This is related to this question. I think we should discourage "Belongs on S[OFU]" type comments. I think they encourage the OP to go to the indicated site and re-ask the question. Flagging/voting to move on the question should be sufficient. Assuming this is the case, would it be proper to flag those comments for mod removal to hopefully get them removed before a new user sees them and duplicates the question?

Or, another example:


Or, even worse, but this new (valuable!) user probably just doesn't know better:

Format an external hard disk to FAT32, only option showing is NTFS


Not everyone has 3000 arbitrary points yet. The best they can do (without abusing tags) is to leave a comment telling the OP that this isn't the right place to ask that kind of question, and flag for moderator attention to get it moved.

I guess you could ask people to say that "this question will be migrated to that site automatically, but in the future please ask this kind of question there rather than here". But that's a lot of words for some people.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    But for new users this will often have them thinking that they need to re-ask the question at the other site instead of waiting for it to migrate. – random Aug 28 '09 at 14:45
  • tl:dr -1 – Rob Allen Aug 28 '09 at 14:47
  • 2
    I have left "it'll be moved when it collects enough votes" kinds of comments only to have the OP re-ask anyway. Some days you just can't win. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Aug 28 '09 at 14:48
  • I disagree, I think the best they can do is to flag it and stop at that point. – EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 14:48
  • 6
    Look on the bright side: if the OP re-asks, that means he got the message. – Shog9 Aug 28 '09 at 14:48
  • 2
    My first 3000 reputation points are not 'arbitrary', thank you very much! – Stu Thompson Aug 28 '09 at 16:19
  • 3
    This question is moving to OtherSite , which is where it should have been asked. If you want to continue to own it, please associate your accounts. – Brad Gilbert Aug 28 '09 at 17:08
  • Note that nowadays, the correct answer should be flagging for off-topicnes – Tobias Kienzler Aug 17 '13 at 6:29

Those comments are more noise than anything and really don't help new users at all who don't understand the question migration process. They should just be flagged as harsh noise, for which Jeff says:

I'm actually ok with flagging meaningless comments like this, since

  • there's no actual penalty to the user when a flagged comment is removed
  • the flagging comment process is basically 100% automated and doesn't require any mod intervention

[..] added "noise" as reason for comment flagging. Please use it on egregious non-value add comments that are noise and not signal.

If they have to put in those kinds of comments, it would be better if they could at least give a heads up to the asker that their question might soon be migrated and that they don't need to ask it again, just follow the link when it gets closed.

Or something.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    I agree the comments come off as crude and unhelpful. Especially for newer users who don't know about the other sites and/or the auto move feature. Kind of like posting on a message board and getting 5 responses that say it belongs on some other sub-sub-sub thread. Makes you not want to go there again. – Rob Allen Aug 28 '09 at 14:58

This only works if the OP has an account on the target site and they are linked correctly. Otherwise you get orphaned questions - see this question on SU as an example.

This is getting to be a significant problem. I've just seen another question re-asked on SU because the original was migrated and effectively orphaned - NOTE: This question has been removed so the link doesn't work.

When a question is migrated and the user doesn't have a linked account one should be created in a dormant state. Then when the OP comes along they should be able to claim the account and hence ownership of the question.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    Finally, someone is thinking of the poor Orphans. No you cannot have more porridge. Try some waffles instead. – Rob Allen Aug 28 '09 at 14:59
  • I asked a question on this a while ago - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7328/… – ChrisF Aug 28 '09 at 15:10
  • 1
    This was true when posted, but meanwhile there's Automatic account association between the trilogy sites. – Arjan May 29 '10 at 9:02
  • @Arjan - I've still seen orphaned questions and someone with the same name posting an answer so the association doesn't always work. – ChrisF May 29 '10 at 10:22
  • Hmmm, wouldn't new orphaned questions be a bug then? – Arjan May 29 '10 at 10:44
  • @Arjan - I haven't double checked. It could be that they've registered with a different OpenID or haven't registered at all. Next time I come across one I'll look into it. – ChrisF May 29 '10 at 11:09
  • Just to be sure: when people do not log in to the other site, there won't be any automatic association to start with. And, as an aside, I can image people don't even know they can click the "migrated to" text to follow their question, but that's a different topic. – Arjan May 29 '10 at 16:31

I don't see why we should tell them not to post that. If someone doesn't have the 3,000 rep required, making that comment may help inform someone who DOES have 3,000 rep and wouldn't vote otherwise (or may not have been aware).

Otherwise you can flag for mod attention, but once you run out of flags you are stuck again.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    So becuase I don't have 3,000 rep on a site I should instruct new users to create a dupe? – EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 15:19
  • 1
    What you said makes absolutely no sense. If you are saying that users without 3,000 rep should point out duplicates in comments, then the answer is absolutely. – TheTXI Aug 28 '09 at 15:40
  • 1
    You are saying that users with <3,000 should tell new users to duplicate their answer. – EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 15:52
  • 2
    TXI is talking about "belongs on" comments. You're apparently talking about posting duplicate questions? – Shog9 Aug 28 '09 at 16:00
  • 2
    No, perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my question. I think people should not use belongs on comments because they make new users think they should post a duplicate question on the other site. I am talking about the comments. They lead to duplication. – EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 17:04

You can flag those comments for moderator removal. I always (try to remember to) remove "belongs on" comments before I migrate something myself, so you could even just flag the question for attention to get it migrated and the comments should get cleaned up at the same time.

| improve this answer | |
  • Does this still apply? (I mean: wouldn't flagging the question because of bad comments drive the moderators crazy?) – Arjan Dec 19 '10 at 23:18
  • 2
    @Arjan: It depends on how much close momentum the question has. If it looks like the vote to close process has stalled out, go ahead and flag it so we can either clean up the comments or migrate it. If the question is still fairly new, we don't need to intervene. – Bill the Lizard Dec 20 '10 at 3:49

Can we give 10k users the ability to edit / hide or even delete such comments? If not, can we examine the comment text and guide people to just wait for the question to be migrated if it contains belongs on / etc? Maybe lock comments after the first vote to migrate so 10k users have a fighting chance of keeping the signal to noise ratio down?

Look at this question. Once again, the user did exactly what the comments instructed him to do, and we're about to ship (yet another) exact duplicate over to serverfault. Its not the first time this has happened.

The problem is, this can happen rather quickly, in fact usually faster than a moderator arriving to clean up the comments.

Its just useless noise (or a race to win the pundit badge), and the OP may get hassled on the other site for owning a duplicate despite the big fat "Migrated from Stackoverflow.com" message.

Surely there is a way to make this process better :)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Just flag it as noise (any user with 15 rep can do that, AFAIK). Getting into the comment editing business is too much. – Gnome Jun 4 '10 at 9:40
  • @Gnome, but flagging as noise won't warn the commenter. :-( (Nor would editing, indeed.) – Arjan Jun 10 '10 at 21:25
  • @Arjan You could always do a short-term comment reply if you wanted to let them know. – Grace Note Jun 10 '10 at 21:26
  • 1
    @ccornet, sure. Too bad one cannot comment once a question has been migrated/closed. I sometimes leave a @reply-comment to some other post of the same commenter, if I happen to see someone leaving a lot of "belongs on" comments. Still, it's not a visible-for-everyone discouragement of such comments. – Arjan Jun 10 '10 at 21:32
  • @Arjan mrn. You've a good point, I was thinking of pre-migration, it is indeed impossible post-migration. Commenting in an unrelated thread is very disorienting, though... but yes, if they do it a lot it may be wise to step in and say something. – Grace Note Jun 10 '10 at 21:36

if you have profile at all of the sites then maybe you could see a 'flag as "belongs to"' sub option -- or something.

| improve this answer | |

It can take a while for the question to get migrated, by leaving a comment you let the OP (and others viewing) that there is a more proper venue for the question (and therefore answers).

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    So, because it could take a while to migrate, the answer is to tell them to create a dupe? – EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 15:18
  • We could probably find a way to give them more explicit instructions on their option, actually, we could just let them migrate it themselves, as the owner. – Lance Roberts Aug 28 '09 at 20:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .