 13:34

3 Answers 3

I actually kinda like the idea of giving a migrated-question a fresh-start at its new location. Seeing a bunch of negative comments kind of sets the initial impression of the question, which is understandable for its first location, but kind of counter-productive after migration has taken place.

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What about votes, as well? Should all downvotes be removed, since I've seen so many questions get both a vote to move and a downvote? How about upvotes, since that's positive feedback on the question? –  Thomas Owens Sep 2 '09 at 13:22
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In all fairness, if you remove anything, you should probably remove everything. It isn't for the Stackoverflow community to vote on a question that ultimately belongs on SuperUser. –  Jonathan Sampson Sep 2 '09 at 13:24
    
That makes sense to me. I would support that. –  Thomas Owens Sep 2 '09 at 13:27
    
@Jonathan - I agree, wipe the slate clean after a migration. –  Rob Allen Sep 2 '09 at 13:40
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Is there already a Q I can upvote to clear rep on a question during migration? That's a stellar idea. –  Kara Marfia Sep 2 '09 at 13:57

If there have been cases in the past where I had to move manually from one site to another and I had mod privileges on the destination (for example, moving to Meta from SuperUser or from Meta to SuperUser) I would tend to clear out most of the comments, especially those that are just screaming about dupes and such.

I wouldn't necessarily say that we need to auto-clear everything because there may be the chance that good comments are lost.

I still think it would be a better idea for the moderators of each site to be able to receive some type of notification, or a list of recently migrated questions. This would allow a human to go in and clean it up if necessary and not have to rely on an overly generalized mechanism.

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I can understand that concern. It makes sense, given the overlap in audiences that some helpful comments or answers may be there. I still think it makes sense not to migrate the voting record on the question though. –  Rob Allen Sep 2 '09 at 13:42
    
If you don't migrate over the voting record, you are unnecessarily punishing the users who actually provided answers. You are also doing a disservice to the OP by clearing out all the voting records that were essential in ranking the answers that the community already felt were better. I could possibly see resetting the up/down votes on the question itself, but you got to remember that as long as the down vote is only worth -2, you can undo a lot of the damage with one or two ups. –  TheTXI Sep 2 '09 at 13:46
    
I definitely agree on manual cleaning. –  Kara Marfia Sep 2 '09 at 13:58
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I try to do this before migration when SO is the original site. If the community moves the question, I don't think anyone will get offended if you remove the now-irrelevant comments on the destination site. –  Bill the Lizard Sep 2 '09 at 14:09
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Love the idea. No more sending you guys damaged goods. –  Kara Marfia Sep 2 '09 at 15:14

As much as I can understand that question askers are happy that their questions are migrated without any penalty for not reading the FAQ, it actually bothers me a tiny bit. I'd simply close them, hide them, let the question asker learn from it. I even see quite a few questions that have been migrated after which the questioner has not even taken the time to merge the user accounts...

But, given the policy to migrate the questions, I have a little preference to at least leave the history of comments for a few days more, though I know it messes up things. It gives people who answer some insight about the person who asked the question.

(Or maybe the comments should not be migrated, and left at the first site for reference?)

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Remind me to never become a user on one of your sites. The set-up here is to remove the barriers to entry so that its easy to stumble upon S[OFU], ask a question and get an answer. The migration happens primarily to get you a better answer by putting your question in front of the proper audience. Asking on the wrong site says nothing of substance about a user in this context. –  Rob Allen Sep 2 '09 at 13:39
    
I think the approach here tends to be positive reinforcement (rep score, badges) vs. negative reinforcement. Even the the limited amount of 'punishment' - downvotes - are far far outweighed by upvotes. –  Kara Marfia Sep 2 '09 at 14:00

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