Question stolen in it's entirety from meta SuperUser. But I thought it needed a bigger audience.

It's unbelievable that Super User is still being used as a dumping ground especially for questions not on-topic on Stack Overflow.

Latest example: https://superuser.com/questions/194442/recommended-spam-best-practices

Recommended Spam Best Practices

Are there any recommended admin tools or interfaces for reviewing and moderating spam on a community-driven UGC site?

I don't see what's the point in bringing them over to here and then closing it and have it cleaned by the mods/10k users. Why not just close it as off-topic in Stack Overflow itself ?

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    It's an old problem: many expert users of other site are not conversant with the culturally evolved limits on Super User (or in some cases even the original limits). Sep 30, 2010 at 17:04
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    I reckon this has the potential to become much more prevalent as new sites exit beta and join the set of potential migration targets. Is it still viable to allow users to vote to migrate a question to location X when all they might know about X is it's name? Just a thought...
    – DMA57361
    Sep 30, 2010 at 17:13
  • 4
    ...perhaps we should require a threshold reputation (500?) on the target to vote for migration? Sep 30, 2010 at 17:36
  • Does this ever go the other way around? Is there a "Belongs on StackOverflow" close reason on SU? Sep 30, 2010 at 17:42
  • @Hans - Yes there is.
    – Nifle
    Sep 30, 2010 at 17:46
  • @dmckee a good idea, and I did almost suggest it myself, before second guessing myself and trimming it out my comment... :/ I wonder how many users would still be able to migrate if there was some sort of rep requirement for the target? Don't want to end up with people just voting to close if a question is a clear migration candidate. Maybe once someone who does have the rep on the target site votes to migrate, any others who doesn't have rep on the target can then vote to agree with the migration, to ensure questions still get migrated?
    – DMA57361
    Sep 30, 2010 at 18:24
  • @Hans: it happened several times Sep 30, 2010 at 18:42
  • @DMA: It would make migration harder. I have a 2k on Super User but only ~800 on Server Fault. Depending on where you put the thresholds I might get locked out of the migration option. Nor is it going to be easy for me to get a lot more on SF (most of what I have comes from the early days of the site when there were cheep votes around) because I am not a networking guru. Sep 30, 2010 at 19:03
  • @dmckee: Problem with requiring a rep threshhold to vote to migrate is that people will see the question, be unable to vote to migrate, and vote to close as off-topic. That way, it would be a matter of luck for a proposal to get enough migrate votes. I'd rather just ban migration. Sep 30, 2010 at 21:20
  • @David: Yah. That's an issue. See Kop suggestion below. Sep 30, 2010 at 21:21
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    Remigrated example to webmasters. Should be a better fit for it.
    – user1228
    Jan 21, 2011 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


Maybe we should add another option next to close, unmigrate:

  • It's only available on migrated questions
  • It's only available for up to 48 hours after the question is migrated
  • It requires only 2 or 3 votes
  • When the vote threshold is met the question is automatically deleted, and the question on the website it was migrated from changes close reason from "migrated to" to "off topic".

I realize this is quite complex, but I think it's a better solution than only allow people with X rep on the target site to migrate. If you do that, then almost no questions will be migrated.

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    This certainly answers the "big enough population for migration" problem introduced by target site thresholds. It may introduce a ping-ponging effect, but perhaps it is better for the originating site to suffer the repercussions of ill considered migrations than for the target site to eat them. Sep 30, 2010 at 19:05
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    @dmckee: The question will still be closed on the original site, just the closing reason will change. I don't see a ping-pong effect here, since the question is now closed on two sites. Sep 30, 2010 at 21:21
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    But what if there was a better StackExchange to migrate the question to? I don't see this solving anything.
    – Jeff Yates
    Oct 1, 2010 at 15:22

I answered the original question on Meta Super User with this:

Perhaps a link to the target site's FAQ should be included on the close dialog.

This would be an easy thing to implement and might make the migrators think before pressing that button.


I think you're assuming that members of one community are completely aware of what is in-scope for another community. This will not always be the case. Therefore, I expect that those who migrated the example you gave considered that it feels on-topic for Super User and, not being wholly involved in Super User, just sent it there for those with the appropriate level of knowledge to deal with.

Sounds like the system is working to me.

Thinking on this further, I think the real problem is the auto-migration in the first place. When we only had 3 sites, it seemed fair. Now that we potentially have a plethora of StackExchange sites, it doesn't make sense anymore to have this migration or the "Belongs on x" close reasons because the audience of one SE site can't possibly grasp what is or is not suitable for the other sites. Instead, I think it would be more useful to have a "Does not belong here" close reason and have the OP pointed to other SE sites in a comment.

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    I expect the people who vote to move it to other site to be atleast be aware of the stuff which is explicitly not allowed as per the FAQ. If you aren't aware of what is not allowed then don't vote to move it. Sep 30, 2010 at 17:38
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    @Sathya: In a perfect world, I agree. But that's a problem with the users not with the site. Not much that can be done other than to try and educate people better.
    – Jeff Yates
    Sep 30, 2010 at 18:10
  • I agree with @Jeff, users of SO are aware of the stuff which is not allowed on the site, they participate on, and its is unlikely they will make any additional effort. So, unless you're going to make them take an exam before getting close rights, its not going to happen.
    – heavyd
    Oct 1, 2010 at 15:15

This question is phrased rather ridiculously. It essentially claims that SO users knowingly migrate to SU despite knowing that the question is off-topic there, either because we're too lazy to close as off-topic (which makes no sense because it's the same amount of work), or because we just don't like SU users; I'm fairly sure neither of those is the case.

The real problem is how to educate people about all the minutiae of the target site's on/off-topic policies, so things don't get migrated unnecessarily. There's a little snippet under the migration option that attempts to do this, but it's generally incomplete; the one for SU reads:

This question is related to computer hardware or computer software in general, and is a better fit for Super User.

Following that description, questions about web applications sound entirely on-topic to me. Between the fact that SU used to allow web apps questions, and the fact that the migration dialog doesn't say they're disallowed, it's hardly "unbelievable" that web app questions get migrated there on occasion

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    I'm claiming either of the points you allege. I'm saying RTFM before voting. TFM says - and it is not about websites or web services. Sep 30, 2010 at 18:48
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    @Sathya Then I'm completely not understanding what you mean by "I don't see what's the point in bringing them over to here and then closing it and have it cleaned by the mods/10k users. Why not just close it as off-topic in Stack Overflow itself ?". That only makes sense if you're saying people are intentionally migrating when they know it's off-topic -- they're not doing that intentionally, they just don't realize that web-apps are off-topic on SU, and I explained exactly why that is. I know it's in the FAQ, but there's no way people are going to check every FAQ before closing Sep 30, 2010 at 18:53
  • Why would they need to check the FAQ everytime before closing ? Reading the FAQ couple of times ought to let you know what is acceptable and what's not. @Michael Sep 30, 2010 at 19:01
  • @Sathya I didn't say every time, I said every FAQ; some time soon as more tech-related SE betas launch we're going to have a good number of migration options, and I guarantee people aren't going to take the time to read the FAQ of each one before they vote to migrate there. They'll see the name of the site and hopefully the one sentence in the migration dialog and make their decision based on that Sep 30, 2010 at 19:04
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    Also note that FAQs change. If I read the SU FAQ a few times before the explicitly banned web apps, I may consider myself as having read it. I'm not going to check it every time I'm voting to close on SO, and if I haven't been on SU for a while nothing's told me that the FAQ has changed. Sep 30, 2010 at 21:24

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