I'm seeing SO MANY questions lately that should be KILLED ON THE SPOT that are simply being moved to SuperUser as a way to get rid of them.

This should not be done. I don't know if people are scared of making the decision to kill a question, or if they want to give it "one more chance" but questions that DON'T BELONG THERE should not be sent there as a way to get rid of them.

This question: https://serverfault.com/questions/164240/why-is-classful-addressing-obsolete-closed should have just been closed as a dupe or off topic or not a real question or something appropriate. It does not belong on SU.

This is the most recent one, but I've seen it happen dozens of times lately. More often actually, maybe because we're starting to get more 10k users.

Personally I don't use SU but I know that this must be pissing them off to no end.

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    I couldn't agree more. SO could use some of the same medicine. – Warner Jul 26 '10 at 21:14
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    That question doesn't remotely belong on SU. If someone would have taken time to actually understand it and rewrite it a bit, it isn't really that bad of a beginner question. – Zoredache Jul 26 '10 at 22:01
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    I think part of it is that it only take 3 people to move it to SU. I for one voted to close (not a real question); but I suspect I was not the only one to do so. I know I've done that on other questions too only to have them end up on SU. – Chris S Jul 27 '10 at 17:07
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    @Chris, I think you've nailed it right there. It only takes a majority vote to get it migrated. Maybe that should change, or on option should be given to somehow un-vote a move vote. – Mark Henderson Jul 27 '10 at 21:51
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    Time to fess up - I believe I was one of those that voted for the SU move. In retrospect, that was an ill-conceived idea. I'll make sure to be more selective in what I send over there in the future. – EEAA Jul 28 '10 at 4:10
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    I hate it when a question is moved because the majority of votes were for the move but even those who voted otherwise get listed as being responsible for the move. More than once I've held back from voting because there are already 3 votes to move a question that really should be killed. – John Gardeniers Jul 28 '10 at 5:06
  • You know, the reason why we like to move questions from SF to SU is because SU is such a boring place; it's only right to give them some fun. – Graviton Jul 28 '10 at 13:09
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    @Ngu, you're kidding, right? – Mark Henderson Jul 28 '10 at 21:29
  • @Farseeker, no, I'm dead serious :) – Graviton Jul 29 '10 at 7:06
  • Why on earth was this question cited moved? It could have been closed as vague, edited, or voted down. But who on earth would thing it appropriate for SuperUser.com? – tomjedrz Jul 29 '10 at 19:34

I'm starting to wonder if this is something that needs to be hammered out more fully here on Meta. A lot of people seem to think that SU exists to answer the questions that are too basic (or in the example above, too poorly phrased) for SF.

I'm not sure how to make the point that SU and SF address different topics entirely, and it's absolutely not a complexity-divide. I'd say SU should just send them back where they started, so those questions can be shot & buried on our dime, as it were.

Should there be a mechanism for a site to reject question migration? A question-purgatory where users of sufficient rep can vote on whether to keep or reject the question?

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    The concept of "question-purgatory" is interesting, I like the idea. However, it could introduce substantially more moderation overhead as well as more cross posting, as users would be come impatient. – Warner Jul 26 '10 at 21:22
  • It is my experience in forum-based Q/A environments that a triage forum will be created regardless of what the original architects wanted. The top forum in the list is usually the one that gets it. Here on the trilogy where the other sites are obscured to a fair extent, users may not even realize there is a choice. All in all, I like the idea of an 'incoming queue' for the mods to accept/close questions coming from other trilogy sites. – sysadmin1138 Jul 26 '10 at 22:54
  • +1, Reject the question move. It's not common, but I've seen things come in (from SO in particular) that should not be on SF. It would be nice if we didn't need 5 votes again to get it to where it belongs. – Chris S Jul 27 '10 at 17:18
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    Oh ghods yes, please implement "reject moved question"... – womble Jul 23 '11 at 2:54

I wouldn't have voted to close that question, I would have tried to edit it. I don't mind a good beginner question at all. A poorly asked question bugs me far worse then a question about basic networking. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of poorly asked questions are migrated when they should have been either edited or closed, or marked as a duplicate.

I think we need to try and think of a way to encourage people to edit or close bad questions instead of just transferring them somewhere else where they don't really belong.

It's a lot faster to vote-to-move than it is to take the time to fix a post. It's a hard one to incentivise.

@sysadmin1138, I agree, but I would prefer a vote to close over a vote to move if there is any doubt about the question being appropriate for the destination site. I am almost thinking that vote to move should cost 2-5 rep unless the person voting has more then 3k rep on the destination. That way if you want to move something you either must have established yourself on the destination site and you will probably know what does belong there or you must accept that your move vote will cost you a bit of your rep.

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    It's a lot faster to vote-to-move than it is to take the time to fix a post. It's a hard one to incentivise. – sysadmin1138 Jul 27 '10 at 0:00
  • @sysadmin1138, updated answer with possible way to discourage excessively migrating questions. – Zoredache Jul 27 '10 at 0:49
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    The rep-on-destination idea has some real merit to it. It kind of dove-tails nicely into Kara's idea about a purgatory-queue. If you're spiffy enough on both sites, you can vote to move directly. Alternately, having the purgatory-queue visible to 3K+ users should help show the garbage-in/garbage-out principle. May be educational! – sysadmin1138 Jul 27 '10 at 1:01
  • That's a great idea. Downvoting and voting to migrate seem like very similar activities - paying rep for migration votes makes perfect sense to me (especially given the problems it's gotta be causing SU) – Kara Marfia Jul 27 '10 at 14:30
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    I added this rep cost idea as a feature-request on MSO. – Zoredache Jul 27 '10 at 21:22
  • Do the SU folks have the capability to send the inappropriate questions back? If so, could there be some sort of penalty of forced arbitration for questions bouncing around? Or some rep penalty (or privilege suspension) for folks who pass the trash too frequently? – tomjedrz Jul 29 '10 at 19:33

Now that we have some specific metas, it's indeed a good way to communicate between communities, especially on this kind of questions.

To be honest, I rarely see questions being dumped from SF to SU. I mean it happens, but most of the time it's justified: it's about a user-side question, and it's on topic. There is more often a problem with SO migrating off-topic questions just because they are not programming related, but I think we equally share the issue.

About the particular case you mention, I don't think this is particularly off-topic on SU. The question is of poor quality, for sure, but it is a matter of computer science in general. Networking questions are on-topic on Super User, at least when it's about definitions like this. After, if someone is asking for more details about subnetworks, we will rather migrate it to SF, since it's more a topic sysadmins are likely to encounter.

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    Fantastic to see a first hand account from a SU moderator. Thanks for contributing. – Warner Jul 28 '10 at 19:32
  • That's great news! I'll finally clean up some of the pre-SU [belongs-on-superuser] tagged items I've been holding back on, because I felt like you were already getting inundated in migrated questions. – Kara Marfia Jul 29 '10 at 13:16
  • @Kara - it's not a matter of being inundated by them, only a question of topic. If you feel it is on-topic, migrate away! And if hesitating, you can always ask a question on our meta, the way I did here. – Gnoupi Jul 29 '10 at 14:08

This conversation and ones on SO-Meta are beginning to make me rethink what qualifies as vote-to-close versus vote-to-move in my head. I've lurked on SU for a while, and am beginning to get an idea as to what kinds of questions thrive there and which ones go to die. The Classful question Farseeker pointed to qualifies as Not-SU to me, and only barely Not-Close. I guess I have a lower bound on the minimum grasp of the fundamentals needed to do much on SF than others.

I think all three sites are suffering from beginner-fatigue on the part of the avid answerers. SU is perhaps the most forgiving of teh newb, which is why those questions get shoveled that direction.

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  • +1 I never vote to move and always vote to close (which brings up another problem). I hate seeing questions dumped on SF, and I doubt SO/SU want our questions dumped on them. Personally, I think the question migration feature should be completely removed. Just close and let the individual reask on the appropriate site. – Doug Luxem Jul 29 '10 at 13:59

I'm wondering how many of those closed questions arn't 4-1 or 5-0 to move to SU, but something more like 1-1-1-2 or 1-2-2 to move. Does anyone know if close votes are published in the Data dump or even the fact that it was closed at all?

Also, I think that Kara's idea of a Question Purgatory could be very workable as long as you don't rely on the mods.

Say something like if the question doesn't have a super-majority of close votes (4 or 5 for the same reason) then it gets sent to Question purgatory. It would be locked while there and then the 10kers have a final say type vote to close needing only 3 votes to finalize the move.

Also include a "Should not be closed" option that unlocks the question, and removes close votes.

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  • I believe this question ended up 2-3 or 1-1-3 or something along those lines (possibly 1-1-1-2). – Chris S Jul 27 '10 at 17:13
  • Then why did it end up on SuperUser? Does the last vote rule, or the first vote? – tomjedrz Jul 29 '10 at 19:37
  • @tomjedrz it's simple majority. so if you have 1-1-1-2 then the two wins or 2-3 three wins – Zypher Jul 29 '10 at 22:13

Here's how I handle these types of questions:

  • If the quality of English is awful, I will try to decipher and clarify, but I'm less tolerant to nonsense with these questions.
  • If its an obvious homework question, vote to close
  • If I cannot determine what is being asked, vote to close
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  • +1, Also add that some users (like the one mentioned here) ask several tightly related questions; receive an answer where it points them to self-learning (which doesn't answer their homework directly), and keep asking new questions (probably for each section of homework). Since the same 'answer' from the first question applies, maybe it should be closed as a dupe. – Chris S Jul 27 '10 at 17:12

I was about to ask a question on meta.superuser entitled "Is Super User a dumping ground for Server Fault?" And found that someone already asked "Is Super User a Stack Overflow Dumping Ground?"

So for now maybe I will just keep it here.... How extensive is this problem? Do we have any data?

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    I don't think we're as bad about it but it does happen. – Warner Jul 26 '10 at 21:15
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    Agreed, I don't think we're as bad as Stack Overflow, but we're getting there. As we get more and more 10k users the problem will increase though. – Mark Henderson Jul 26 '10 at 21:35
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    Interestingly... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4679/… – Mark Henderson Jul 26 '10 at 21:36
  • I agree with Warner and Farseeker; we don't dump nearly as badly as SO, but it happens (the above question is an obvious example). – Chris S Jul 27 '10 at 17:16

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