This topic was already discussed in Allow cross-site duplicate closing feature request. It was badly received and I generally agree, but it has some valid points.

So far conclusions that was not disproved are, in favor of off-topic:

  • If question is off-topic on the site, it should be closed as such.
  • If questiin is on-topic on more than one site, each site will provide answers to different aspects of a problem.

On the other side, in favor of duplicates:

  • Closing as duplicate would help redirect future users to where question belongs and is answered.

  • Deleting off-topic questions means they are not searchable, and users post again.

  • Closing with off-topic message

    Questions on programming, PHP, SQL, etc. that do not relate directly to Drupal are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow.

    results with question posted again on Stack Overflow and closed there, this time as a duplicate, increasing user's frustration.

The way to solve this and satisfy both sides would be:

For close reasons saying to ask on another page (and custom ones), provide optional field for cross-site duplicate link. Of course Stack sites only. Change message text to something like:

Questions on programming, PHP, SQL, etc. that do not relate directly to Drupal are off-topic here, and this one was already asked on Stack Overflow [link].

It should work as regular off-topic with following changes:

  • should be exempted from automatic deletion,
  • should provide the same redirection (if any) as duplicates.

That way questions about HTML, CSS, PHP and so on will not appear and disappear on CMS related sites, as people interested in programming or styling something in that particular CMS will see a result in their search and will be directly send to the proper page. What more, person who posted off-topic like that would be sent directly to answers, so he will have to deal wit only one closure and will see his answers sooner.

This would also be an easier and cleaner way to handle the situation where new users, upon learning a different site is better for their question, cross-posts before the question can be migrated.

Important note: I'm not talking about user or user group reposting off-topic questions once they have been told it's off-topic. I want to help honest users that are asking in good faith, posting on Drupal Answers or WordPress Answers what should be posted on Stack Overflow because they have put their problem in search and didn't found any results. Usually question about the same thing was asked by another user, but it's now long gone deleted, thus invisible in search. It can be helped.

  • This would also be an easier/cleaner way to handle the situation where new users, upon learning a different site is better for their question, cross-post before the question can be migrated. – yoozer8 Sep 26 '13 at 18:54
  • @Jim right, added it to question. – Mołot Sep 26 '13 at 19:07
  • 1
    Tangentially related - Templated close reasons - it would be nice if there was a macro language within the close reason akin to data.se for parameters (###link:NEED LINK HERE###) that could be used to populate pre-existing reasons... I don't see that being a small change though. Maybe the use of the 'other' with a pro-forma one could help. – user213963 Sep 26 '13 at 19:35
  • "I am the OP of said failed proposal and fully endorse this one" - Much better than my proposal :) Of course this wouldn't be necessary if the related questions search would (with some sophistication) also search other SE-sites depending on some keywords... – Tobias Kienzler Sep 27 '13 at 9:39
  • @TobiasKienzler I shamelessly used all the feedback you got, to make this ;) – Mołot Sep 27 '13 at 9:41
  • Credits are appreciated ;) Sometimes I wish meta was more like a github repo, then you could state this request is a "fork" of mine - also this would provide neater means of merging synchronous edit suggestions... – Tobias Kienzler Sep 27 '13 at 9:44
  • I don't see any purpose of that. If question is off-topic, it should be deleted. If some people can't understand the concept of topic before asking, they should be handled in special way. Jeff mentioned once banning the whole uni campus from India because they've persisted in asking the same off-topic questions. – Danubian Sailor Oct 1 '13 at 10:06
  • @ŁukaszLech I provided purpose for this in the body of my post. If you don't agree with that purpose, can you tell why? I'm saying they should be closed as off-topic all right, with all consequences except two explicit listed, and none of the listed ones is about not banning users... And the purpose is to mitigate repeated off topics that happens now on some sites in the network. – Mołot Oct 1 '13 at 10:14
  • @ŁukaszLech - to clarify - I meant different person asking the same offtopic question again due to lack of knowledge and search result. NOT the same person reposting. If that's what you are talking about. – Mołot Oct 1 '13 at 10:24
  • So do we upvote or downvote this to say that these should not be called off-topic? The entire point here is that the question is on-topic for more than one site, one of those sites just happens to have the wrong audience. – NH. Dec 7 '17 at 23:27

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