Why can I only choose certain sites for migrating a question?


This question has been asked before.

Originally (6 years and 9 months ago): When voting to migrate an off-topic question, why is the list of sites limited? and Off topic questions and redirect to affiliated sites

Latest (3 years and 10 months ago): Migrating a question to another SE site

Can we please revisit this issue? I find it asinine that I can't recommend that this question be moved to Code Review.

Why can't I choose any site, or fill in an "other" directly from here?

What is currently suggested as a "solution"

The latest official stance (from the original question) is:

The list of sites is limited because many people who vote to migrate do not fully understand the scope of the target site, or migrate questions that are of marginal quality, so many questions get migrated when they shouldn't be. This is further illustrated in Jeff Atwood's answer.

Moderators do have this capability. If you do not have this capability in your "close as off topic" dialog, flag the question for moderator attention, with a comment specifying which site the question should be moved to, and we will migrate it if it is appropriate to do so.

(Bold emphasis is mine)

Additional comments/questions

I am trying to flag the question for moderator attention! How could it possibly be more convenient to flag a question in a jury-rigged way than to just give me the ability to flag it correctly in the first place? If for some illogical reason you don't want to give me the ability to choose any site to suggest migrating to, then why not add an option after the 5th and final choice of "Other", so it is obvious this is where I should write something in? As it is, it's complete guess as to what steps of flagging-button-presses I have to hit in order to get to an all-purpose "Other" page.

  • @Servy did you downvote? You def didn't read my question in the 1 min since it was posted, but I clearly state this has been asked before but needs to be revisited. That question is almost 7 years old before the SE network grew so big. The interface or functionality needs to change and that is what I am recommending and rebringing up here.
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:31
  • "Other" is the very last option on the very first screen when you click flag. Further to the point of why this option is not available, that question would not be appropriate for Code Review.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:31
  • 1
    @spacetyper The fact that you're aware of the fact that the question is a common duplicate but asked it anyway doesn't make your question not a duplicate, or a good question. That you knew your question was inappropriate before you posted it makes the fact that you posted it anyway worse.
    – Servy
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:32
  • @animuson Can you explain how that question would not be appropriate for code review? Also, there is no "Other" option that keeps being talked about. The last option is "In need of moderator intervention" which is extremely broad, and either way results in a question flag, so why can I not flag it in a more direct manner?
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:34
  • 5
    Right, and the description for that is "A problem not listed above that requires action by a moderator." Since the migration option you desire is not listed, you'd use that. Anyways, most notably Code Review only accepts questions with working code. The code in that question does not work - it has errors in it. Thus it would be completely off-topic on Code Review.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:36
  • @animuson So was that question on topic for stackoverflow? My mistake. I am still confused about how exactly I can suggest a much more logical interface for flagging questions to be moved without it being tagged as a duplicate of a 7 year old question. There are many issues that get revisited on meta that were "decided" many years ago.
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:42
  • @spacetyper No, it's not an appropriate SO question, because it doesn't actually ask a question. It doesn't state what the problem is, just that there are some.
    – Servy
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:43
  • 1
    So, what you really want isn't the ability to migrate something to another site, you want a formatted dropdown that is a flag for a moderator to review a migration request to another site... How is that easier than just typing it into a custom flag reason?
    – Catija StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:45
  • @Catija The custom flag reason is fine, but why does the user following the correct options of close->off-topic->should-be-migrated not give them the option to migrate to the site they want to suggest to migrate to! Either you're telling me that I should always go through that chain and then back to the beginning if my recommended site isn't in the list, or you're telling me to ignore that chain altogether, in which case why is it there?
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:49
  • 3
    @spacetyper: Because migrating to a site not on the list is very rarely the correct option, it is entirely reasonable UX to require a few extra hoops to be jumped through to confirm that yes, you really do actually want this entirely non-obvious and probably incorrect request to be made. Nov 15, 2017 at 21:54
  • Can anyone point me to how I should bring this topic and/or feature request up considering how many more specific SE sites have emerged since the original questions were asked? See this comment from 6 years ago: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/77264/…
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:55
  • 1
    You seem to have missed out step 1 here. Step 1 contact the target site (probably via its meta) and get them to agree to be on the list. Nov 15, 2017 at 21:57
  • 1
    @spacetyper None of the reasons for why this feature has been rejected (time and time again, including numerous times, as you yourself have described) are because there aren't many other sites and that the current migration behavior will need to change when there are more. There also aren't exactly a whole lot more sites now than there were a few years ago.
    – Servy
    Nov 15, 2017 at 22:00
  • 1
    I think that it might be worth editing your question to explain what you're trying to actually do. If you're trying to flag for a moderator's attention, you should say that. Based on your comments, I don't think that this is a duplicate but I'm not sure how to edit the question to actually ask what you want. If you want to keep it a Feature Request, you could ask for what you want "Create a custom flag for moderator migration dialogue that allows users to select all sites"... It will likely be declined because it's work needed when otherwise it works fine but it won't be a dupe.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Based on your comments, it looks like you're confused about what that dialogue does. Closing a post with a "migrate to" reason - if successfully agreed on by sufficient close voters - actually causes that post to be migrated to the target site. There is no moderator intervention there, it's completely done by users with sufficient reputation.

As such, it occasionally creates some strife when users start migrating questions that are actually not valid migrations, often because they're not on topic on the target site or they're really poor quality questions.

As such, we limit which sites can be targets for the general close voting populace to avoid questions being migrated to vastly unrelated sites, particularly where the users on the initial site may be completely unfamiliar with the target site or when there has been a bad history of migrations between two sites.

So, no, we don't want to use the same exact closing dialogue for suggesting migrations to the moderator team as we do for actually voting to migrate the question.

If your goal is to point out to the moderators "hey, this might be better over on X site", use a custom flag. If they agree, they'll migrate it themselves. They can send posts anywhere they like. If you're worried about having to click through a bunch of dialogues, well, you'll likely memorize which sites are user targets for migration eventually. There's usually not too many options.

We don't need a special moderator flag dialogue that has a "migrate to" recommendation.

As far as Stack Overflow to Code Review migrations, there's an explanation from 2014 here.

One part of the explanation there is:

  1. There's a limit of 5 migration targets and one of those has to be the site's meta. To occupy the fourth slot there has to be a history of good migrations to that site.
  2. I'm not sure that the average user with the close vote privilege would know what a good Code Review question looked like - I know I'm not certain. Ideally you'd want to restrict the ability choose this option to people who had significant reputation on Code Review (but that's not going to happen).
  • Thank you for elaborating on how the process works. What I still don't understand is: 1. Why is this, "users start migrating questions that are actually not valid migrations, often because they're not on topic on the target site or they're really poor quality questions." any less of a problem with the current migration system than expanding to other sites? and 2. Why should I ever bother following the closing>off-topic>migration chain if there is only some sites in that list, and I don't know what those are till I get there? Shouldn't I just always flag for mod intervention?
    – spacetyper
    Nov 15, 2017 at 22:02
  • I don't know how well migrations work between SO and the migration targets, so I'm not really sure I can answer that question... but for 2... You'll get a lot of declined flags. If you're trying to migrate to Super User and you flag it for moderator attention, they'll decline it and say that there's no need for moderator intervention. There are only four sites - and will only ever be four sites plus meta SO... should be easy to remember what they are... eventually :D
    – Catija StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 22:13
  • @spacetyper if you stop trying to migrate and just vtc as off topic it won't be a terrible thing.
    – user1228
    Nov 16, 2017 at 20:46

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