TL;DR: Can we do something against comments of the "ask on
Every once in a while – probably at least a couple of times a week – we get questions on Super User that were cross-posted from Stack Overflow. The main reason why this happens is:
- New user posts off-topic question on Stack Overflow
- Another user tells them that their question "belongs on superuser" (sic), or that they "should ask on ask ubuntu", et cetera
- The OP doesn't know that migration votes are already trickling in, and cross-posts their question
Now, what we on Super User have to do is:
- Be suspicious for every single question that could have been cross-posted from another site *
- Check out the user's Stack Overflow profile, and find the original question
- Add a comment warning others not to migrate the post since it's already been cross-posted
- Flag the question so it gets deleted on Stack Overflow
- Reply to the user(s) who told the OP to ask elsewhere that this is not encouraged
- Hope that they (and others) read it
Want an example? See here: Lat -long to x-y
- Not a programming question - better suited to Super User – brettdj Jun 27 at 7:44
- Do not migrate this to Super User. The user has already cross posted. – slhck Jun 27 at 11:35
- @brettdj In the future, please don't post these kinds of comments. Tell users how a question can be migrated, or just let it be and vote to close. There's really no point in telling them to ask elsewhere. This will only lead to cross-posting and confusion. Thanks. – slhck Jun 27 at 11:36
- I am sorry, I am new to this world and hence all the confusion. I usually try reading everything up to avoid all this, but this somehow failed this time! – Maddy Jun 27 at 12:33
It should be noted that this involved a user with 11k reputation, who probably should know better than sending users around and obviously causing confusion.
Here's another example, and here's another one which involves a user with 338,811 reputation. No kidding, 338k. Here's one that went the other way round. Wait… want more?. Here's another 11k one.
If you are somewhat active on Stack Overflow or other sites where crossposted questions land, then you will know that these are not single incidents — it happens all the time, and it seems some Stack Overflow users, even the high reputation ones, do not know how much moderation overhead they cause with such a simple (and unnecessary) comment.
The main problems I have with these situations are:
- High reputation users don't seem to know how the sites work or how much trouble they cause
- The users who posted the question end up being sorry for their mistake – but how could they have known? They were told to, right?
So, what can we do against that?
* Although we can be thankful that some users explcitly say "A moderator on Stack Overflow told me to ask here" – yes, this really happened. More than once.