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The ability to link cross site duplicates

I'd like a "close as cross post" option that allows me to provide a link to the question on the other site that was cross posted as. Either that or have duplicates work across sites.

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marked as duplicate by random May 9 '12 at 20:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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+1 - Along with an auto-inserted "Cross Post" link so we don't have to do it manually anymore. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 8 '11 at 13:07
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+1 I'm not sure whether a new close reason is the solution, but some guideline for how to deal with this is needed –  Pëkka Jun 8 '11 at 13:34
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...and the absurdity of having five different "sites" for very closely related domains becomes evident :) –  user139018 Jun 8 '11 at 14:47
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I just came across one that was abandoned on SO after a user got great answers (and accepted one) on another site. Currently, deleting them is the only way to not use an inappropriate close reason. –  Tim Post Jun 8 '11 at 15:05
    
@Bill that's basically what I was suggesting with the "duplicate" working across sites. –  xenoterracide Jun 8 '11 at 15:19
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@user139018 perhaps, perhaps not. We had a user on Unix the other day who cross posted to iirc SO, SU, SF, and AU. nothing really condones that kind of behavior. Also it's very unlikely that something on topic on SO is also ontopic in SU. Now AU and Unix... well I still disagree with that decision. –  xenoterracide Jun 8 '11 at 15:22
    
@xenoterracide: of course people cross-post, they just want to make sure they maximize the chance of getting their question answered. No amount of moderation is going to change that. Which is why I think one site with a well developped tag system would be better. Or at least wider-scope websites. –  user139018 Jun 8 '11 at 17:26
    
An example of question that is borderline on both SU and SO: a question about bash. Bash is a programming language, but it's mainly used for system administration. –  user139018 Jun 8 '11 at 17:27
    
@balpha this question is not a duplicate but rather an example of the problem. mine is a feature request, with some possible proposed long term solutions. –  xenoterracide Jun 9 '11 at 2:08
    
fine, update your question then -- it's basically a stub with no information right now. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 13 '11 at 7:22
    
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/55588/… –  Lance Roberts Aug 8 '11 at 21:37

3 Answers 3

Tim's proposal no longer relevant close reason is fine, but I don't think it goes far enough. Cross posting is a significant problem that we deal with on at significant portion of our questions on U&L. We are constantly closing, migrating and linking to FAQ's about it.

First of all I would propose that the SE software run an automated quality check on the post to make sure it isn't an exact match or even similar match to another open question by the user. They often post a day later with a a few tweaks made, but the majority of them would be easy to match. Only questions without accepted answers should be considered.

Secondly the close-as-duplicate really should allow off-site links, or there should be a target close reason that specifically explains that cross posting identical questions is not ok. A one step migrate/merge might be the answer.

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If questions posted to U&L are off-topic for the site, they should be closed on that basis. –  Robert Harvey Jul 25 '11 at 19:34
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@Robert: They often are not. ServerFault, SuperUser, AskDifferent, StackOverflow and AskUbuntu all have significant middle grounds where the the same question could be on topic on multiple sites, and which one is best depends on context. Bash/shell questions are frequently handled on SO. General Linux questions are often handled on SF. SU and AskUbuntu have clear overlap. –  Caleb Jul 25 '11 at 19:39
    
You might get better traction by discussing this issue in the Teacher's Lounge with mods on the other sites. If you can come to an agreement over which questions go where, and then present a unified front on all sites, it would go a long way towards training the users to put their questions in the right place. –  Robert Harvey Jul 25 '11 at 19:42
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@RobertHarvey There is inevitable overlap, because SU/SF and UL/AU/AD divide along different lines. Unix user questions can go on SU or UL, unix server admin questions can go on SF or UL, plus AD for OSX questions or AU for Ubuntu questions. There's some overlap between SU and SF, for power user/semi-pro admin questions. And shell scripting is borderline between user/admin and programming. There can't be a clear separation. This isn't a unique case, there've been SO/Programmers multiposts, SO/DBA, SO/Security, SU/Security, … –  Gilles Jul 25 '11 at 23:59

We need this for the new users who don't understand that cross posting isn't acceptable here.

The solution is to modify the Close As Duplicate dialog to take cross-site posts (right now it has a bug that selects a question with the same number on the closing site) (fixed now).

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I don't favor attempting to eliminate cross-site duplicates. Finding duplicates on a single site is hard enough as it is. Our experience with invalid question migrations suggests that the community is either unable or unwilling to accurately police itself in this way.

There's nothing wrong with cross-site posting, provided that:

  1. The post respects each of the sites' on-topic charter, and
  2. It is polite to wait and see if you get a good answer on one site before posting the same question on another site.

Questions that are on-topic on multiple sites are very rare. In practice, if it does occur, it will generally be on-topic on no more than two sites.

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It's not rare! I see it almost every day, and I could easily write up some questions that would get answered as on-topic on 3+ sites. I often click through to users profiles just to check if they have recently posted to other sites. I think that step should be automated to nip it in the bud before their post goes live! –  Caleb Jul 25 '11 at 19:45
    
@Caleb: Yes, but it sounds like the problem might be unusually prevalent on the trilogy of sites you mentioned before. Around these parts, we don't see it that much. –  Robert Harvey Jul 25 '11 at 19:46
    
Maybe there should be a more restrictive criteria about which questions can be closed as cross-posting. On Stack Overflow I see questions about Drupal that are identical to the question asked on Drupal Answers from the same user. In some cases, the user keeps asking questions on both the sites, and the questions are sometimes asked in less than 30 minutes. (I am talking of the difference of time between when the question is asked in a site, and when the same question is asked in another site.) –  kiamlaluno Aug 8 '11 at 22:56

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