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Off topic questions and redirect to affiliated sites
More options when flagging for migration

Now that there are dozens and dozens of Stack Exchange sites, the fact that the "vote to close: offtopic" options box lists only five of those sites is somewhat silly. This restriction is arbitrary, as the software could simply provide a list via drop-down, and it creates extra work for high-level moderators, who then have to respond to a "please move this appropriately" flag.

Vote-to-close: offtopic suggestion box

This has been brought up before, but the answers are somewhat contradictory.

...I just don't want to force programming related questions off of Stack Overflow if that's where the author wants them.

Then don't allow moderators to move questions at all!

There's a limit of 5 migration paths. ...

That limit is an arbitrary software restriction which can be dealt with via a smarter UI, and I think it should be removed.

  • 1
    Do you mean voting to migrate is too restrictive? Because you can vote to close as off-topic without specifying where it would be on-topic.
    – a cat
    Nov 3, 2011 at 20:25
  • Dangit, it's getting too dang hard to find duplicate postings. I'll just take my complaint to that question. I hope no one here accuses me of necromancy.
    – eykanal
    Nov 3, 2011 at 20:33
  • Yes, this one was pretty hard to find. I knew I had seen it somewhere, though... Nov 3, 2011 at 20:37
  • Given some of the cruft that does get migrated from stackoverflow, I would prefer to make the list even more restrictive. I think serverfault, and superuser should probably be removed from that list. If something really needs to be moved, just flag it.
    – Zoredache
    Nov 3, 2011 at 20:46
  • @Zoredache - or remove all, and just link the "close" and "flag" options, such that a vote of "off-topic" automatically sends a "please move this elsewhere" flag.
    – eykanal
    Nov 3, 2011 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


::looks furtively at his ♦ on some other sites and begins chortling uncontrollably::

Well, if you're a moderator you can get a rather more powerful interface enter image description here

but right now this is restricted to diamond mods and team members. Presumably because we're supposed to be really-extra-super-special trustworthy.

So how can you--a not particularly privileged user--take advantage of this spiffy power? You can flag for a moderator's attention. I generally use a comment like "Better on Foo.SE.". If you are right the moderator will take care of it for you and you get an increment in flag weight. Yeah!

  • 1
    So, we can migrate to only five sites, but it takes a diamond to migrate elsewhere? Doesn't make sense to me.
    – eykanal
    Nov 3, 2011 at 20:31
  • 3
    @eykanal Considering how many false positive moderators see, and how many people think they know where a question goes, it's honestly not such a big issue. On average, on a site like Super User, there is only about 5 to 10 flags a week out of probably 500 that require us to migrate to another site. Nov 3, 2011 at 20:43
  • @Diago - so remove all migration abilities. Having just five arbitrary sites listed doesn't make sense. (Also, I re-posted the issue in the appropriate question,
    – eykanal
    Nov 3, 2011 at 20:45
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    @eykanal: Well traditionally it has been declined because adding more than 5 would just clutter the close menu. Also in the earlier days, I imagine off-topic questions were fairly frequent hence the need for migrating to the big 5 (instead of just closing). But it's better this way... people screw up migrations all the time. So much crap has been wrongly sent to Software Engineering just because it's an option. We shouldn't want that to happen to other sites as well and let moderators handle the actual migration process. We'll stick to the suggesting. Nov 3, 2011 at 20:46
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    @eykanal Your argument is flawed for various reasons. There is a need to migrate questions, and with even just 5 people get it wrong 50% of the time. Right now, if someone asks for a unique migrations, the moderators can talk to each site moderator directly and decide if it is the correct migration. Not every question has a place, and it's 100% more important to have a question go to the right place. I have seen a question bounce between 5 different sites because the people that migrated it on 5 different sites got it wrong. The user ended up leaving. That's one of a few instances. Nov 3, 2011 at 20:50
  • @Diago - I think your "50%" comment helps my point. Remove them all and just have all "offtopic" votes automatically send a moderator flag to check the question out.
    – eykanal
    Nov 3, 2011 at 21:07

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