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We have usually the same statements against more/simplified migration paths like stated in this question:

  • the question is low quality and should rather be closed
  • the question doesn't belong on the target site either
  • the question doesn't fit target site requirements, especially tags
  • the OP needs to join the target community
  • there are not enough requests to establish a migration path

A very obvious solution for the first two points has already been suggested: You can only vote to migrate to sites where you also have 3k reputation. This sort of guarantees that you know it's a valuable question belonging to the target site. This will even reduce the number of bad migrations compared to now (where you can vote to migrate without much knowledge of the target site).

This requirement also enables users to solve the third point: The first one to vote for migration needs to adapt the tags to fit the target site.

The fourth point is nonsense, I think: For unexperienced users it feels much better to get a "we moved your question to the correct site" compared to a "this doesn't belong here. Go elsewhere".

Finally, there is no need for established migration paths if the migration quality can be assured in a better way. Typically, there will be a bunch of users knowing the target site better than the moderator does.

I even believe the real number of migrations is much higher than visible, because you often see migration recommendation in comments, resulting in questions being deleted and asked elsewhere without being counted.

With these prerequisites, the number of required votes can be reduced to three, because those three votes will have a better quality than the four votes before.

I see several advantages:

  • Less wrong migrations
  • Better quality of migrations with already adapted tags and style
  • Less frustration for users who did ask in the wrong community
  • Less work done twice due to questions answered in the wrong place
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    I wonder if users with reputation like that exist in sufficient numbers. What happens if there's not enough people to migrate the question? Years ago I was curious about the overlap between the two English language sites (ELL and ELU), and so I wrote a query to count the number of 3k+ users between both. There were only 57 in 2018 and there's 82 now, but I know for a fact that many of those users have not been on one site or the other in years.
    – Laurel
    May 23 at 16:30
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    @Laurel What will happen then? Less questions blindly migrated by people not knowing the other site. Doesn't sound too bad for me.
    – Philippos
    May 23 at 17:28

1 Answer 1

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This is an interesting idea, but I think it would be better to attack it from a slightly different angle. Instead of only allowing "dual" citizens of those sites to vote to migrate, allow any user of a site to say "I think this question that is off-topic on my site is on-topic on your site", then put the question into a 3-vote migration queue on the receiving site and let their community decide whether it is on-topic and meets their standards. If the migration is rejected, everyone should be able to see the reason why, which will help people get on the same page.

I think the underlying problem of the migration paths is not that the sending site is choosing poorly, but that the receiving site has no opportunity to say "No thanks" before the question is moved. Someone who has sufficient reputation on two different sites to cast close votes on both is not necessarily representative of one or the other site's community, so their votes may be more lenient or more strict than the site's typical reviewer. Then we still have questions getting a poor reception upon migration.

In general, I'm opposed to creating a special class of users with special privileges to solve issues that really should be handled by a site's community.

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    I think letting users pull/vet migrations is the way to go here. I'm surprised its still not a thing.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    May 23 at 18:15
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    Sounds like push-pull migration which I would like to see too.
    – PolyGeo
    May 23 at 20:24

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