When I flagged my question for migration, it received a "helpful" flag, but nothing happened; apparently this means the target site rejected the migration. The same issue is raised in this meta post.

A flag for migration that is "deemed helpful" but where nothing happens is confusing, because "deemed helpful" is easily interpreted as "you are right and we shall migrate". I propose that when a user flags a posts for migration, that in addition to a "flag deemed helpful/was disputed/declined" feedback, there is an additional feedback as to what happened to the migration — preferably with a motivation such as "target site considered question off-topic/NARQ/...".

There is a similar question "Provide direct feedback for rejected migrations", but this relates to users with the power to vote for migration, as opposed to users that can merely flag to suggest a migration.

  • It sucks, doesn't it? Sometimes, I'll just break protocol (flags & their responses are supposed to be private) and post a comment explaining the rejection (or why no mod action can be taken). SO mods don't have the luxury to do stuff like that though (I handle 5-10 flags daily, they handle 100+ each).
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


Moderators can only provide feedback if they decline a flag. So the moderator handling it probably thought your request had some merit, but that the question should still not be migrated. The moderator could have declined your flag with a reason, but there is no way to provide feedback without declining.

There is one significant drawback to making mods write additional feedback in such cases, and that is that this takes more time than just dismissing the flag. This is not a big deal on most sites, and as a mod on two smaller sites I would not mind doing it, but this kind of stuff doesn't scale well on Stack Overflow.

And if you know the basic way how flags work, you don't need any additional feedback to know that your request to migrate was denied. If the flag is handled in any way, either helpful or declined, and your question wasn't migrated, it won't be migrates by a mod, your request was denied.


"Helpful" means "this flag was carried out in good faith, and I don't want to discourage the user from flagging similar questions" (or "this flag has some merit"), to some extent. This is used for borderline cases/etc. Sometimes I mark close flags as helpful without actioning them because the flag/question made me think for a while -- which means that I may have closed a similar question, but not this one. The same goes for other flags.

Though being able to "reply" to flags would be great*. In fact, I had already proposed that :)

*Especially since who flagged is private info, we can't reveal that. And privately contacting users is annoying, especially if you want to do it for relatively trivial things like replying to a flag.

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