I've been noticing of late a lot of questions on Server Fault that have the close votes for 'belongs on superuser'. A number of these questions are not valid questions, and do need to be closed, but they're not valid because they're not questions, way too vague or just spam. They are not questions suitable to be answered by any of the 3 sites, yet people seem to just want to dump them on Super User.

I don't spend much time on Super User, so if they do end up there, it doesn't really affect me much, but it seems unfair to push these bad questions onto the Super User moderators to clean up. They're bad questions, it's obvious for all to see so close them as such, don't push them over to Super User, there's enough crap over there as it is!

I guess it's because Super User is newer and has a lot more question scope. You don't see bad questions getting pushed to Stack Overflow, because we know they would come straight back, but Super User's not going to complain. If a mod gets to the question before it's closed, then they generally close it with the right reason, but where it's user closed often 1 or 2 people will pick the Super User reason, and the rest will go along with the crowd, until it has 3 votes and it's too late for the last 2 votes to tip the balance.

Is there any way to stop this– do we need more education, more moderators to overrule this, or just have to leave it and let SU deal with it?


6 Answers 6


I believe there is a lot of overlap in some peoples mind between basically running a home server, and system administration.

I agree that questions not appropriate for any site should be closed as not-sysadmin-related or not a real question. If I think there is doubt about it not being appropriate for one of the other trilogy sites I will add a comment to the question as well as casting a vote.

I do notice that stackoverflow seems to send a lot of questions towards serverfault that are not what I would classify as sysadmin related.

I agree that if it is not pretty clear that it belongs withing the scope of one of the other trilogy sites, then you probably just close it instead of voting to move it.


Ah, this has been commented on frequently, since well before SU was out of private beta. Essentially, SU is the SO trash bin!


I would be for not moving questions between any of the sites. Just close the question and leave it up to the person asking the question to re-ask on the appropriate site.

Also, I should add that it seems to be rare that the OP continues to participate in the question after it gets moved....defeating the whole purpose.

  • 1
    ... or not re-ask at all.
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 17:32

I don't care if they send it over to SU, if only because I won't answer questions I don't know the answer to, but you're right: the other sites should probably decide to close instead of moving them to SU.

Since if the majority of SU thinks like I do, they don't get answered and might as well have been closed...


Due to complaints, many in the community who can vote to close prefer to be somewhat less harsh and push the 'problem' onto the other community. They feel bad about closing questions that simply don't belong.

I believe it does a disservice to the person who asks the question and both communities, but that is why we are user moderated - so the community can decide what to do on a case by case basis.


  • 1
    I tend to vote "Not programming related" while the four other guys vote to dump the question to SU. I feel bad about dumping questions over there that obviously don't belong there.
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 20:24
  • For me, it depends on whether the question really belongs anywhere. I won't vote to move a question to where it isn't applicable. That being said, SU is the dump site for SO and SF, and some people may take that too far. Commented Oct 30, 2009 at 14:51

It would be a better user experience if the site itself suggested, while you were writing it, that perhaps your question about baby puke on the NAS would be better asked on moms4mom.com rather than serverfault.com. This is what Christian Heilmann was getting at with his mashup at #devdays whereby the tags were autofilled - when asking a question, each of the sites should auto-suggest the site (and assume they are right) to which the asker's question is directed, then notify the user what the hell has gone on and perhaps send an email to let them know where to check for answers.

Behind the scenes, Christian Heilmann will then manually facilitate the entire process from his MacBook, and there will be zero latency because he is German.

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