What should we do with Stack Overflow-specific questions on Meta Stack Exchange?

Shog says we shouldn't flag them.

Tim says flag away, as long as it meets some (underspecified) conditions.

Whose advice should we follow?

If it's Tim's advice, what exactly are the conditions for flagging (preferably in quantifiable terms - not sure what "undecided" means)?

If we shouldn't flag them, or just some of them, what should we do with them then (or the rest of them)?

Should we close (and eventually delete) them all?

Note - by "flag", I'm exclusively referring to flagging for migration.

My opinions:

  • In the case of completed requests, isn't it worth keeping them around for the sake of reference? And if we're going to keep them around, shouldn't it be on the correct site?

  • In the case of uncompleted requests, if we close and/or delete these, why do so, just to have them show up on Meta Stack Overflow some point down the line (minus all the discussion and votes should approval / disapproval)? And is there really such a big difference between something posted on 15 April (pre-split) versus something posted on 20 April (post-split)? Why treat them so differently? Isn't that just us being blinded by the rules? Or is migrating them really such a massive deal?

  • 13
    Flag them only when Shog is sleeping. – Josh Caswell May 8 '14 at 2:43


Oh wait, I can't cheer for that anymore.

Mommy and daddy aren't really fighting. Have a look at the caveats they each provided to indicate what you should flag:

a new question and it's specific to Stack Overflow


  • Still relevant, preferably undecided and actionable - people should have something to do other than say "Oh, that's nice" once it's migrated
  • Not in the FAQ or FAQ-proposed family (not yet certain where we're going with that)
  • Extremely specific to Stack Overflow itself

Here's a little more on our thinking:

Many old MSE posts may have been asked in the context of SO or with the intention of being applied to SO, but nevertheless apply to some or all of the other sites in the network. A huge number of other questions were useful at the time they were asked, but for whatever reason aren't useful anymore.

The first group have a good home here on MSE. For the second group, we could have a philosophical argument about whether they should be kept around as part of the historical record or deleted, but either way, migration doesn't really make sense. Migration might be semantically correct, technically speaking, but it's not really helpful to anyone, and so it's not worth even the small amount of time (both yours and ours) it would take, or the small risk of something going wrong that accompanies doing... anything.

  • 1
    +1 for "technically correct but not helpful". I appreciate the desire to put posts in their "proper" place, but in this case it's not really going to do much except create some busywork. – Adam Lear May 8 '14 at 4:03
  • I'm usually all about things being technically and semantically correct, so it was almost painful for me to write that. But it really is hard to justify in this case. – Pops May 8 '14 at 4:05
  • What about the third group (which is the most significant one IMO) (or am I misunderstanding your groups?) - questions specific to SO but still useful (which should include most unactioned retag, clean-up, burninate, blacklist and synonym requests, which there are quite a few of). Close, flag or nothing? Would mass migration (i.e. presumably not a lot of work) of these be worse than having them either be in the wrong place or get lost? – Dukeling May 8 '14 at 4:05
  • @Dukeling Many (most?) of the unactioned retags, clean-ups, etc. are old, have low upvotes, and/or low views. If you feel that the issues are still relevant to SO today, simply re-ask them on MSO where they will get proper attention. Mass migration would be worse, since these old issues would push everything else that's current and presumably more relevant on MSO right now off the front page. – Adam Lear May 8 '14 at 4:07
  • The groups I refer to in the last paragraph are the two in the second-to-last paragraph. If you think you've come up with a good category of posts that deserve migration, it's probably better to propose that to the team as a feature request than to flag individual posts. That would be less work for you, and it would make the intent clearer, and there are some dev tools that might help on our end. – Pops May 8 '14 at 4:09

Why not simply tag these older site-specific questions with ?

Pops' answer already makes a good case for why migrating these questions isn't worth the effort, so why not use the pre-existing tag instead?

It solves the issue of visually identifying site-specific questions, takes significantly less effort than a migration, and has a smaller impact on the site overall.

  • 2
    Why retag them? The questions in category 1 of Pops answer deserve to stay here. The others can be closed. There is no point in retagging them since they don't belong here. The tag is irrelevant then. – Patrick Hofman Apr 23 '17 at 19:05
  • @PatrickHofman Because the tag is already in use, and it makes sorting easier. Which is exactly the scenario that tags were designed for. – Stevoisiak Apr 23 '17 at 20:46
  • 1
    stackoverflow is almost a meta tag, since it does correspond to the scope of an entire site. So it's not really a great solution. We have a perfectly good custom close reason that applies, and closing as site-specific is a much clearer signal than the somewhat fuzzy tagging. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 23 '17 at 22:09
  • Its worth remembering most questions to do with the "system" of how and why we do things are fairly universal. And people use MSE as an alternative to their site metas. For quite a while, I'd turn up mainly due to SU related issues and I didn't see the need to migrate them at all. – Journeyman Geek Apr 24 '17 at 0:10
  • The "stackoverflow" tag hearkens from the days when this site was Meta Stack Overflow and did double-duty as the Meta for Stack Overflow and the entire network. It was needed, then. Not so much now. – ale Apr 24 '17 at 21:16
  • @ale I'm suggesting the tag only be applied to older SO-specific questions that may have originally been asked before per site metas existed – Stevoisiak Apr 24 '17 at 21:18

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