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Migrating old SO questions to Programmers

Example: What is a better file copy alternative than the Windows default?

This clearly belongs on SuperUser. I can vote to close/migrate, but the chance that anyone else would see this question before my close vote expires is vanishingly small (it was until I posted this meta question, anyway).

Should I flag this sort of question for moderator attention?

I actually clicked "flag" and followed the prompts does not belong here -> offtopic -> super user. However, the system turned that into a close vote, rather than a flag.

  • Maybe just migrate, but not as a "new" question, but to "archive" of old questions on the target site. Like an exposition from one museum goes to the other.
    – Vi.
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


Don't flag it for migration. I don't think the people on SuperUser will appreciate ancient questions "dumped" on them. Also please don't vote for migration unless there's a particular reason (like you're the owner of the question and want to have the question on the destination site).

EDIT: Since in the comments it was asked for reasons, here are two:

  1. As this is about ancient questions, the chances are high that in the meantime the question (or a very similar one) has been asked again on the destination site. Then the ancient question will only be seen as noise and will be closed as a duplicate (which helps noone).

  2. As Anna mentioned in the comments, migrating old (answered) questions clutters the front page of the destination site and takes away attention from new (unanswered) questions.

  • Why not? A valid question is a valid question...? Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 16:25
  • @ire_and_curses We found on Programmers that a flood of old questions (some on-topic, some not) from SO made some of our new questions harder to find. If an old question has been answered, there's little point in migrating it. It'll get more views, but does it really need them?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 16:46
  • 1
    @Anna Lear - I think that's missing the point. Old questions are not being migrated for the benefit of users on that SE. They are being migrated because they are useful for future searchers, and that is the place where they should live. Think of it as an archive rather than an immediate rep-generating issue. As to making new questions harder to find - why is that an issue? A good question is a good question. Of course, on topic junk should be eradicated. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:07
  • @ire It's an issue because new (let's assume they're good) questions don't get seen because of a flood of old questions. An occasional migration doesn't have a destructive effect, but a mass migration certainly does.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:15
  • 1
    Can a moderator migrate a question without having it bumped to the front page of its destination site?
    – Blorgbeard
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:32
  • 1
    @Blorgbeard No.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:40

That's okay. If four others pick the same closing reason, the post will get migrated. Migrations along the publicly available paths are done via close votes. If you wanted to migrate to a site that did not appear as an option in the off-topic pop-up, you'd have to manually flag the post for moderator attention.

As for whether or not you should, that depends. I personally think that old questions (especially ones that have received an answer) should not be migrated. They can be closed as off-topic to reflect the fact that they don't fit on the site anymore, but there's little value in migrating a 2-year-old question that doesn't need more answers.

  • It's not quite that simple though, is it? Close votes have an expiration date. It's extremely unlikely that an old question will ever accrue enough close votes, before the first vote expires, to actually get closed. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 16:24
  • @ire_and_curses A question can be flagged for moderator attention with a focus on closing it rather than migrating.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 16:43
  • I don't follow. In your answer, you say that migration is done via (user) close votes. I pointed out that's not likely to be an effective strategy here. You pointed out that one could flag for a mod to close. And now I say: one can always flag for a mod. They could even migrate the question, if they liked! Doesn't change the fact that voting to close on old posts is useless. So I don't see the point of your first paragraph. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 16:53
  • @ire The first paragraph was in response to the OP's confusion over a flag turning into a close vote. The second paragraph is advocating not migrating old questions at all.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:04

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