I've been doing some tag cleanup work, and I found a couple cases where there was a very old migrated question placeholder still alive. It turns out this is because the question was deleted from the target site before the 30 day limit on the placeholder was up.

This is a problem because these orphaned questions are difficult for the community to moderate. At first I couldn't even find a way to flag them for diamond mods to fix. Fortunately, there's a low incidence of them, but I still feel like it's a bug.

Instead, we need one of two behaviors:

  1. The placeholder is removed from the original site
  2. The placeholder is restored as a normal question on the original site, but in a deleted state.
  • Is the volume small enough that they could be fixed with mod flags? – Robert Harvey Dec 9 '11 at 16:52
  • Related: current rules for automatic deletion – Shog9 Dec 9 '11 at 16:52
  • @Robert - Yes, it's small enough. But I also can't flag the question because I'm redirected to the new site first. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 9 '11 at 16:52
  • 2
    Apparently this already happens. – Robert Harvey Dec 9 '11 at 16:54
  • @Robert This question from March 2010 proves otherwise: stackoverflow.com/questions/5255426/paper-organization ... so may I should make this a bug, rather than a feature request. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 9 '11 at 16:55
  • You can click the "Migrated From" link, and it will take you back to the original stub. – Robert Harvey Dec 9 '11 at 16:55
  • That particular question no longer exists on the "Migrated To" site (SuperUser). Perhaps that's why the stub was never deleted. – Robert Harvey Dec 9 '11 at 16:56
  • @Robert haha, awesome. Thanks. I'll edit my request to make it a bug report for the orphan placeholders. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 9 '11 at 16:56
  • You'll have to find another example. I already deleted the stub you referenced. – Robert Harvey Dec 9 '11 at 17:00

It's a fairly simple matter to go through /admin/posts/migrated/away and find (and fix) any undeleted questions among the migrated ones. The process that already happens seems to run more often than 30 days. Recently, I've seen deletions on 11/15, 11/19, 11/26, and 12/3 at 00:00. Seems to indicate that the script is running more often than every 30 days...

You can manually block the redirect by appending ?noredirect=1 to the URL. Not that that's an effective method for retagging lots and lots of questions, but if you wanted to see this particular specimen, it's still at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5255426/paper-organization?noredirect=1 (in deleted form, of course, based on Robert's last comment).

Note that auto-deleted migrations will also be locked, this one isn't (it's still visible through the Deleted Questions Viewer).


We don't check what happened on the destination site at all when building up the list of migration stubs that should be removed.

The criteria for questions that will be auto-deleted this way is: migrated away, closed, locked, older than X days. As of a few minutes ago, there were 9 questions on Stack Overflow that were migrated away... but for some reason didn't have the closed date set. I deleted them manually.

They were all migrated years ago (mostly in 2010, with one notably in 2012), so who knows what went wrong there. At this point, if you see any migration stubs that should've been deleted but weren't, please post a new report.

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