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Because migration is different than actually closing a question, I think that the rules for close reasons that would result in migrations ought to be changed. Specifically, if a user votes to close their own question as "belongs on...", then the question should be migrated immediately or should, at most, require one other user to agree. Since the OP could have originally asked the question in the other forum, see little danger in allowing this and it would allow questions to be migrated to the appropriate forum more quickly. It is unlikely that a user would choose this option unless they realized later -- perhaps after seeing others voting to migrate the question -- that it was inappropriate for the original forum.

Related to Allow question askers to close their own questions unilaterally

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  • 2
    Nice feature. I've seen many users posting a duplicate on another site, because gathering close votes on SO takes too long. Jan 31, 2011 at 15:08
  • Shouldn't this actually apply to any close reason? Just give the vote of the OP some more weight? (And I doubt it's because migration takes too long, @Nikita. I think it's just that (incomplete) "belongs on" comments make people think they need to repost their question?)
    – Arjan
    Jan 31, 2011 at 15:40
  • @Arjan "Shouldn't this actually apply to any close reason? Just give the vote of the OP some more weight?" I like the way you're thinking! Jan 31, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    @Arjan Closing has nothing to stop the author from doing it at any time and whim other than the requirement of 4 matching votes. Comparatively, deletion can be done with a single vote but is greatly restricted as to when it is allowed. Both can be destructive as easily as they are constructive.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 31, 2011 at 15:43
  • @Arjan Gathering closing votes can often take an hour or two, especially in marginal tags. (and often there's no migration option to that site, but that's another question) Jan 31, 2011 at 15:44
  • I know it can take some time, @Nikita, but I wonder if that causes people to repost. (Especially as apparently people didn't know about the better fit on the other site when they posted their question? Why should they suddenly think different?)
    – Arjan
    Jan 31, 2011 at 15:48
  • @Arjan And educational effort will certainly be welcome :) But waiting time is still important: are you willing to wait an hour before getting any sensible answers? Jan 31, 2011 at 15:53
  • I don't agree, what makes you think the OP has the correct knowledge about where the question should go? Even if he reads one comment that says so, that commenter might not be correct either.
    – Marcelo
    Jul 20, 2011 at 16:06
  • I wish this feature would be implemented. Yesterday I created a question on Super User, and today I realized that I should have asked it on Web Applications. There was no way to move it myself, so I just copied the text into a new question on WA, and deleted the question from SU. It worked, but it was far from graceful.
    – Brian
    Jun 19, 2013 at 18:00

6 Answers 6

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+100

I think this is a fantastic idea. However, we should have a check/balance on this. Once the question is migrated by the OP (if that is the reason for the migration), they shouldn't be allowed to migrate it right away to another site or back to the original.

I don't know how often this would occur, but I'm sure that there is someone out there with enough time to simply migrate their questions all day for the heck of it...

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  • A better approach would be to make your own close vote count as 4, other people's votes as 1. This means at least one other user must also vote to close. Just count close votes on your own post as if it were 4 close votes, out of 5.
    – user146787
    Feb 2, 2011 at 20:42
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I often find that the question asker is the least well equipped person to answer this question:

Which site does this question belong on?

Allowing one-user migration, or even two-user migration, is far too dangerous.

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    We trust the users to decide which site to post it on in the first place, so why do you think they can't be trusted to move it if they realize that they've made a mistake? Right now, most of such users will just repost the question on the site that they want to move it to, and then we have duplicate questions between sites, plus it's still on the one where it doesn't belong.
    – Brian
    Jun 19, 2013 at 18:04
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As Arjan suggests, we also need to let OP know what's going on with their question. Not everybody can see close votes distribution (you need 3000 rep) and 'belongs to' comments can be quite confusing.

1) What if we use standard notification on the top (like with badges, faq, etc)?
Somebody suggested that your question will be better answered at superuser.com. Click here to migrate it right now.
That's just a sample, but you get the idea.

2) Alternatively, there could be a comment posted.
Possibly belongs to serverfault.com. If you're the question author, you can close and migrate it right now.
Although, wording here seems clumsy.

3) Even better. Like now we have "migrated from" in the bottom, author could see something similar:

Migration proposed to
superuser.com x3 fluffykittens.com x1
Click to finalise migration.

<---- later can be replaced with "Please do not post duplicates, etc." if user has not enough reputation.

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    Actually, if you're the question author, you only need 250 reputation to see the close vote distribution (as well as self-vote, for that matter).
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 31, 2011 at 16:18
  • @Grace Thanks for the info. Still, it doesn't hurt to explain what exactly's going on, as most 'victims' seem to have less than 250 rep. (Regardless of whether you support 'binding vote' idea) Jan 31, 2011 at 16:51
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One point to consider is that if the user hasn't created an account on the target site yet, this would either result in a nonregistered user asking a question on that site, or the action being blocked while the user is shunted through the registration process.

Do we care? I don't know. But it's a complication that we should consider if we advocate a rule like this. Setting up an associated account on another StackExchange site is pretty quick and easy (as we on meta have all found out), but it's another layer that's going to be added to the process, both for the user, and for the SO developers to think about.

Note that I'm not necessarily opposed to doing this, I'm just saying that this part of the migration should be taken into account, and made as easy as possible if implemented.

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  • Alternatively, the associated account could automatically be created if it did not already exist. This is a bit ugly, but not horrifying.
    – Brian
    Jan 31, 2011 at 16:55
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I don't think that migrating a question is not different from closing a question; as a matter of fact, migrating a question also closes it on the site where it has been asked.

It doesn't seem to me that there are many users who votes to close their own questions, or migrating them to another site. I fear that, if users could migrate their own questions with a single vote, there would be some of them that would quickly migrate them to avoid somebody would down-vote the question, or they would migrate it right after a negative score, which would be reset in the site where the question is migrated (as far as I know).

I would prefer if the OP could cause the migration after somebody else voted to migrate, but I still don't see the hurry to migrate a question. There are questions that are closed from five users, and then re-opened from five different users.

What would happen if the question can be migrated because none of the tags is also used in the destination site? Should the question be immediately closed, left as if nobody voted to close it, or should the question require the number of users normally needed to close a question?

-1

You already can achieve this: Delete your question, wait 40m, copy-and-paste it into a new question on another site.

I'm inclined to agree that it should be easier to do, probably at some kind of rep limit. If you've got 10k rep on one site, you probably get the general Stack Exchange format, you know that there are a such thing as the "help pages" and that they're actually informative, and you "know how to know" what is on-topic across the network. OTOH, there are much more pressing features, and it's not clear how much effort this would involve.

The argument against making this easy based on the premise of "users suck" could be used against literally any feature of the site: 'So few users get "asking a question" right, therefore, we need moderator intervention before questions can be posted.' If users are the enemy, stop letting them sign up for accounts. The formula to apply for this feature (and any feature) is:

user_value * users_affected * user_value_weight + (moderator_time_saved - moderator_time_spent) * moderator_time_weight - developer_time_spent * developer_time_weight

I suspect that moderator_time_spent dealing with migration flags raised by the OP themselves is so low as to be negligible. Even if not, there almost surely exists some rep value so that, if the user has that rep anywhere on the network, they are more likely than not to make a correct judgement on a migration vote - this means moderators save time by having to deal with fewer question closures.

The moderator term is now >0, so we can focus on the user and developer. Others have pointed out that this will affect relatively few users. There have been several questions on this topic on Meta, though, and there are a lot of users with >2k rep on StackOverflow. Also, I sometimes leave comments on StackOverflow questions that the user might want to migrate to, say, Math.SE, so these sorts of comments might actually be acted upon if users could do so more easily.

That leaves the developer term. Other's have pointed out difficulties with account creation, so this is not a one-liner. I suspect that even if the value add here is "somewhat positive", the effort needed is large enough to outweigh it. Perhaps devs here can corroborate.

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