42

Now that rejected migrations are clearly identified, the list of them can be found with Google. Browsing them, I noticed that some questions persist in the rejected-closed-locked state for many months; e.g., here is a July 2013 specimen.

Elsewhere I read that "[rejected migrations] are deleted automatically after a month", but the evidence says otherwise. (Possibly, the writer was thinking of the migration stubs, which are indeed auto-deleted).

Most rejected migrations are rejected because they are off-topic for the destination site. Yet they remain on the site, being protected from deletion by the lock. In most cases, their copy on the source site is long gone, having met the criteria for auto-deletion. The whole thing just doesn't seem logical.

Last year, Shadow Wizard raised this same question in a comment, receiving no answer.

22
+100

Rejected migrations are locked, and the automatic deletion rules exclude locked questions. So rejected migration stubs are never deleted.

This is bad because it leaves content around that might be found in searches, but that cannot be curated in any way. The question is there, but there are no answers and there never will be any: this is not useful. Occasionally, there will be some answers and comments which were posted between the migration and the rejection; these should be pushed back to the source site, not kept in this frozen unfriendly environment.

Another annoyance with migration stubs is that like any locked question, they sometimes leave bad tags around, which can't be removed from the site even though they aren't used by any live question.

It might make sense to keep rejected migrations around for a little while for accountability. But they should definitely be automatically deleted soon, because there's nothing useful to be done with them.

There is an automatic deletion check that runs 9 days after closure. It deletes low-scoring closed questions with no worthy-looking answer and no reopen vote. This check should also clean up rejected migrations.

  • It seems the system does now auto delete these stubs. Perhaps a disclaimed could be added to this answer so as not to confuse future readers? – Alexander O'Mara Nov 15 '16 at 7:54
  • 1
    @AlexanderO'Mara: As far as I know, nothing has changed. Maybe you are confused because questions that have been migrated away are deleted? Or maybe the confusion is some of the examples have been deleted manually? – Jon Ericson Nov 16 '16 at 16:40
  • @JonEricson The liked answer now says RemoveMigrationStubs "will be automatically deleted", which appears to have been added by @Undo: meta.stackexchange.com/posts/92006/revisions . Is RemoveMigrationStubs different from rejected stubs? – Alexander O'Mara Nov 16 '16 at 17:42
16

Starting this coming weekend, these should be deleted automatically 30 days after being rejected.

Note that this logic will only delete a rejected, migrated question if it meets the following criteria:

  • Migrated from another site (and no moderator has cleared the migration history)
  • Not already deleted
  • Closed (but not as a duplicate)
  • Locked
  • Even the Community bot might find it quite hard to delete a question that was already deleted ... – Rand al'Thor Dec 8 '16 at 1:04
  • 1
    (1) it'll be retroactive unless the query times out. (2) you might, if you ignore them under a locked question for 30+ days. @Paul – Shog9 Dec 8 '16 at 14:39
  • Any idea why these two migrated, closed and locked questions are still alive? – Glorfindel May 14 '18 at 7:15
  • Neither one of those is 30 days old yet, @Glorfindel – Shog9 May 14 '18 at 22:13
  • Eh ... that makes sense. I think I mixed up the wrong examples ... – Glorfindel May 15 '18 at 5:53
6

No they are not deleted automatically, but they should be.


This answer makes the following claims (which I will refute one by one):

The lock is preventing you from reopening the question on the target site, since it's already become a candidate for reopening on the source site as a result of the migration rejection. Leaving the potential for it to be open in both places would be a Bad Thing™.

I don't disagree with the fact that having it open on both sites would be bad, but locking also prevents all other actions: delete voting, down voting, and Community will not touch it either.

As you noted, this also prevents you from editing the rejected question on the target site. If the question had lasting value on the target site this might be an issue, but the fact that the target site rejected the migration suggests otherwise and makes this acceptable.

The fact that it prevents deletion is more of an issue. The target site rejected the migration, so why would they want to keep a locked copy around til someone flags a mod? This additionally means that the community is unable to make the decision to moderate itself, forcing a moderator (who should have more important things to do) to intervene.

If the question did (potentially) have lasting value on the target site, but needed to be closed first anyway, the problem is in the fact that the close reason caused the migration to be rejected. Provided people are adhering to the philosophy of "Don't migrate crap" though, this should usually not occur.

Well, this seems wrong (if the question really just needed closed until someone got around to fixing it) or just impractical. Tell me, have we found a way to prevent people from migrating crap yet?

Now, the fact that you can't vote to delete rejected migrated questions is a bit inconvenient. However, the system seems to have automatically deleted your example at the end of the week it was rejected anyway, so I'm not sure that there's too much cause for concern there.

This is wrong. See here. And here. Or here if you want a question that would have been deleted (automatically) if not for the migration lock, just as it was on the original site.

I have improved the Google Search to find things rejected on other sites on the network.

I also have created a list of links to all network sites (but not metas) to find all questions that have been migrated. While it finds some new stubs that haven't been deleted yet, everything older than a certain date will be a result for a locked rejected migration. I have used a Stack Snippet to save space:

<ul>
<li><a href="http://3dprinting.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">3dprinting.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://academia.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">academia.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://ham.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">ham.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://android.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">android.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://anime.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">anime.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://arduino.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">arduino.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://gaming.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">gaming.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://crafts.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">crafts.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://patents.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">patents.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://askubuntu.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">askubuntu.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://astronomy.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">astronomy.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://aviation.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">aviation.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://alcohol.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">alcohol.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">hermeneutics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">bicycles.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://biology.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">biology.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">bitcoin.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://blender.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">blender.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">boardgames.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://buddhism.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">buddhism.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">chemistry.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://chess.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">chess.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://chinese.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">chinese.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://christianity.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">christianity.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://civicrm.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">civicrm.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://codereview.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">codereview.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://coffee.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">coffee.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://cogsci.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">cogsci.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://communitybuilding.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">communitybuilding.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://scicomp.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">scicomp.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://computergraphics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">computergraphics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://cs.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">cs.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://craftcms.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">craftcms.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://stats.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">stats.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://crypto.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">crypto.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://datascience.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">datascience.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://dba.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">dba.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://drupal.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">drupal.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://earthscience.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">earthscience.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://ebooks.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">ebooks.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://economics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">economics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://electronics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">electronics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://elementaryos.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">elementaryos.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://emacs.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">emacs.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://engineering.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">engineering.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://english.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">english.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://ell.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">ell.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://ethereum.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">ethereum.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://expatriates.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">expatriates.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://expressionengine.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">expressionengine.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://freelancing.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">freelancing.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://french.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">french.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">gamedev.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://gardening.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">gardening.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">genealogy.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://gis.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">gis.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://german.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">german.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">graphicdesign.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://health.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">health.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://hinduism.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">hinduism.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://hsm.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">hsm.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://history.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">history.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://diy.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">diy.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://homebrew.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">homebrew.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://security.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">security.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://islam.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">islam.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://italian.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">italian.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://japanese.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">japanese.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://joomla.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">joomla.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://languagelearning.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">languagelearning.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://latin.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">latin.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://law.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">law.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://bricks.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">bricks.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lifehacks.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">lifehacks.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://linguistics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">linguistics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="https://magento.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">magento.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://martialarts.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">martialarts.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://mathematica.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">mathematica.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://matheducators.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">matheducators.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://math.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">math.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://mathoverflow.net/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">mathoverflow.net</a></li>
<li><a href="https://meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">meta.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://judaism.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">judaism.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">mechanics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://movies.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">movies.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://musicfans.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">musicfans.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://music.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">music.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://mythology.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">mythology.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">networkengineering.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://opendata.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">opendata.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://opensource.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">opensource.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://parenting.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">parenting.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://money.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">money.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://productivity.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">productivity.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://pets.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">pets.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://philosophy.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">philosophy.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://photo.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">photo.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://fitness.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">fitness.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://physics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">physics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://poker.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">poker.stackexchange.com</a></li>
<li><a href="http://politics.stackexchange.com/search?q=locked%3Ayes+closed%3Ayes+migrated%3Ayes">politics.stackexchange.com</a></li>
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-1
+25

First off, no, rejected migrations are not currently deleted after a month. This is easily verifiable that this is the current functionality. Whether or not this is a bug is another issue that, well, I don't think it is.

Rejected migrations can have answers on the target site that were answered after the migration and before closure. These can be upvoted and accepted. The rejection of the migration deletes the origin site answers, but not the target site answers.

The reason for the rejection can be any number of things, and not all of the rejections are "this should be deleted" without further looking at it. The question might just need a bit of work to tweak it. Or it might be something that people want around as a closed question, but not delete it.

Thus, no, rejected migrations shouldn't be deleted by a script (though they shouldn't be protected from deletion by other scripts either... but that's another question).

  • Can answers on rejected migrations be accepted? I thought that affected the question as well. And what would be the point anyway? A rejected migration is not a live question, it can't be curated. It should not have answers. The answers should be on the source site where the question can still be edited and voted on, and perhaps reopened. – Gilles Nov 20 '14 at 21:00
  • 1
    Currently, the question is in a locked state and I believe that at that point, it cannot have further accepts (or votes, or comments, or edits). But rejected questions do have answers still on them. And yes, its a mess (things like the question was on topic, but unclear can't get fixed without unlocking them). I'll also mention a related MSE post: Allow 10k to vote to delete on locked rejected migrations – user213963 Nov 20 '14 at 21:29

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