Related: Remove all migration targets except Meta Stack Overflow , Add review queue for recent migrations , Suggested migrations review at target site

I've seen that quite a few sites have a high rejected percentage for migrations from SO (as well as from SU at times, I can't remember the exact details). I don't have access to the data myself (you need to be 10k on one of the two sites), but I've seen screenshots. Most of these migrations are from users who don't have a clue what the scope for the destination site is.

Now, since we have the ability to reject migrations (simply by closing/deleting the migrated question as anything but a dupe), in itself bad migrations aren't a problem. However, they:

  • Are a bad experience for the OP
  • Waste the time of community members on the destination site
  • May not always be found immediately

To address the first two points, one solution is to remove migration from the close dialog altogether. Which is an entirely different discussion.

However, the last point is still pretty important. When a question is migrated, there isn't any "instant notification" for the destination site. Sure, there's a list in /tools, but I really doubt people check that regularly. For high volume sites, a migration may even be not noticed at all.

What I propose is this:

Whenever a post is migrated to a site, add it to the review queue(s) of the receiving site. It could either be added to the close vote queue (and possibly the first post queue as well) with the following text:

This question was migrated here from <site>. Check if it really is on topic for this site, and vote to close if it isn't.

One could also add a bit about editing it to fit the site (I've found that many migrated questions need some touching up to "fit the site" better)

  • 4
    I think this would be a great addition to the Close Votes queue. It fits in perfectly well there, and three or five Leave Open votes can still kick it out early.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 19:05
  • 1
    24 is not nearly enough close votes for this. Even 50 might not be enough. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 8:25
  • 2
    and robo reviewers will mark it as yes & everything will keep coming in. I don't see the point of this. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 8:27
  • @MichaelHampton: er..I don't quite get what you mean here, sorry :s Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:07
  • @Sathya: That's a separate issue, which is being solved separately via the audits. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:10

3 Answers 3


I think there's a few caveats here.

Firstly, this shouldn't be seen as a replacement for removing sites as migration targets where they choose to be. Where a site is a valid, and willing migration target - that is to say, they actually haven't lost faith in the source site's ability to use their migration powers well. This should be a final line of quality control, not a replacement for using one's judgement properly. As @Iain said, SO's basically tended to send a LOT of crap to the other two trilogy sites, and the proposal is unlikely to change that.

Secondly, this would be somewhere where I'd like to see a LOT of review audits, and someone who keeps approving stuff which shouldn't be should not be allowed to review these. It would make sense to pick random questions off other sites, especially unrelated ones to make sure people actually read these.

  • I agree here. My proposal is basically something to help clear up the damage caused by bad migrations (I'd prefer if this or something similar was implemented in the end). Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:18
  • Also the review screen needs to show related posts on the site as there is likely to be many duplicate questions
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:19

We essentially did this on ServerFault and the result was that we were removed as a migration target for SO.

For a few months, I looked at every single [migrated] question on SO, followed the ones that went to SF, and voted to close the ones I thought were crap. The /Review system made it possible for the community to quickly close (reject) the bad ones, and as the reject rate went up, it became obvious that crappy migrations were the rule, not the exception.

I didn't follow every question that went to SU, but I certainly saw quite a few crappy questions migrated there as well.

I still think a better solution to all migration problems is to do away with migrations altogether and then if anyone really thinks a gem of a question needs to be posted somewhere else, let them just leave a comment.

  • fwiw I'm now reviewing every single question that gets migrated to Super User (from the recently migrated list) & not surprisingly I end up rejecting few questions every time I look at the list Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 9:58
  • I'm not against doing away with user migrations. I'm all for it. But that may not be implemented, since there are a lot of folks who prefer the current system. (check the vote counts and answers on meta.stackexchange.com/q/164774/178438). I'm not putting this forward as a "solution to the problem". It's a remedy. I still want the problem to be solved, but still that happens, this will help assuage the damage caused by it. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:02
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    With that in mind, your answer doesn't really fit here :/ It's more of a general post against the migration system than something commenting on the merits/demerits of the above featurreq. "We did this on SF and thus got removed as a migration target" OK, isn't that good? This means that your community actually managed to catch all/most of the bad migrations, and finally got the path removed. I'm just saying that this job of "catching" bad migrations should be smoother. Getting migration paths removed is a separate business, I'm not against that :) Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:06

This would just encourage the chuck it over the fence and make it someone else's problem mentality.

Unless and until you have been active on a site that is in the sewer line that is SO migrations you really do not understand the problems and anguish it causes for the regular users of the destination site. Anything like this that adds to that is a bad idea.

In the halcyon days of 2008/2009 migrations seemed like a good thing. Today with so many people able to cast a vote without thinking everyone looses. They are a failed experiment.

Migrations are meant to be for that rare gem of a question that is off topic $here and has a better home $elsewhere. In practice though it is largely used as a way of (with the best possible intentions) throwing any old question over the fence so it becomes somebody else's problem.

Quality and topicality (as measured by those participating $elsewhere) are rarely taken into consideration - this is why for example Server Fault is nolonger a migration target for Stack Overflow. Some people have even been known to just vote-to-close the same way as everyone else because $elsewhere seems like the place to send stuff now that other targets aren't available.

This proposal would just turn the pipe into an open sewer and no one would gain.

  • 2
    What? I'm not talking about changing how migrations are done on the "sender" side (SO's side). I'm saying that whatever is migrated should go to a review queue on the destination site. Why would it increase the inflow of migrated posts? (I may not have understood what you mean here) Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 8:26
  • @Manishearth because this. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/167464/… Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 8:30
  • @Manishearth: It's just a small step from this to - Now we have a migrations review queue lets just have open migrations.
    – user147520
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 8:30
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    @Manishearth: I'll put it differently. The problem with migrations is on the sending side. Your proposal just dumps the responsibility for fixing it onto the receiving side without fixing the senders. It's just a bad idea.
    – user147520
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 9:56
  • @Iain: Well, there's some resistance to removing it on the sender side. See ChrisF's post I linked to in my post. In light of that, this seems like a good extra sanity check to me. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 10:59
  • @Manishearth: Anything which makes work for the receiving side is a bad thing - honestly, believe me - you really have to have experienced it to understand just how bad it is.
    – user147520
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:09
  • @Iain: As opposed to having folks go through /tools every now and then in a very non-coordinated matter to catch these? The current system has more work. I'm trying to reduce that. Yes, I haven't experienced this, but, again, I'm not supporting "keeping bad migration paths alive". Sites which are having trouble with bad migrations should get the paths removed. If they are getting quite a few good migrations along with the bad ones (and prefer to keep the path), then having this seems better than making them sift through /tools to check for bad migrations. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:17
  • @Manishearth: You are working under the false presumption that migrations are a good thing. They're not, especially if the receiving side is in the sewer pipe of Stack Overflow.
    – user147520
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:21
  • @Iain: Exactly my point here, you're working under the false presumption that I think that user migrations are good ;-) I don't. I've hung around TL for quite a while, and I've seen my share of bad migrations. I highly agree with this post, in fact -- remove ALL THE PATHs. But that's not going to happen. This is more of a compromise; something that'll make it easier for sites which are affected by this but (a) can't or (b) don't want to get the paths removed. Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:25

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