Since Require minimum reputation on the target site for migration is rejected, I've been trying to think up ways to reduce bad migrations without severely impacting the ease of migration. Ideally good questions should be migrated quickly and bad questions not at all, so we're kind of optimizing for two things at once.

In any case, my suggestion is that every time a migrated question is closed1 (or otherwise rejected?) on the migrated-to site, everyone who voted to migrate it there gets a strike against them. 3 or 5 strikes2 (or something) and you lose the ability to suggest migration when voting to close.3

That would help to reduce the number of clueless close voters who don't understand "Don't Migrate Crap" (or don't understand the target site's scope) while keeping good close voters doing what they do.

1Probably for any reason other than as a duplicate.
2This would need to be limited to a certain period of time. 3 bad migrations over 2 years probably shouldn't be punished; 3 in a week, on the other hand, definitely should be.
3At least to that target site, anyways.

This suggestion was triggered by this discussion. Programmers seems be suffering with bad migrations from regular SO users; I don't think the current measures are enough. With the number of close voters required to migrate a question (generally?) being so low, I'm not convinced that a majority of them selecting one site is enough. I believe the issue of herd behavior has been brought up here on Meta before, where everyone selects the same destination because someone else suggested it and the name of the destination vaguely matches the question.

  • 1
    related: Make it easier for close-voters at target site to contact those who voted for migration. Not a duplicate though - it suggests pinging messages, not strikes. What you suggest here sounds like kind of flag weight - "a measure of how well a user <does something>..."
    – gnat
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 19:59
  • 3
    We already require a supermajority consensus of the close voters, and we allow the destination moderators to reject the closure. Why do we need this as well? Commented May 4, 2012 at 20:02
  • 1
    @TheEstablishment - that's only on Stack Overflow
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 20:26
  • @TheEstablishment Thanks, I had some rationale in the question but removed it accidentally when editing. Please see my update. I've never been given the option to reject a migration before the question shows up on my site (Android), so I'm not sure what you're referring to that could be useful here?
    – user154510
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 20:33
  • 4
    Seeing as though I've started to recognize the names of some of the users who repeatedly vote to migrate off-topic questions to Super User, I think it's high time this feature got implemented. It can be completely transparent to the user - just silently convert any "migrate to X" votes to "close as off topic" votes once they hit the threshold for rejected migrations to site X.
    – nhinkle
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


I ran the numbers on this, just to see if it would do... Anything. Here are the people who'd be blocked from migrating from Stack Overflow if we didn't put a time window on it:

User                 # rejections
Bill the Lizard             22 
casperOne                   21 
Graviton                    20 
Will                        17 
Quentin                     12 
Robert Harvey               12 
Tim Post                    10 
Jonathan Sampson            9  
Jeff Atwood                 9  
Don Roby                    9  
Paul R                      8  
skaffman                    8  
Michael Petrotta            8  
Mitch Wheat                 7  
Mat                         7  
Perception                  6  
marc_s                      6  
Kev                         6  
Brad Larson                 6  
Brandon                     6  
Oli Charlesworth            6  
BalusC                      5  
BoltClock                   5  
David Thomas                5  
Jay Riggs                   5  
bernie                      5  
Eugene Mayevski 'EldoS Corp 5  
Greg Hewgill                5  
Michael Myers               5  
JoseK                       5  
Andrew Marshall             5  
Tim Cooper                  5  
Jerry Coffin                4  
Pekka                       4  
Cody Gray                   4  
Mysticial                   4  
ildjarn                     4  
Tomasz Nurkiewicz           4  
Corbin                      4  
Chris                       4  
amit                        4  
SilentGhost                 4  
Shog9                       4  
Oded                        4  
Lasse V. Karlsen            4  
Bob Kaufman                 4  
Jim Garrison                4  
Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams      4  
gnovice                     4  
mauris                      4  
Matt Ball                   4  
Dustin Laine                3  
Pablo Santa Cruz            3  
Ken White                   3  
John Saunders               3  
M4N                         3  
Josh Lee                    3  
SLaks                       3  
abatishchev                 3  
R. Martinho Fernandes       3  
tvanfosson                  3  
Shoban                      3  
CharlesB                    3  
Mark Ransom                 3  
bzlm                        3  
paxdiablo                   3  
Thilo                       3  
Juhana                      3  
bluefeet                    3  
Bart                        3  
vcsjones                    3  
RepWhoringPeeHaa            3  
mu is too short             3  
Pascal MARTIN               3  
Ernest Friedman-Hill        3  
thinksteep                  3  
tereško                     3  
Ash Burlaczenko             3  
Filburt                     3  
Andrew Barber               3  

Ok, that's everyone who's voted for a migration that's later been rejected, by any site, in the past two months or so. It's... pretty mod-heavy. Obviously, we do need some sort of a window. A week didn't catch anyone though, so what about a month?

User                 # rejections
casperOne                 8 
Jonathan Sampson          4 


I think it's pretty safe to say that, at this point in time at least, implementing this feature wouldn't accomplish anything useful.

  • 3
    This just goes to show that mods shouldn't hammer stuff to other sites. Better to just close OT and let the OP repost their question elsewhere themselves. Migration was a nice idea but causes way too much angst on destination sites. Better to just stop migrations copy+paste is easy for an OP.
    – user147520
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 6:41
  • 4
    Heh... @Iain, I left out a very crucial bit of information (since Matthew didn't suggest using it): the total number of migrations. In the same time period, Bill and Casper (the two most rejected migrators) migrated a total of 115 and 287 questions, respectively. That's at worst a 19% failure rate - the clear majority of migrations are successful.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 6:49
  • That's not such an impressive set of numbers as the originals! I still thank that the time has passed when migrations as a convenience to the OP outweigh the inconvenience to the receiving site.
    – user147520
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 6:58
  • Yeah, I'm too tired to be trusted with SQL tonight, @Iain... But regardless, I gotta keep going back to the data in these discussions, since folks tend to remember the worst when discussing. As a moderator, you should keep an eye on your migration stats to judge the value of the tool.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 7:03
  • 1
    Using some form of weighted percentage would obviously be a better metric, but I agree that this indicates that we'd catch no one with it. I do think migration can be useful, but perhaps the argument about making it harder to do should be revisited. Anyways, Shog, thanks for the Science.
    – user154510
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 7:14
  • I have and I have. Since before this I'd pretty much given up migrating stuff. We even have some people now who will flag to stop a crap migration.
    – user147520
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 7:16
  • 2
    Is it possible that the query you're running is "blaming" non-moderators of migrating stuff to sites when we actually voted against migration? For instance, 4 other users voted to migrate to SU but I voted to simply close as off topic? Are individual votes even stored in the database, or only the consensus? (Not that it really matters, just curious.) Commented May 29, 2012 at 7:47
  • Yes it is possible. Yes they are stored. Yes I am too lazy to figure out how to extract the individual choices in a way that makes sense here, particularly given the small numbers already shown. @The
    – Shog9
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 7:51
  • Not that it matters, but would this ignore questions that get deleted? Because I have deleted a whole slew of questions that got migrated to SU and ended up getting closed.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 8:18
  • I believe I just scanned question histories for a "migrated" record followed by a "migration rejected" record. So deletion only factors in when it triggers rejection - if the migration has already been rejected by closing, it shouldn't have any influence. @Ivo
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 15:02

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