I have seen many questions on Stack Overflow and other sites on Area 51. I found that people use to down vote a question if it isn't related to that particular site but related to other Stack Exchange sister sites.

Personally, I find it quite rude to down vote new user's question when they are not aware about other sites (or don't understand where their question belongs).

I don't have a fool-proof solution to it but at least SO can block down votes when it is marked as Belong to SE sister sites (maybe new flag option). Also migrate the question to that sister site based on recommendation or automatically.

Below is an example of that kind of question:

  • 4
    If someone can't be bothered to check for an appropriate site to post their question on before posting it, why shouldn't they get downvoted for it?
    – JonK
    Aug 21, 2014 at 10:02
  • 9
    The downvote button tooltip does suggest it is used for 'lack of research'. Picking the right site for your post (making sure it is on-topic) is part of the research we expect people to apply. That said, the specific question you link to was lacking in other qualities too; it is most likely downvoted for more reasons than just 'post on Codereview instead'. Aug 21, 2014 at 10:05
  • 1
    The fun part is that my question received more downvote against the question I have shown in example :) . Nevertheless, I am satisfied with the answers and comments Aug 21, 2014 at 11:25
  • 1
    People downvoted to show they don't think your proposed feature would be useful. More details on the idiosyncrasies of meta voting here: meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta
    – yannis
    Aug 21, 2014 at 12:22
  • ...in addition to what @Yannis wrote, take a look at The “I Get It” Reputation Problem
    – gnat
    Aug 21, 2014 at 12:56
  • found related older question (possibly a duplicate): Down-voting questions that belong elsewhere. Do or don't?
    – gnat
    Aug 21, 2014 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


Proposed vote-blocking (funny by the way that blocking of upvotes is not suggested) essentially deprives site visitors of important information.

To understand why, you need to realize that votes (down or up doesn't really matter) are primarily intended to help site visitors, not askers or answerers.

If a visitor finds tag page (front page for smaller sites) filled with non-negative score off-topic questions that are just "waiting to be migrated", this will make them think that such questions are appropriate.

When off-topic questions are voted down, it helps visitors to find out what kind of questions are welcome at the site and what are not, and potentially saves them from trouble of asking their own off-topic question, only to find out that it gets closed.

Also worth noting that migrated questions are deleted at source site, so that downvotes don't even impact asker's reputation. Only effect these may potentially have is contributing to question block but even this can only happen if user persists in asking inappropriate questions. Fair enough?


This already exists. If a question actually belongs to another site, it will be migrated (sooner or later) and any downvotes will be removed in the process.

However, just because someone commented that the question might be a better fit for another site doesn't mean that it actually is. I don't see how your example question would be on topic on Code Review, or any other site of the network.

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