I believe there should be a badge for those users who properly identify questions as belonging to another of the StackExchange sites. Specifically, I believe there should be a badge for being the first to suggest a migration of a given question to another site (programmers, webmasters, etc.) when all subsequent votes for migration / close agree. That is, if I see a question on SO that clearly belongs on Programmers, and I am the first to vote to migrate it, and everyone else who votes to migrate it agrees on the reason / target site, that should be worthy of a badge, if done enough times. I'd suggest 20 times, but that might be a bit high.

The intent is to provide incentive for moderators to PROPERLY identify the appropriate migration for a given question, and to reward those who do so consistently. Only if all other votes to close / migrate agree should the first vote to migrate be considered to count towards this badge.

Edit: it has been suggested that this would only be effective if the question in, er, question was actually welcome on the target site; therefore, I would propose that it must also be contingent upon the migrated question receiving some net positive number of votes on the target site.

  • 1
    Now predicting future badge suggestions: [Immigrant] and [Assimilator]. (Joking aside, I do like the suggestion @Paul)
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:27
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    This badge would only work if migrations were cross-checked to make sure they aren't getting close votes on the target site. Otherwise, it just encourages migration of poor-quality questions, which we don't want.
    – user102937
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:59
  • @RobertHarvey: I agree, and I think that makes a very good improvement suggestion. I will edit the question to include that. Jul 6, 2011 at 22:17

3 Answers 3


The big problem I have with this is that people tend to follow what's already suggested (myself included).

They'll think "oh this question doesn't belong here" and vote to close. They'll see that there's an existing vote to migrate and be more inclined to pick that than choose their own close reason.

This, coupled with the fact that the average SO user doesn't keep up with what's on or off topic on other sites. Only tonight I saw an iPod question migrated to Super User when it should have been migrated to Ask Different. I know that's not an option open to non-moderators but the first person chose incorrectly and everyone followed along.

Even if you think you know what's on topic elsewhere, the rules could have changed since you last checked.

  • +1, or 3 people chose incorrectly and 2 people chose the more general 'Off Topic'.
    – user7116
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:31
  • While I agree partially with you, I think that's the point of requiring consensus. If 4 others think it should go to webmaster, and I believe it should be on programmers, nobody gets a badge (point) for that. Only when the consensus is unanimous should this be worthwhile. Additionally, I think the point about users not really knowing what's on topic elsewhere is a valid one, but I think that should be addressed elsewhere. Jul 6, 2011 at 21:36
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    @Paul - even with unanimity the question can still be migrated to the wrong site.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:37
  • @ChrisF: yes, and good questions can always be downvoted incorrectly. We can't stop thoughtless behavior, but it seems worthwhile to encourage proper behavior. Currently there's no encouragement to try to get migration to the right place; a badge provides encouragement, and unanimity encourages thoughtfulness. It's certainly no worse than what exists now. Jul 6, 2011 at 21:41
  • SO is the ivory tower that pours tar on anything and everything. Who cares where else it ends up
    – random
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:42
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    @Paul - the problem with offering a badge is that you are potentially encouraging incorrect behaviour. If a question is off topic on site A the default should always be to simply close as "off topic". Migration should be reserved for the cases where it's really clear that site B is the correct home for the question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:43
  • @ChrisF - I agree that migration should be reserved for those cases, and I'm trying to suggest an incentive for correct behaviour, where there is NO incentive right now. Yes, the incentive may be imperfect, but it's no worse than many other badges that exist right now. "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Jul 6, 2011 at 21:50

I think this would cause a rush to vote to migrate, or twitchy trigger fingers at the very least, and actually result in more bad migrations. If the first person gets it wrong then it's way too easy for others to follow, then the first person gets another notch in their belt for what 3-5 people thought was right.

It's also frequently the case where the community at the target site completely disagrees with a question getting migrated to their site and I would not want to see a badge awarded for instances of this happening.

  • I think there should possibly then be a "confirmation" stage, whereby the migrated question must get positive upvotes before this would be qualified. Make sense? Jul 6, 2011 at 21:33
  • Yes, it makes sense but I also disagree with that.
    – squillman
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:35
  • I actually think that having a potential badge at stake could REDUCE the effective "trigger-fingeriness" right now. Jul 6, 2011 at 21:38
  • I agree with this, hence I declined
    – waffles
    Aug 24, 2011 at 2:50

I disagree with the need for such a badge, but clearly the name should be Pied Piper

  • 1
    Ooh, good name! :) Jul 6, 2011 at 21:54

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