As of this writing, the question "Why certain variables are used in “hotness” calculations?" appears to be on both SO and Meta. Its question-history on SO as well as the "migrated from stackoverflow.com" line on Meta appear to indicate that the question had been migrated from SO to Meta at one point. Yet, the question is still 'open' on both sites: it appears that Jeff Atwood has reopened the question on SO.

Further, the question's only answer has had different destinies on each site: it has different edit histories, different vote-counts, and is accepted on Meta but not on SO.

How is all of this possible? Is it acceptable for a question to be migrated to another site yet still be 'open' on the original site? How is the 'parallel' existence of the question managed in such cases?


When a question is migrated, the following occurs:

  1. The question is closed on the source site.
  2. The question is locked on the source site by Community.
  3. The question is then copied to the destination site.
  4. The question's answers are moved to the destination site.

Steps 1 and 2 can be overridden by any sufficiently privileged user: in this case, Jeff did it as you mentioned.

The magic, if you want to call it that, is in steps 3 and 4: the question isn't destroyed on the source site, and as such will have a divergent history with the destination site after the migration.

There's precedent that "unmigration" and leaving both questions open is an option when the question can apply to two different sites. If Jeff did it, obviously StackExchange, Inc. finds it more or less acceptable, at least in this specific case.

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