All votes should be reset when a question is migrated. That's votes on the question, in both directions, as well as votes on any answer.

At the moment, downvotes are cleared from the question. Yes, it makes sense on its own, but I don't think this is the right solution.

In my experience, communities vote very differently. A mediocre answer can get a lot of upvotes just because no one on the source site knows better. An easy-looking system installation question on Stack Overflow is sometimes a near-NaRQ on a more appropriate site like SU/SF/U&L, and yet it arrives with plenty of upvotes.

Two migrations in particular triggered this post: 1 2 (discussed here). Now these are old questions which presumably shouldn't have been migrated — but they were, by a moderator, and they are indeed on-topic on the target site — but the votes don't fit.

Browsing the list of questions migrated to U&L, I see that a majority aren't a problem — because they came with very few votes from the original site. So retaining the votes during migration doesn't contribute much. Then why bother?

Please give migrated questions a new life. They might come with answers attached, but let the target community decide what they like. Reset all vote counts on migrations.

Related: and make migrated questions as visible as new questions. For example, Make migrated posts be part of chat RSS feed.

Adding support from IT Security

Leaving this issue unresolved can especially have adverse effects on younger, smaller sites when the migrated question comes from one of the big ones like SOFU or Programmers.

On the IT Security site, nearly half of the top ten questions by votes are migrated questions:

There's also five more within the top 50.

Most of the above questions have answers with up-votes carried over from the origin site, which put them (in some cases) inappropriately much higher in the thread than more accurate answers provided by the receiving site. Meanwhile, the receiving site does not have enough active users to counter the relatively massive number of existing votes where it is needed.

Same experience on Computer Science

Many computer science questions are posted on Stack Overflow, and get answers which don't really explain why things are the way they are, or misunderstand the issue. These are poor answers from a computer science point of view, yet the question is a good one and would benefit from a computer science point of view. The ideal fate of such question would be to migrate them from SO to CS, where they will get better answers — but that is not viable if the upvotes on mediocre answers are retained.

Bad for Community Building

Until yesterday, the highest-voted question on Community Building had a score of 61 and an age of over a year, and 66 in over 2 years for the highest-voted answer. That was until a question was migrated in with a score of 98. That new question is on-topic, but it's hardly the best on the site. And the age of the migrated question has nothing to do with it: it was barely a week old. The ratio of votes is the problem.

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    As questions are most often migrated from bigger to smaller communities, the votes for wrong (or otherwise bad) answers hurt even more. – Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 26 '11 at 23:21
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    It would also fix issue like this : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81883/… where one could game the system and get multiple upvote from the same account on a question. – HoLyVieR Sep 6 '11 at 16:46
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    Yes, please. I sometimes find myself wanting to downvote a perfectly reasonable question not because it's bad but because it doesn't deserve the votes it came in with (on the new site). Those votes should just be flushed; let the site that posesses the question determine its value (and likewise answers). – Monica Cellio Jan 15 '14 at 22:35
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    @Gilles, Why is this declined? All seems to be for it instead of against. – Pacerier Feb 27 '15 at 17:45
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    @Pacerier It's declined because Shog9 was against it. All is for except for the boss of SE. – Gilles Feb 28 '15 at 17:42

16 Answers 16


Yes please! Most questions get migrated with only a vote or two, so it will be no great loss to the question.

The ones that do come with votes are usually wildly skewed one way or the other. Bikeshed questions are hard enough to keep in their place when they don't come in with more vote weight than the target community could have put. Also answer votes are often out of balance because the source community didn't understand the question or have the right knowledge to solve it or judge answers.

Addendum: The primary concern with this historically seems to be the issue of migrating old questions. This is a legitimate concern, but I believe it should be solved another way. Migrating old questions has its own set of problems. It has been suggested that not resetting votes is a good deterrent for migrating old questions that have already collected lots of activity. I suggest that A) having votes reset on highly voted content would actually be more of a deterrent and that B) this is often the most problematic on very new questions.

By that last point, I mean that when a question comes along on a high traffic site, it can pick up answers and a whole pile of votes in just a few minutes. On a lower traffic more specific site that it gets migrated to, these votes are specifically the ones that most need resetting because they were based on the very different standards of the high traffic site.

Addendum 2: The current reputation system already has an interesting guard so that reputation earned on posts that are more than 90 days old is immune to deletion. Even if the posts get deleted as part of some future site cleanup or scope change, that reputation is not lost like reputation earned from recent questions or answers would be. I think this kind of system should be employed for migrations as well. This would incentivise early migration. Experienced users who know a question might belong somewhere else would want to get their VTC's in and the migration on as soon as possible so that they don't loose any potential reputation earned from answer off topic questions in the wrong place. At the same time, it would guard against outrage and give some lee-way to future site cleanup operations.

  • Quick correction: it's 60 days (not 90), it doesn't apply to migrated posts, and posts where such reputation would be preserved are blocked from being migrated under normal circumstances. This should provide experienced users with the sort of incentive you desire. – Shog9 Jan 16 '14 at 20:18

I'm also in favor of this and hope this question gets some new life.

Take, for example, The Coolest Server Names which got its life on SO and was then migrated to SF. It lived on SO for quite a while gathering answers upon answers and many many upvotes. It was migrated to SF where many of us think it's trash. Now, because of all the attention it received on SO we're having a hard time getting rid of it on SF because it will take hundreds of votes to delete. (We have a meta-SF question going to discuss whether or not to mod-hammer it.)

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    Don't forget moderators can delete with a single vote - so just flag it. – ChrisF Sep 6 '11 at 15:10
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    Yes, I know that. The problem with this specific question is that the mods don't want to just hammer it, thus the meta-SF question. If the question didn't come through with so many votes on it in the first place then we wouldn't even be having the discussion. – squillman Sep 6 '11 at 16:00

I would rather this weren't and appreciate Shog's response as to why this is declined even though it seems to blame all migrated questions rather than addressing votes + or - that are cast by the community that shuns the question itself.

Basically, transferring votes is an odd loophole that enfranchises voters from one site to another site on which they may not even belong.

As a Moderator of a small site - we can either accept or delete a question that arrives due to the votes attached. Our hands are not totally tied, but it seems overly punitive to close something because of the attention it got on another site before it even showed up at our door.

To wit:

This seems more a case of voting irregularity and when a question shows up with tens or many tens of + votes by people that are not even part of the community now owning the question.

If a feature were proposed to add a function where we let anyone who viewed a question from off-site to adjust the votes on a question, it would be shot down as the craziest idea ever, but this "pre-existing" behavior is grandfathered in as "it's always been that way".

To be specific for a bit. Let's say the median/mean/average votes on a question on Stack Overflow is 85. Let's say the equivalent on a destination site is 5. Now, when a moderately interesting SO question with 20 votes is migrated - you now have a big outlier on a small community.

On the other side - say a question with 100 votes from smallville goes the other way. Now it's just another average voted question.

Worse - down votes on one community don't mean the question is bad or not useful when hosted on a different site with different scope.

I would rather the system discount or discard entirely all votes of the sending community. Having questions arrive with disproportionate vote counts makes the lists that sort by votes not respect the community voting process.

What good comes from moving votes - positive or negative?

We can't go in as moderators and reset votes (like we often reset comments) that are absurd when the question arrives on our sites. The new time-limit restriction on moderation will make this somewhat better, since older questions by their nature have more time to accumulate large net votes.

Still it just seems wrong to me to preserve an external community's set of votes on a question that they themselves have rejected as not their topic of expertise.

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    This is an important point. Particularly since one of the benefits of having a separate community is that votes reflect the opinion of that community of experts. – trichoplax Sep 10 '15 at 12:02

I, too, wholeheartedly support this proposal. My case in point is How does one insert a backslash or a tilde (~) into LaTeX? which was migrated from Stack Overflow to tex.sx in January 2011.

Right now, the question still has the third highest number of upvotes at tex.sx (98), has generated the answer with the highest number of upvotes (119) and has about 70k views (the runner-up question has 27k). At the time of migration, it was a menace to tex.sx's benchmark of what constitutes "Good questions" and "Good Answers", and resetting the question's votes would have been a blessing.

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    While I agree that that question doesn't, by any means, count as a "Great question" (one vote away) on TeX - LaTeX, you ought to know that ~70 upvotes to the question and ~60 to the answer came from the users on TeX, not Stack Overflow. Also the views count is reset (different URL), and all the 70k views were on TeX (original view count on SO before migration was 82k). So perhaps that question is something that's genuinely useful to a lot of people... – Lorem Ipsum Dec 12 '11 at 21:30
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    @yoda The view count was reset, but I suppose that many of the "new" views originated from SO via the "migrated question" link. – lockstep Jan 23 '12 at 23:38

This would be a great change; I think it would benefit IT Security.

IT Security has a much smaller community than the big sites like Stack Overflow. On IT Security, we have had a number of cases of questions being migrated from Stack Overflow (or one of the other big sites) to IT Security, where they already had multiple answers and many votes on those answers at time of migration. In many cases, those answers were flawed, but because they came over to IT Security with so many votes from the original site that it is almost impossible for the IT Security crowd to make up for those votes. This is problematic, because it prevents the IT Security community from taking having ownership and control over the material appearing on our site.

I have documented the problem extensively on the following three IT Security Meta pages:

You can find there a long list of examples of migrations that were problematic, not because the question is out-of-scope or off-topic, but rather because they came over to us already with so many upvotes on problematic answers.

See also this summary:

Implementing this feature request would benefit IT Security by reducing the number of migrations that are problematic in this way, and would benefit us by making it easier to migrate questions that really belong on IT Security over there even if they already have received a bunch of answers and votes.

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    Isn't the real issue here that the source site decides whether to migrate and the destination site doesn't have a say in whether the question should be migrated? – Verbeia Mar 4 '12 at 21:40
  • @Verbeia, that's not how I'd characterize the problem, though you are of course welcome to form your own opinion. In most cases that I've seen the questions are reasonable and on-topic for the destination site (if they're not, they get quickly closed); the problem is that the votes carry over. That's my view, anyway. – D.W. Mar 5 '12 at 6:58
  • I read your post as taking issue with "bad migrations" i.e. posts that shouldn't have been migrated, not posts that belonged on the new site but having the "wrong" number of votes, whatever that means. But if that's not what you meant, fair enough. You are the one who knows what you really meant. – Verbeia Mar 5 '12 at 8:46
  • @Verbeia, sorry for any confusion. The problem I was referring to is due to the post coming with bad answers that arrive already with too many upvotes -- not posts that shouldn't have been migrated because they were off-topic. I have attempted to clarify my answer accordingly. I hope this clears things up. Thanks for helping me to articulate my thoughts more precisely! – D.W. Jul 23 '12 at 20:43

I think the diamond moderators of the target site should have a feature to zero out pre-migration votes on a specific question.

That way they can take care of questions with inflated votes, without interfering with every little question that received a handful of votes while waiting for migration.

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    While this would solve the problem, it's more complex than I would like. Why not do it systematically? – Gilles Jul 21 '12 at 12:40
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    That's fine with me too. I just propose this as a smaller impact alternative. – CodesInChaos Jul 22 '12 at 21:59

If a question I asked received 10 upvotes and then was moved to another site with the votes reset, I think I'd probably be a little irked.

However, I'd like to think I'd also take a step back and realize that the reputation that I do have can map directly to questions and answers that the community felt not only deserved upvotes, but that also deserved to stay within that community as a lasting reference for other users who have similar questions.

After all, the purpose of the Stack Exchange model is to create great, targeted content that addresses real, practical, answerable questions. It's not a popularity contest, and I wouldn't want to have extra reputation for questions or answers that no one can find on the site because the question is on another site instead.

At the same time, it's misleading to see a bad question with 10 upvotes on a site when that question might not warrant 10 upvotes within that community. Oftentimes, moderators may migrate a question to another site where it still doesn't fit. I see this happen on Programmers SE a lot, and for a time it was a dumping ground for bad Stack Overflow questions.

Each community must stand on its own as an independent entity with its own guidelines on what constitutes a great question. Therefore, it seems logical to me that both votes and reputation should be reset on migrated questions.

Let the target community decide if the questions and answers have merit. If it's a great question or answer, it will get upvoted.

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    Could you explain why you would be irked that votes from one community didn't transfer to an entirely different community? Where else do we allow non-site users to vote on questions but only if they voted before the question had a one time moderation event? – bmike Sep 3 '13 at 18:30
  • Hi @bmike, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Can you clarify? – jmort253 Sep 3 '13 at 20:29
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    I was having trouble understanding your first sentence. Why should votes from site A move to site B? The votes from A should stay on A when the question gets closed there. – bmike Sep 10 '14 at 13:19

Migrating questions (and related answers and comments) with votes intact is clearly a problem - particularly for questions migrated from the older high volume sites to smaller, more specialised communities. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that this is an impediment to smaller communities growing their content-base and user-base via migration.

A question which arrives with a number of answers and related comments, but no indication of the community's assessment of their value is not really ideal either. It would be preferable to leave some assessment visible while avoiding the problems of a community being saddled with answers they don't have the mass to override. Instead of resetting all voting, keep votes by users involved in the target site and reset all others.

The criteria for whose vote gets retained will have to be a bit more subtle than just membership of the target site - to remove those who have only participated in one or two unusually high volume items like the XKCD question on security. Maybe at least one answer and one vote outside the target site's top 1% of questions by activity.

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    From what I've heard it would be difficult: the data from different sites are kept in different databases, and the necessary cross-checks would be expensive. Furthermore, I'm not convinced it makes sense: how do you define “users involved in the target site”? I've created an account on many SE sites where I don't normally participate. Part of the problem with migrating votes is the disproportionate count; often the “natural” score for a post might be 20 on SO, 10 of whom have an account on the target site, only 2 of which are also active enough on the target site to see the question there. – Gilles Mar 4 '12 at 19:26
  • On AskDifferent one of the answers migrated give a user 600+ rep and it is the only question he has answered – Mark Mar 19 '13 at 11:08


If a question already has multiple answers, or has answers with more than a handful of votes, then I would suggest that it should not be migrated. It should either be left on the original site, or the original question should be closed and a new question should be created on the other site.


IT Security has many fewer voting members than Stack Overflow. Migrated questions come to IT Security with lots of answers and heavy vote volumes. IT Security doesn't have enough voting members to come anywhere near that; very few questions on this site get anywhere near that many votes from users of IT Security. Thus, at this point, the votes from the original site are going to overwhelm votes from the IT Security community, for that question. I don't like having a question and its answers listed on the IT Security site when the votes are overwhelmingly from some other site and when the IT Security community effectively does not have ability to perform quality control of the answers.

  • That's why I want to reset votes. While it I have seen it happen that votes from the original community drown out votes from the target community, it's rare. It's even less common than having bad answers upvoted by uninformed people who reached the question because it was tweeeted/blogged/redditted. – Gilles Sep 15 '12 at 12:48

I think it should be up to the recipient community to decide whether "zero out votes" or "retain votes" is the right option for them.

Most of the questions migrated from Stack Overflow to mathematica.SE had about the right number of votes when they arrived and attracted a few extra, but not many. (Most of us knew not to vote for the same question twice.) Also, these posts are old now and might not be seen by many members of the new community.

A lot of migrated questions might well have the "wrong" number of votes for the recipient community, but you should not assume this is always true. I think many people would be unhappy if questions and answers that they spent a lot of time effort on were zeroed out. So you lose all the reputation on the original site and you have to hope that the new community notices an old post and upvotes it the way they would if it was new.

Proposals to zero out votes should be discussed on the recipient site's meta and actioned by the moderators there.

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    Ugh, no. If you haven't had troublesome migrations on MMA.SE yet, consider yourselves lucky; maybe it's because the Mathematica crowd and the [tags:mathematica] crowd on SO are moslty the same people. I assure you than on Unix & Linux and Information Security, zeroing out the votes is always right, retaining the votes should not be the default option. – Gilles Mar 4 '12 at 20:13
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    @Gilles this is a good point - what I meant was it should be up to the recipient community to decide their own default. (As an aside, I should note that a number of the highest-rep people on Mathematica.SE were never on StackOverflow, or only barely. ) – Verbeia Mar 4 '12 at 21:35
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    Hear Hear - "Having questions arrive with disproportionate vote counts makes the lists that sort by votes not respect the community voting process." – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 15:33

I agree with the sentiment of this request, especially when migrations are from a large site such as Stack Overflow to a smaller site. Nevertheless, I think that "throwing away" the reputation points from the original is not ideal either.

I believe that at present posts over a certain age keep their reputation points even after deletion. I propose that a similar mechanism be applied here: established posts which are migrated should not strip the author of points on the origin site.

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    I disagree about keeping the reputation, but if the request here was implemented, the straightforward implementation would apply the usual reputation-keeping rules anyway. – Gilles Sep 15 '12 at 16:45
  • @Gilles I'm not certain that it would. I believe I have observed the opposite recently, but I'm going to check. Why do you disagree with the preservation, if deleting an answer does not strip points? – Mr.Wizard Sep 15 '12 at 16:49
  • @Gilles I have now checked, and it appears that migration is an exception to reputation preservation for established (old) questions. I maintain my argument above that these points should not be thrown away, if they would be preserved after deletion. – Mr.Wizard Sep 15 '12 at 16:52
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    I disagree with keeping the reputation when an answer is deleted. – Gilles Sep 15 '12 at 16:53
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    @Gilles Should there not be consistency however? – Mr.Wizard Sep 15 '12 at 16:53
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    What good comes from inflicting the voting opinions of another site when a question shows up for migration to a new site? We don't ask other sites to vote on our questions in any other situation. Votes should stay on the site where they were cast. – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 15:35
  • @bmike Sorry if I'm a bit slow; is your comment in support of my proposal? – Mr.Wizard Dec 8 '12 at 11:06
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    I'm up for any method where points stay where they were cast and earned. I believe migration cannot currently strip any points. Only deletion strips points from a post that didn't last for N days on a specific site (N being 39 or 90 - I don't recall e details) since migration is now only for young questions you can't migrate old ones, just close them. So as long as the moderation doesn't delete a question on the first site until after N days, the reputation stays earned on that site. – bmike Dec 8 '12 at 17:53

I am in favor of this feature request. Here is why:

If a question is migrated it is because it was off topic. Off topic questions get downvoted for being off topic. However, if it is migrated to the appropriate site, the downvotes for being off topic are no longer relevant.

However, if it where downvoted for a different reason, for example it where very low quality. Those downvotes would be discarded to. But if it was downvoted for being very low quality on the site it was migrated from, who says it would not be downvoted for being low quality on the new site? Also if it were upvoted. If it where upvoted dispite being off topic, those upvotes would be trashed but it would be upvoted again on the new site For those reasons, I believe this feature would be a great feature to add to the stack exchange.


Some questions are legitmate questions for the original site they're posted on, but are migrated because the intended site is a better one for the specific topic. I don't think the asker should be penalized when he asked a question that just happened to be on-topic for more than one site.

It's even more penalizing if you figure on resetting votes on answers, as your last paragraph seems to imply. Now you're penalizing those who in good faith gave a good answer.

Heck, the rep involved might get the asker/answerer involved in the migrated-to site, and the community wins.

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    Clearing the votes would be like deleting and reposting the question on the proper site. Good questions and answers will get voted on appropriately. The number of votes may be smaller because the audience on the destination is smaller, but it would be more in-line with the rest of the questions on that site. In addition, by maintaining the extra rep from votes on a high-population source site, aren't you getting a bonus by asking in the wrong place initially and forcing other people to migrate? – Troyen Oct 15 '11 at 2:10
  • My point was that there is a category of questions that aren't asked in the wrong place initially, and then migrated, so the solution proposed here is too broad. – Lance Roberts Oct 15 '11 at 2:23
  • I know reputation doesn't mean much, but there should be some effort to make it not stray too far from its theoretical meaning of showing expertise. At the moment, reputation from migrated posts is unfair, because you earn it twice (you can even earn two votes for the same post from the same user, if one was cast before the migration and one was cast afterwards). – Gilles Oct 15 '11 at 21:26
  • @Gilles, yes, but the votes are on two different sites, and for questions that are on-topic for both sites, they are valid votes. – Lance Roberts Oct 15 '11 at 21:44
  • @LanceRoberts Not necessarily since votes don't mean "ontopic" but "good". Standards differ. – Raphael Jan 16 '14 at 13:42

I have two concerns regarding this proposal:

  1. Some people do have more than one expertise and are able and competent enough to answer (yet-to-be-determined) off-topic questions if it involves one of their (other) expertises. If a question regarding volleyball would occur on SO, I could maybe answer it in a decent way and earn votes and maybe even accepts from others on SO that know something about the sport. Dropping all votes would mean you don't care about me knowing about this stuff, or about the others acknowledging that I make sense (or not!) in my answer (or question for that matter).
  2. If the question is migrated, I'd have to live with dropping in rep because the votes would be cleared? Not sure if I'd be happy with that.

(Yes, volleyball is an awkward example; the unix example might fit better but then I'd give the wrong impression about knowing something about that.)

This might seem egocentric to some point and give the impression of me being a rep-hunter. Well, in a way that's the nature of this system but I'm not one to crave every single rep point I get. As mentioned above it's also about the (few?) people in the community who do know what they're doing when up- or downvoting a question or answer on a topic that is not really fit for the site (SO for example).

That being said, I will not lose sleep over this feature being added. I understand the points that Gilles has made in his post. And I have no view on the numbers but I guess it's not a very large amount of questions that needs migration and of those I assume the community and moderators will spot them early on before the question has seen alot of answers or other activity.

Then again, that last argument might as well mean it's not worth the effort to add the proposed feature ..

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    1. If you write a good correct answer on a question that gets migrated, wouldn't you expect upvotes on the destination site (which should be full of other people like you with knowledge on the subject)? Thus, even though you're starting over at 0, a good answer is still a good answer, and you'll regain some of your upvotes back. 2. I thought migrated questions were deleted on the source site after a month or so, which means you'd lose the reputation anyway if you did a recalc. You just wouldn't get a rush of reputation on the destination site, as if the question had just been posted. – Troyen Oct 15 '11 at 2:05
  • Point taken that quality remains even when migrated. I didn't know about the questions being deleted (as there are other details about the system that I'm not aware of (yet?) ). I also wonder what happens to votes on migrated questions or answers if the poster has no account on the site that the post was migrated to. I'll post that in a separate question. – Wivani Oct 17 '11 at 8:16
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    If I see a question about volleyball on SO, I'm not going to answer it, I'm going to vote to close/migrate it. The point of SO is to create great content for SO, not just to write anything. The reputation system is designed to hopefully encourage this behavior. If you answer a SO question that is off-topic; hopefully, you'll learn, by not earning reputation, to recognize off-topic questions and take appropriate action by flagging or voting to close :) – jmort253 Feb 25 '12 at 21:11
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    I agree with this, but I'd counter by saying these dual-expertise users can register on both sites, and upvote / downvote the question again... – voretaq7 Mar 22 '12 at 23:06

I think doing this would undermine the reputation system's use as an incentive to drive participation, while I don't see how not doing so harms it.

Here's a scenario:

  • A new question is asked on an appropriate SE site.
  • I provide an answer that is popular and gets upvoted.
  • A new more specific SE site is created that is a better match for the question.
  • The question gets migrated, but because it is no longer a hot topic, the question and answer do not receive another round of upvotes, and the original is lost.

So, I have made an investment in either asking or answering a question, been rewarded for it with reputation points, only to see that swept away because a new stack was created that the question is a better fit for.

And save me the speech about how people should contribute for the good of the community and not reputation points. The reputation system is there for a reason -- it was designed with significant thought and is something we want people to care about, and is one of the reasons the SE system has quality answers. Yanking away votes and reputation can cause people to lose faith in the system, and make them less likely to participate.

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    See my comments on Lance's answer. Carrying over the votes during migration undermines the reputation system as an incentive to drive good participation, because the votes on an off-topic question are not reliable indicators of quality. Having votes coming from some other community causes people to lose whatever small faith they may have that upvotes indicate peer validation and makes them less likely to participate. – Gilles Feb 24 '12 at 17:56
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    A small nitpick: SE is not a "board" or "forum", it is a question and answer site. – user7116 Feb 24 '12 at 18:02
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    @sixlettervariables - That's not a nitpick at all. It's true :) And the difference between a Q&A site an a forum is huge. It would be like me calling a car a book or a tree an mp3 player. – jmort253 Feb 25 '12 at 20:53
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    @JohnMcG - While I understand where you're coming from, votes represent the quality of the question and/or answers. Here, there is no A for effort, and reputation isn't given just because you gave it the good 'ole college try. – jmort253 Feb 25 '12 at 20:55
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    The point isn't to credit effort -- the point is that the question and answer was deemed useful at one time on a general board, but then was moved to a more specific board, and the question was no longer on a hot topic, and so the credit for that useful question and answer is now gone. – JohnMcG Feb 27 '12 at 1:39
  • In general, questions are not migrated unless they are actively off-topic on their current site; history has shown that that is not a result of simply creating a subsite. (Thus, wordpress.se, drupal.se, and so forth do not actually drain off existing questions from SO via migration.) So the premise of this answer is simply wrong; this is not a situation that happens with any regularity. – Nathan Tuggy Feb 6 '16 at 1:15

I liked this idea originally, but the more I've thought about it, and the more actual migrations I've reviewed, the more convinced I've become that the problem isn't the voting - it's the posts themselves.

If you have a question asked and answered on one site, then shoved into another (where, as you note, the culture may be rather different) the voting is really the least of your problems. Rather,

A mediocre answer can get a lot of upvotes just because no one on the source site knows better. An easy-looking system installation question on Stack Overflow is sometimes a near-NaRQ on a more appropriate site like SU/SF/U&L, and yet it arrives with plenty of upvotes.

The answers are the problem. More specifically, an answer that's had time to collect a lot of up-votes, accolades, bounties, perhaps even an accept checkmark is a problem when it's seen as sub-par on the destination site.

Like it or not, there's no way to implement a time-machine for migration that'll turn back the clock to when the question was originally posted. Resetting votes is - at best - a band-aid solution.

Therefore, I think the better option is to simply disable migration for older questions entirely. See: Disable migration for questions older than 60 days

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    “An answer that's had time to collect a lot of up-votes” Sometimes the time is measured in minutes. In my experience with subpar migrations as judged from the receiving side, the age of the question has never been an issue. Old questions that had gone largely unnoticed were fine. Popular questions that quickly accrued high-scoring answers due to uninformed posters on the source site were the problem, whether they were an hour or a year old. – Gilles Oct 18 '12 at 22:15
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    The problem isn't always answers, it is often questions with NO answers at all. What I'm most frustrated with is also not the old questions (which have their own problems) but specifically with very new questions (minutes even). In my answer above I also suggest that a vote reset mechanism would incentivise high rep users to push for early migration when they spot off topic questions. Right now this often doesn't happen and questions quickly collect answers rather than quickly collecting VTC's like they should. – Caleb Oct 19 '12 at 9:39
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    the road to golden badge in status-declined tag gotta be tough – gnat Jan 16 '14 at 19:53
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    Is there any chance of reconsidering this? We get the occasional ID questions shunted to M&TV from Sci-Fi and they're much more accepting of ID questions that we are... so they usually end up on M&TV with several upvotes and nearly always get closed on our site for not having enough detail to be a good question. EG: This quesiton came to us with two upvotes despite being pretty crummy a question. – Catija Aug 27 '15 at 5:50
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    The solution to that particular problem is deletion, @Catija. Also, educate the folks on SFF not to migrate crap. – Shog9 Aug 27 '15 at 5:59
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    "there's no way to implement a time-machine for migration that'll turn back the clock to when the question was originally posted" - but there is! Resetting everything is just that (remember, "time" here is but a series of records in DB). Even bounties are worthy of being retracted (but not refunded) because it's the participants' fault to try to take advantage of the system and get an answer/reward for an off-topic question. Answers themselves shall not disappear (to avoid scrapping potentially useful ones) since the target community can deal with them just fine with votes and/or VLQ. – ivan_pozdeev Dec 18 '15 at 22:59
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    Lie about what? (also see an edit just before you posted) – ivan_pozdeev Dec 18 '15 at 23:06
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    From your message, the real rationale appears to be: "reversing a potentially vast amount of events is too radical for my liking" rather than the stated "no way to do this". Another interpretation I see is: "I'm against erasing/rewriting history in any form and shape". Which one is it? – ivan_pozdeev Dec 18 '15 at 23:29
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    Neither, @Ivan. I watched folks argue about this for years, and realized that as the outcry grew worse with it came an increase in the number of questions that didn't actually need to be migrated at all, folks shuffling others' posts around as busywork with no value to either site and nothing but frustration for the authors who'd contributed to them. And the solution is supposed to be to pile yet more burden on those authors? Naw; if you can't handle the Q&A, don't migrate it. See also: blog.stackoverflow.com/2012/03/… – Shog9 Dec 18 '15 at 23:33
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    The problem with this suggestion, @ivan, is that the problem which this suggestion was proposed to solve is not actually solved by it. The primary complaint here - that the voting of folks in one community might not be acceptable to those in another - is a side-effect of the underlying issue, which is that the post itself may not be acceptable; resetting the voting doesn't change that, it just papers over one particular side-effect. If the posts aren't appropriate, don't move them - that's the simplest possible solution to the underlying problem here. – Shog9 Dec 19 '15 at 0:13
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    Right. If that particular tree is worth enough to you to make dealing with the contamination preferable to just finding a different question, so be it @ivan. There are trees that are essentially uncontaminated; bring those inside whenever you wish. There are trees that are fine where they are, a useful habitat as it were, but would be a lot of work to bring inside; leave those where they sit. – Shog9 Dec 19 '15 at 2:51
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    The final solution here will be to completely remove the concept of migration from the system, @ivan. – Shog9 Dec 19 '15 at 14:15
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    Don't be crude, @ivan. Again, I've been listening to folks like you crying for a technical solution to this for years, then whining when it doesn't do what you want because what you refuse to do is treat your fellow authors with the same respect you wish for yourself. So, fine: there is only one technical solution that can help. Is that throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Only if there's still a baby; the longer this goes on, the fewer people seem to care about actually helping folks find a place where they can get an answer and the more fixated we get with papershuffling. – Shog9 Dec 19 '15 at 16:04
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    "[...]is a side-effect of the underlying issue, which is that the post itself may not be acceptable; [...] If the posts aren't appropriate, don't move them - that's the simplest possible solution to the underlying problem here." @Shog9 But what about when the post should be migrated, but the users on the original site have already upvoted the question or it's not-as-correct-as-the-real-answer answers? This issue is most certainly NOT solved by the "just don't migrate it" handwave dismissal. I'm sorry, I just can't wrap my head around your rationale on my own. – WorseDoughnut Apr 27 '16 at 14:34
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    And I can't wrap my head around folks who want to migrate questions and answers they don't like, @WorseDoughnut. If your attitude is, "we want your work, but we want it to rate badly" then... How 'bout you try proposing that to the authors you're about to yank the rug out from under instead of bothering me about it? – Shog9 Apr 27 '16 at 18:45

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