I ran into this question that looks like its been copied over from another site.

I'm not really sure how to deal with it. I mean, there's an actual question burried in there somewhere, but as it stands I wouldn't call it a good post.

Should I just edit it and remove all the junk or flag it and pass it up the chain?


If you can salvage the question, you should do so.

Cross-posting to/from other sites is not discouraged in itself.

I have previously asked a similar question, where the first revision of the question I had spotted had a header similar to the one you refer to:

10 Posts Classic ASP Conditional If statement Corrupting style sheet

3 hours, 2 minutes ago|LINK

Hi All,


  • So just edit it and let it fly? It just looks so lazy to paste it in without taking the two seconds to format it.. Its gone anyways. voluntarily removed by its author
    – TsSkTo
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:23
  • @TsSkTo That was my lesson. If you think you can make it fly, you should do so. In my example one of the mods removed the extra text and formatted it a bit, probably after I mentioned it here on meta.
    – user213634
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:25

As it looks like, it was a C&P from a forum. This is not discouraged in itself (except OP could have at least removed the C&P inserted headers from said forum), but the question seems not to be appropriate for several reasons:

  • It does not really state what the problem is
  • It does not tell us the used technologies (as far as I could see)
  • It does not show us any means to reproduce the problem

So, the question in itself, leaving out the C&P thingy, is bad and should be downvoted and closed. Also it was just removed by it's author.

Cross-posting is kind of1 discouraged for the Stack Exchange network. Cross-posting onto other sides and the SE network is not.

A completely different beast is if the OP is not the OP, meaning if someone C&Ped a question from someone else. But that's better left for evaluation on a case by case basis.

1: Opinions differ, but I think we can agree that if a question fits on multiple SE sites, there might be a problem with the question and should be refined.

  • From all my reading about cross-posting (within the Stack Exchange network), I've come to this conclusion: Cross-posting the exact same question between sites is discouraged. Cross-posting slight variations that focusses on different aspects such that each is within the scope of where it's posted is acceptable. Oct 7 '13 at 14:36
  • I'd say that the strong tendency is that it is discouraged, although it may be acceptable in certain edge-cases.
    – user213634
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:38
  • @Dukeling: Well, asking for different aspects of one and the same problem constitutes asking different questions in my opinion. If done right, that is. Oct 7 '13 at 14:39
  • 1
    From my knowledge, copy and pasting from a forum is plagiarism. Which is illegal.
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:41
  • 1
    @ColeJohnson: Depends if the OP is the OP. If not, you're right. Oct 7 '13 at 14:42
  • @AndersUP I've probably read a dozen answers on the matter, most of them by mods, all significantly upvoted, and rather split between complete disagreement and complete agreement. My comment is the only sense I could make out of the combination of them. Oct 7 '13 at 14:43
  • @ColeJohnson Also depends on the licencing of the forum. As I understand it, it's perfectly legal to copy content from any Stack Exchange site onto a forum, as long as they are subject to the same licencing (although there's probably some fair-use disclaimer there somewhere). The same would be true of the reverse. Oct 7 '13 at 14:46
  • @ColeJohnson: Or if the forum imposes some draconian licensing (like "all your stuff belongs to us now"). But I'd rather leave that for evaluation on a case by case basis then doing here generic guess work. Oct 7 '13 at 14:48
  • 1
    @Dukeling correct, but if there is an attribution clause and you don't attribute, it's plagiarism.
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:48
  • @TimeTravelingBobby there is fair use law that allows copying copywritten material provided it's for educational purposes. And you could argue people use Stack Overflow to learn (get edcated)
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:50
  • @ColeJohnson: My comments are a little...jumpy, let me rephrase: If the original poster posts their own content, C&Ped from a forum, there's no problem with that. If it's not their content, then yes, it can very well be a copyright violation. Exceptions are possible if the forum imposes draconian rules on the content or if f.e. the original poster in the forum transferred all postings into the Public Domain, then it doesn't matter who reposts it. And some other...quirks. Oct 7 '13 at 14:55

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