I was reading this post which states that:

Traditionally we avoided allowing [normal user] migration paths to [...] beta sites, though that's less true more recently.

In the past, SE enforced a hardline rule that no site could have a normal user migration path to a beta site, i.e. that no site could allow normal users to vote for a question to be migrated to a beta site, locking that down to moderators.

As a pretty clear example of this, the Travel site gets many questions thanks to Google searches that aren't a good fit for that site but are great fits on the Expatriates site. When the idea of having a normal user migration path was brought up to the Community Team, they agreed it met the criteria for one to be implemented, but declined to do so due to the aforementioned rule. Eventually, once Expatriates left beta, the migration path was finally implemented.

However, as the above quote states, this hardline rule was rescinded.

The prior reason for having this rule was to ensure that growth on a beta site was due to organic activity on the site rather than activity on other sites: having a large part of new questions on the site be migrations from other sites wouldn't really indicate that the beta was healthy and ready to become a full member of the network.

I still think the same thing applies with the most current criteria: if the site meets the current criterion of 1,000 open questions but 100 were migrations from another site, then only 900 of those questions were asked by members of the beta's community rather than someone who likely never intended to be a member of the beta and simply had their question moved. The same is true for the 70% answer rate requirement: if a large part of open questions were migrations of answered questions to the beta, that would mean nothing as far as activity on the beta. To summarize, I think migrations to beta sites would allow artificially raising the percentages toward meeting the criteria for leaving beta without counting anything meaningful to how healthy the site will be in the long run.

There may be some other reasons that the team discussed when arriving at the decision to change the rule, though.

My questions are:

  • Why was it decided to lift the complete ban on normal user migration paths to beta sites? Was the original reason for not having it no longer considered a concern, or were there some other benefits for allowing them that were considered to have outweighed the drawbacks?
  • Will the team now consider a normal user migration path to a beta site in all cases where it otherwise meets the criteria for having one, or are there some other additional considerations made when deciding?
  • Fun fact: Writing SE has had a migration path to English SE for the longest time, even though the former was in perpetual beta until 2019.
    – Laurel
    Jul 3, 2022 at 2:15
  • 3
    @Laurel That's a migration path from a beta site, not to a beta site. I'm not counting those; I'm only asking about migration paths to a beta site. Jul 3, 2022 at 2:32


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