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Migrated questions that were closed a long time after the migration (and as such weren't marked "rejected") are not automatically deleted by the RemoveDeadQuestions and RemoveAbandonedClosed scripts even if they satisfy all the criteria. As @animuson explains here:

It turns out that questions which were migrated to the site are not eligible for any automatic deletions outside the 30-day deletion for being rejected.

The check ignored migrated questions because prior to June 4, 2019 it was only possible for a migrated question to also be closed if the migration was rejected, which would lock the question, and locked questions are excluded from RemoveAbandonedClosed. Since that assumption is no longer true, we may want to reconsider that check, especially given a rejected migration would otherwise be deleted despite the lock.

@animuson also added in a comment that "The RemoveAbandonedQuestions check does not exclude migrated questions."

Essentially, the code makes the assumption that any migrated question that is later closed will also be locked as a rejected migration, but this is not always the case, and is now more often not the case due to recent system changes. Specifically, this covers the following categories of questions:

  • Questions migrated and later closed prior to the feature of migration rejection being implemented in 2010-11
  • Questions migrated and later downvoted with no answers and thus otherwise eligible for RemoveDeadQuestions, that are open or closed as duplicates
  • Migrated questions closed for a non-duplicate reason after June 4, 2019 and after the migration stub on the original site had been deleted (new feature)
  • Questions migrated from a main site to its per-site meta and later closed after September 2, 2020 (new feature)

Can the Roomba scripts be updated so that migrated questions are eligible for automatic deletion by both of these scripts? I don't think there is a good reason to exclude migrated questions from being deleted by some of the scripts. Again, this is essentially a code optimization that is based on an assumption that was never quite true and is even more untrue following recent changes, and as such no longer makes sense.

Here is an example of a closed, migrated question that would be automatically deleted by the RemoveAbandonedClosed script, but is currently surviving due to this exclusion.


Edit: It just occurred to me, if the Roomba scripts are not going to be updated, then it would be good to at least revise the Roomba help page on every site along the lines in this post — or equivalently, the FAQ post on deletion.

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  • The previous functionality was a code optimization. In the past, all migrations that were later closed were marked rejected regardless of when they were closed. Migration rejection would lock the post, and locked questions were excluded from the two scripts in the title, so it was valid to assume at the time that a closed, migrated question would also be locked. I presume that this optimization was added for database performance reasons. However, as of June 4, 2019, this assumption is no longer correct due to the linked feature change. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog May 10 '20 at 18:34
  • @SonictheStay-HomeHedgehog I have no quarrel with the reason behind the current functionality. I only feel that it is suboptimal since the change on June 4, 2019, so it deserves an update. – user313042 May 10 '20 at 18:37
  • Just providing further context regarding why the current configuration is the way it is. tl;dr it's based on an assumption that was valid at the time, but invalid today. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog May 10 '20 at 20:28
  • @SonictheStay-HomeHedgehog Ah, I misunderstood. Thank you for improving the clarity! – user313042 May 11 '20 at 3:41
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    I started a discussion on Music Fans Meta as to whether the question in question should be deleted. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog May 15 '20 at 21:07
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    By the way, there are at least 240 questions affected by this bug network-wide. The query doesn't include questions closed as duplicates (which do qualify for RemoveDeadQuestions), so it's not a complete list. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog May 16 '20 at 21:01
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    Also, after going through the query results, it looks like this not only affects questions closed after the June 2019 feature change, but also older questions closed before the concept of migration rejection was implemented. Such questions are also affected by the same bug. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog May 16 '20 at 21:05

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