When normal users vote to migrate a question to another site, the system performs multiple checks:

  • Post author is not Q-banned or suspended on the destination
  • At least one tag the question uses exists on the destination, unless the destination is a meta site or at least one of its tags is on a list of "intrinsic" tags for the destination.
  • Question is not an exact, word-for-word duplicate of another question, or "very similar" to another question posted by the same author within 7 days, on the destination site.

...and if any of these checks fail, the migration is blocked.

However, migrations from moderators aren't subject to any of these rules, except the first one. Here on Meta Stack Exchange, as well as on beta sites, only moderators can migrate questions, so all migrations will be exempt from the latter two rules above.

Recently, a moderator migrated this question from here to Meta Stack Overflow. The same question (with exact same body, but slightly different title) had been posted by the same author there a mere minute before they posted it here, and the moderator didn't notice that it had already been posted. (I don't blame them for not noticing; the question follows a common pattern of people asking Jobs questions here, since there are a bunch of these old questions from the time this site accepted these questions, and as I said earlier it was posted on MSO a mere minute before it was posted here.)

Also, there was another moderator who was clueless about why a certain question that had been voted for migration by normal users was blocked. The question lacked a matching tag on the destination site, and the mod may be used to migrating these questions without issue.

Moderators bypassing the normal rules can create cleanup burdens for the destination site. In the tag case, the destination question will get the tag , and the destination community will have to retag it with the appropriate tag. In the duplicate case, the community will have to close it as a duplicate and delete or merge it (since closing as duplicate by itself doesn't mark the migration as "rejected"). Moderators should be aware when they're about to bypass a rule so that they can check the destination site for a duplicate, or retag the question appropriately before migrating.

Can we please warn moderators when they migrate questions, if the migration would be blocked should normal users vote to migrate it, and ask them if they really wish to bypass the rule? (This request applies only to the latter two bullets above; I understand that the SE team may be deciding whether Q-bans or suspensions should be visible to mods on other sites, and I don't want this to conflict with that. Additionally, they won't really be bypassing the rule in that case, since moderator migrations are still subject to that rule.)

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    Looks to me like the migrating moderator was relying on your request (and, presumably, flag), on the assumption that you'd checked MSO. – ArtOfCode Jan 22 at 21:29
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    Admittedly I got pinged while gaming, popped out and suggested the flag, got the flag, assumed due dilligence was done and migrated, then went back to shooting people in the head with arrows.... – Journeyman Geek Jan 23 at 3:12
  • Also looking back at this- we can't migrate questions somewhere someone is qbanned iirc – Journeyman Geek Feb 10 at 2:40
  • @JourneymanGeek I clearly mentioned that in the post. I'm explicitly excluding this case because warning mods in that case would effectively disclose Q-bans or suspensions to moderators of other sites, and the SE team is not sure whether or not such info should be disclosed to mods of other sites. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Feb 10 at 2:46

Migrations from MSE to other sites are very rare, I don't think the team should spend time on warning moderators from possibly bad migration.

Most, if not all, migrations, are result of custom flags on the question. So it's expected from the one who flags to check before flagging if the question was already asked before on the target site, or doesn't fit it for any other reason, i.e. possibly the migration will be rejected.

Only when you're 100% sure the question really should be migrated, flag it. Not sure? Don't flag.


It almost seems like you have found a semi-technical, semi-human-factor bug and the better solution would be for the system to not just "warn" nor just "prevent", but to allow a "merge" for such duplicates.

For the tag issue, similarly, the moderator should be presented with a flow of solution options, not merely message warnings.

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