What should be done about topics (tags) that have a high frequency of off-topic/wrong-site questions?

I frequently search for new posts tagged (probably the most frequently off-topic), , , because these are areas where I have some knowledge. I have noticed that a very large fraction of questions so tagged are probably off-topic on StackOverflow ("Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve tools used primarily for programming."), but most of these could find a home on Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Super User. (These specific tags seem to be low traffic, so more experienced SO users may not be likely to notice them.)

I have some difficulty determining whether a question is off-topic, but I suspect that at least 25 of the 34 questions that I provided answers for are off-topic. Selecting a proper migration target is more difficult; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science seem to be better equipped to provide more technical, in-depth answers, but sometimes Super User might be a better migration target.

(I did answer them despite suspecting that I should have instead flagged them as off-topic [if they could be migrated to one of the standard migration choices, which includes Super User, or have no known suitable migration destination] or for moderator attention [if a non-standard migration destination seems appropriate]. Answering easy or fun questions is tempting, but I am beginning to feel some responsibility not to encourage the posting of off-topic questions. I have recently flagged a few of the more recent of these, but I am hesitant to flag all of the most likely off-topic questions. Most are now older than 60-days and so cannot be migrated.)

(Should I answer off-topic questions? indicates that proper behavior for wrong-site questions is first to vote/flag to migrate and then to answer, so my behavior may only have been moderately evil. Should one downvote answers to off-topic questions? seems to indicate that answers to wrong-site questions—one type of off-topic—should be downvoted.)

Providing guidance in the tag wiki for tags associated with frequent off-topic questions (perhaps reminding users that questions must be about programming and suggesting that non-programming questions in these subjects should be asked at other specific Stack Exchange sites) seems unlikely to help much since even the tag wiki summaries are probably not read by many users. However, providing such information in the tag wikis might redirect some questions and, perhaps more importantly, provide help in choosing migration destinations.

Are there any other ways to handle this issue besides flagging/voting to migrate individual questions?

Example questions

1 Answer 1


Migration is a complex topic so I am not going to answer to that part of your question. That seems like a moderator issue.

However, please continue to answer questions which you feel are answerable and are willing to answer. They may be more topic on another exchange, but if it weren't for you perhaps many of these questions would not have answers.

If the question is answerable in its current form, and you answer it, you aren't in my opinion encouraging bad behavior so much as helping another user. They did not maliciously post on the wrong site, and if the organization in the network of any of these tags becomes more defined then perhaps migration will be easier to facilitate.

Until then, I think you should continue answering answerable questions. If you feel they are more on topic on another exchange, then you can always flag that as well and suggest the migration.

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