I recently tried to migrate an obvious off-topic question to another site, but I couldn't because the question is older than sixty days.

This question has:

  • Zero votes (meaning, no voting on it at all, not a sum of zero votes).
  • Zero answers (I've deleted one, it was really a comment).

If migrated, it's effectively the same as asking a new question on the site (just the timestamp is older).

Assuming that the question meets the quality standards for the destination site (we wouldn't consider migrating these questions in the first place) these questions should be able to be migrated, as they have none of the impact on the destination site that the current feature was designed to stop.

This is something that Stack Overflow needs, as there are a lot of questions that slip under the radar (due to sheer volume), which we only find out about later, but we have no recourse but to close them as Off Topic.

It just ends up sullying the source site, creating more work for the OP (they'll have to re-ask on the destination site).

So in this very specific case, can we allow the migration of these questions?

  • I feel this is a patch, IMO, we should work towards preventing this situation from happening (60 days for a question to go unnoticed is a lot) -- perhaps a better use case could be if a new SE site is born that is a better fit for these old questions though – juan Oct 22 '12 at 14:11
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    @JQAn On Stack Overflow, where there are 5-8K new questions a day, it's not a lot at all. There are questions that go unnoticed for years. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:12
  • Aren't such questions being auto deleted anyway? – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 22 '12 at 14:15
  • @ShaWizDowArd At some point, but if we come across them in between the period where they can't be migrated anymore, and auto deleted, it's stuck. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:19
  • @casperOne How about a link to the question in question? Although one good (but zero voted and without answers) question probably won't be enough to support your case... – yannis Oct 22 '12 at 14:32
  • @YannisRizos Going to refrain on that, only because meta has a nasty habit of focusing on the example instead of the request. You guys are going to have to think about this one. =) – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:33
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    The OP can always ask the question on the new target site, if they're so inclined. Questions older than 60 days are paft their expiration date. Like old bread, we need to get a new loaf. – user102937 Oct 22 '12 at 17:01
  • @RobertHarvey That reasoning doesn't make sense to me. Why would a question be "past it's expiration date"? The age of the question doesn't determine the quality. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 17:04
  • @casperOne: Because the OP can always ask their question on the correct site themselves. Migrating abandoned questions doesn't help anyone, and if the migration decision can't be made in 60 days, then there probably isn't that much urgency anyway. See also meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/a/1900 – user102937 Oct 22 '12 at 17:05

We'll discuss this, and I'll try to gather some data on the efficacy of such migrations when I have the chance...

But for now, just close and leave a comment on old, off-topic questions. "This could probably be answered on <site>" offers the asker a second chance when both the closure and lack of attention have clearly demonstrated the inability of the original site to handle a question, and avoids the problems inherent in migrating a question where, as Joachim notes, the asker may have long ago moved on.

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The big difference between migrating the question and asking a new one is that the OP is not (likely to be) around for the migration. So if there are any questions for clarification, then no one is around to answer them.

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    The "not likely to be around" argument doesn't hold. That's not really the case. I've seen people be active on just one site, as well as have accounts on many sites. It's an equal/or proposition. Additionally, the user is informed that the question was migrated, and the posts are linked up when they sign in on the new site. Questions with unaccepted answers are not the end of the world, btw. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:15
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    @casperOne: but if the question didn't have an answer (or any response) for 60 days, then chances are that the OP has already worked around the problem, solved it on his own or simply doesn't care. And to be honest: those who write questions that turn out to be zero-response questions are not usually those who are highly active in the SE network. – Joachim Sauer Oct 22 '12 at 14:16
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    I'm not sure I understand the focus on the user here; if the question is of quality, has little material impact on the destination site, has no value to the source site, then what is the negative impact on the destination site? The question can still be answered, and it can be edited by others on the destination site. The only drawback, no accepted answer. However, if you're answering questions just to get an accepted answer uptick, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. You should be doing it because you want to give quality content. Everything else is an acknowledgement of that. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:22
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    My (implied) assumption is that un-answered questions are often under-specified. They often lack some (most?) information that's necessary to give a detailed/good answer. And some of that missing information might only be pointed out once the question is migrated to the appropriate site. – Joachim Sauer Oct 22 '12 at 14:27
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    I don't disagree with that, but my stated initial premise is that the question is a good, on topic question for the destination site. We're not talking about migrating something to the destination site that shouldn't be there in the first place. – casperOne Oct 22 '12 at 14:28

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