A question about earning rep was recently asked on Stack Overflow. It obviously belongs on Meta Stack Overflow, but I know there are already multiple questions on MSO about this exact thing.

There is a related question on MSO about cross-posting: Block migration of exact duplicates. However, my concern is not with cross-posting, but rather with questions that fall under this specific set of circumstances:

  • It is asked asked only on one site
  • It is off-topic on that site
  • It is on-topic on another site in the SE network
  • I, as a potential flagger, know that it is both on-topic on another site AND a duplicate exists there from another user (not cross-posted)

I see a few options:

  1. Flag for migration. This makes more work for the target site community.
  2. Flag as blatantly off-topic.
  3. Don't flag, just leave comment pointing OP to dupe on target site and request they delete the current question. This relies on the OP to clean up after themselves, which I don't think is reliable since they asked an off-topic question in the first place.
  4. Flag for moderator and describe the situation. I think this move would be overkill. A moderator shouldn't be required to handle this situation.

What is the recommended action when I know a question belongs on another site, but I also know it's a duplicate there?

Update: I chose to flag for migration, and now my link points to the migrated question on MSO. I suppose that choice was acceptable since it was indeed migrated, but it still seems silly to create more work for the target site community when I already know it's going to need to be flagged as a duplicate.

  • Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/278582/… (Which should give you some insight into how a few others feel, but not a dupe imo.)
    – Kendra
    Dec 5, 2014 at 19:26
  • 2
    Let's say someone asked on Stack Overflow "How long does the GRE score stay valid?" Now, I know for a fact there's a question like this at Academia.SE. That being said, I'd still prefer if Academia.SE handled it rather than Stack Overflow. The website is moderated by its users, and having people outside the specific network moderate content going into the network doesn't appear to be in line with how StackExchange is intended to look.
    – Compass
    Dec 5, 2014 at 19:29
  • @Kendra Thanks for pointing out that question. I saw it while searching a bit before writing this question, but agree that it wasn't a duplicate. I've added some clarifications to my question.
    – skrrgwasme
    Dec 5, 2014 at 19:39
  • Is the duplicate sufficiently different in wording that a search for the common problem might find it but not the already answered question? If so, it has value as a pointer, even if it gets closed as a duplicate. That sort of thing might be best evaluated on the relevant site. Dec 6, 2014 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


You should only ever be flagging questions for migration that are great questions that the target site would really want to get. You shouldn't be migrating content that is just going to get closed or need other types of moderation attention.


Short version: If you are migrating to your own meta, always do it. If you are migrating somewhere else, be nice to the target site.

Long version:

For a StackOverflow -> SomewhereElse.SE migration

  • Make sure it's not crap.
    • If it's too broad here, it's probably too broad there.
    • If it's unclear here, it's probably unclear there.
    • If it's opinion here, it's probably opinion there.
  • Make sure it's on topic on the target site.
    • Check the help/on-topic on the site
    • Just see what their off topic reasons are
    • Ideally, be familiar with the community there.
  • If in doubt, go to their chat room and ask.

For a StackOverflow -> Meta.StackOverflow migration

  • It's the same community (or a subset of it).
  • It is always off topic on the origin site.
  • Migrating the question can show the OP the proper question and answer on meta and provide guidance as to where to ask these questions in the future.
  • If the migration is blocked for some reason, there's a good reason for it (that you may not know about).

And while you still don't want crap on your meta, its better than leaving crap on the main site.

  • 2
    One possible reason that a question migration is blocked is because the author is banned from asking questions at the destination site.
    – damryfbfnetsi
    Dec 6, 2014 at 0:14

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