While wandering through Software Engineering Stack Exchange, sometimes a close vote finds its way onto a question from Stack Overflow that was migrated back in '11 and it gets closed.

When this happens:

  1. The question is locked
  2. All answers from Stack Overflow are deleted

This, in of itself, isn't a bad thing, but it is locked now. This means that a 10k user cannot vote to delete on it, nor will the automatic deletion scripts act upon it.

The only way to clean up this question (which might not have any answers on it anymore) is to flag it for moderator action. I've got more than a few helpful flags from this... but it really isn't all that much 'fun' bugging the moderators over very routine janitorial duties that 10ks should be able to do themselves... And I'm sure the mods are bored reading the "this is a locked rejected migration"

The request: Allow 10k vote to deletes to be cast upon question that was locked as part of a rejected migration.

If you really want to be nice, allow 20ks to cast vote to undelete on the answers. Sometimes things need to be closed, but some answers need to remain if the question isn't of the type that should get deleted wholesale.

Should the roomba scripts clean these up automatically regardless of other conditions?

No. There is nothing broken with the roomba as to how it handles rejected migrations - there's nothing special about them, other than that they are locked.

There are many possible reasons for a rejected migration. It could be too broad. It could be unclear. It could be a any of the local off topic reasons. Expecting the roomba to delete these questions (positive up vote, has an answer) is incorrect - rejected migrations are closed questions and its as 'simple' as that.

One solution to this would be to make it so the migration isn't locked when its rejected. This would:

  • Allow 10k to delete
  • Allow people to down vote (and feed the roomba)
  • Allow people to edit (and make into a reopenable question)

Whatever the case, when there's a question I'm going to cast a close vote on that happens to be a migration that should get deleted currently the workflow is "notify a mod that I've close voted it so that they can delete it because I can't..." (see question (Software Engineering 10k link))

And if it shouldn't get deleted, its a "wait until it closes, flag it to unlock it and undelete various answers that are actually not bad" (see question and answer)

Note that another solution to the request above is: Don't lock rejected migrations on the target site, which would also solve a number of issues... though it was done for a reason and I'm not completely sure of the business requirements behind that.

  • It's supposed to be auto-deleted after 30 days. You'd only need to flag if it doesn't happen automatically. Let the roomba do its job.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 3:39
  • 1
    @animuson are you certain that is the case? programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/62023/…
    – user213963
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 3:44
  • They're supposed to. There's a bug floating around. A lot of them do get deleted though.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 3:46
  • 1
    The migration deletion roomba script deletes questions that were migrated away. And that does work correctly. However, I've often seen old, rejected (from SO to P.SE and closed), locked, migrations that I can't act upon to clean up with any way other than a flag to a mod.
    – user213963
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 3:48
  • 5
    Well, if the roomba actually isn't designed to clean these up, it should be. That would be a better option than letting 10k users bypass a lock to vote to delete them. Sounds like that'd be a rather ugly hack.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 13:10
  • 1
    Regarding your update: consider that rejection unlocks the original copy of the question, on the source site. Since the migration was determined to be a bad move, the question is effectively returned to the source site, and it's up to the users there to deal with it. Not locking rejected migrations would create two identical copies of the questions that may be active at the same time. Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 16:31
  • @ yep. But it also leaves the answers that were on the new site, which may be an ok (but closed) question. And thus the quandary. Its locked. The borderlines can't get fixed by someone else on the site (possibly years down the road). The bad ones can't get deleted except by a moderator. And its a good thing the script doesn't act on it either because sometimes there are some high view historical lockable things instead. And while its possible that its been unlocked on the origin, often I've found it deleted on the origin instead.
    – user213963
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


This shouldn't be a problem anymore, since rejected migrations are now automatically deleted once they are 30 days old, as part of a new automatic deletion criterion RemoveRejectedMigrations: Are rejected migrations ever automatically deleted from the destination site? Should they be?