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Answer illustrating the problem

At first, my thought was that questions should be on the correct site first, based on their subject matter, before they are evaluated for quality. But the OP in the answer above has a point: crappy questions are crappy questions, regardless of the site on which they're posted.

If a question is not of sufficient quality to survive on any site, should it just be closed on the site in which it appears, rather than be migrated to a different site? And if that's the case, do we need a suggestion to that effect in the migration dialog?

Or should the migration target site be given the opportunity to evaluate the question's merits?

share|improve this question
Programmers is a bit of a special case, because it was initially promoted within Stack Overflow as the de facto home for these "universally bad questions". In essence, users were told that the rules are different in Programmers, and that these questions which are totally not acceptable in other places in the SE Network are acceptable on Programmers. And this ends up trumping the normal practice of not migrating junk, because the image presents those questions as not universally bad or junk. It is not a good thing and probably shouldn't be encouraged, but that's what's currently happening. – Grace Note Dec 29 '10 at 15:44
@Grace: The term "Universally Bad Questions" is a bit pejorative, don't you think? One man's swill is another man's soup; see here:… and here:… – Robert Harvey Dec 29 '10 at 15:48
My point is that we get a lot of complaint about things being migrated that would be "NARQ" or "S&A" or in some points "too localized" - universally across the Stack Exchange Network, these would be bad, no matter where they are migrated, because the problem isn't in the topic of the question. That's why they get closed, and that's what I mean by "universally bad". I'm not making a judgment on people's opinion of the subject - just that Programmers was initially advertised as being outside the normal rules which qualify them as close-worthy. – Grace Note Dec 29 '10 at 15:51
Crappy questions should be downvoted. That's not happening. – Uphill Luge Dec 29 '10 at 16:01
@Grace - I wrote the original answer that @Robert linked. In it, I said that that particular question went from SO SU A.SE. This one's got nothing to do with P.SE (and I certainly hope you aren't thinking that A.SE is an appropriate place to dump garbage). – Dori Dec 30 '10 at 4:12
@Dori Your example is a sad one, and I don't think any site should be a place to dump garbage. I just wanted to point out that Programmers does suffer despite my own statements in my answer, and wanted to explain why. However, because it was tangential to both yours and Robert's points, I made it a comment. – Grace Note Dec 31 '10 at 13:14

If a question is bad, then it should be closed and not migrated. This should trump whether it is off-topic or not, and whether it belongs on another site. The end result is going to be that the question will get closed - the only difference is that migration means making more people deal with it, and consequently the author is also sent everywhere for nothing. There is absolutely no advantage to migrating a bad question if it is universally bad for the network.

If the question is something that just needs some touching up and is otherwise a valid question on the target site, then migration is probably wiser. Edits on the parent site aren't necessarily guaranteed to reflect the needs on the target site - for example, no one ever retags a question prior to migration in order to accomodate the tagging needs of the target site. This is a mostly fine practice because the question was otherwise acceptable barring some minor editing.

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this is why "close as off-topic" is the default, and closing as a migration takes extra clicks. I think we're going to make it so multi-migration is literally impossible -- you get one chance to migrate (as a 3k+ user, anyway) and if that doesn't work, moderators have to intervene via flagging for manual deletion or proper migration. – Jeff Atwood Dec 30 '10 at 9:35

Just to clarify some points:

  • This isn't about P.SE
    This is about a question that went from SO SU A.SE.

  • This isn't about a P.SE-type question
    The question wasn't subjective, or a poll, or open-ended, or "bad," or "junk." Or anything else that various people think might be welcome on P.SE.

  • This isn't about something being sent to the correct site before closing
    It was a programming question when it was posted on SO, it was a programming question when SO moved it to SU, it was a programming question when SU moved it to A.SE, and it was a programming question when I finally closed it on A.SE.

  • This isn't about an off-topic or marginal question
    Despite the title of this question, the original was on topic where it was initially posted. And it wasn't marginal, as that implies that there was a question or doubt about its value. I haven't heard anyone yet claiming that the question, as it was posted, was anything but useless.

  • The issue isn't even that:

    the author is also sent everywhere for nothing

    In this case, the author wasn't sent anywhere. His question was deleted on both SO and SU. From what I can tell, he has no way of knowing that it happened to end up on A.SE, or that it was closed.

    And if it had been a good question? He'd still be out of luck, because he'd have no way of knowing that he had good answers on an entirely different site where he doesn't have an account.

The post in question was written by someone who (apparently) is not a native English speaker, and who has real difficulties with written English (based on the one I closed + his other questions).

The post had no value on any SE or SOIS site. It never did, and multiple migrations didn't improve it.

Migrating it from SO in the first place was a waste of time. Migrating it from SU was simply adding insult to injury.

Hmmm… As a result, I realize now that I'm not quite sure what this question is actually about, as @Robert's one link (my post) doesn't actually illustrate what I think is his point.

share|improve this answer
Oh, sorry, so that's what happened with that question – random Dec 30 '10 at 5:06
Yes, the problem is visible now for PSE since the flood of bad migrations but the problem is universal. – bigown Dec 30 '10 at 14:06

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