I saw this question on Ask Ubuntu Meta "Firefox redirects askubuntu.com to google.com" which got migrated there from Ask Ubuntu by the community through the "belongs to another site" close votes.

However, I disagree and wanted to vote to migrate it back to main. This wasn't possible though, as the option in the close dialog was gone. So I raised a custom mod flag:

I believe this question belongs to the main site and the migration to Meta should be undone. It's a technical question about problems accessing a specific website, which theoretically could also been anything else but askubuntu.com.

It got marked as helpful with this comment, but no action was taken:

Perhaps, but we can't migrate it back. Apparently, it can only be done once.

So apparently even moderators can't revert a migration within the same site (main ←→ meta). Why is the system restricted this way? And what should be done in such a case instead?

1 Answer 1


It's very easy to reverse a migration: just delete the question on the site it was migrated to. The migration is immediately rejected and returned to the place it came from as an unlocked, but still closed question. It need only be reopened on the original site. Note that closing the question for any reason other than duplicate on the destination site also rejects the migration, but in the specific case you mention, it's far easier to just flat-out delete it on meta.

We do not support re-migrating an existing question because it's not something you should do. It starts creating a long path of "go here, then go here, then go here, ..." nonsense that shouldn't exist, and causes quite a bit of complications with other automated systems that can't handle a rejection properly if one occurs somewhere along this chain of migrations. Not to mention, migrating to main to meta and then back to main would result in two copies of the same question on main.

  • Aha, okay. Then I just wonder why the mod replying to my flag did not know about that or whether he simply disagreed t do it... Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 21:55
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    @ArtOfCode That's bad advice, especially in this case. You're destroying all history of where the post came from, and in the situation described in the question you're putting a second copy of the same question back on the main site.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 23:12
  • @Adam Sure, it's not good practice, I agree with that. I'm just noting that doing that is possible, not necessarily that you should do it.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 23:36
  • @ArtOfCode Let me put it this way... it's "not good" in the sense that it's the sort of practice that, if overused, gets tools restricted to employee-only. :) If your goal is to point out a possibility of a bad practice, the responsible thing to do is to also describe the drawbacks and caution against it lest an unsuspecting moderator take it as an endorsement.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 23:38
  • @AdamLear Alas, I can no longer edit that comment. Ah well, I guess it didn't actually add much - it's gone. For the sake of posterity, what is the purpose of that tool, anyway?
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:31
  • @ByteCommander the mod who replied to your flag (who shall not be named :P) both didn't know about that and was in two minds about whether the question belonged on meta or not. I felt that since the question was asked about AU specifically, there was a good argument for keeping it on meta. I also tried to migrate it back, so thta I couldn't and left it at that.
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 10:55
  • @ArtOfCode Its usefulness is fairly rare. IIRC it used to be the "uhh we need to undo this migration" tool, but since then rejections went in and it doesn't come up nearly as often.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 18:18

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