We are generally requested to not migrate crap.

Now that we're no longer meant to use the

Off Topic->Questions must be relevant to professional system administration ...

close reason as a method of putting down questions that may have a better home elsewhere but are too crappy to migrate what should we use in its stead ?

If we migrate them we're migrating crap and causing more work for $elsewhere and don't forget how upset we were by the good folks of SO's attempt to drown us ...

  • Following this: meta.serverfault.com/questions/5646/… and not VTCing them we could all end up with Reversal badges within a week.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 18:32
  • @TheCleaner - Well yeah. If anyone bothered to vote...
    – user62491
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 0:31
  • 2
    @kce -1 because you forgot to include the "*Except for Ward" footnote. Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 5:25
  • My observation: Closing questions as Off Topic leads to fewer wars than closing them as unclear, etc.
    – TRiG
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 15:28

3 Answers 3


Since when are we not supposed to use that close reason for questions that are both off-topic and crappy? I'm constantly clicking on questions while reviewing and downvoting them.

My personal belief (supported by the arguing about migration I see on meta.SO and other metas) is that in almost all cases, it's better to err on the side of closing in place. I think a better way to handle the one-in-a-million question that's an excellent fit for another site is to use the custom close reason and/or type in a comment. Put the onus on the asker to ask on a better site.

  • 2
    This is the reference I have for not using it as a close reason meta.serverfault.com/a/5917/9517
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 22:40
  • 1
    @Iain You listen to the voreteq guy? As if he knows anything... My understanding is that the main reason for the re-wording is that not all novice questions are non-professional. But almost by definition, home use questions are non-professional. Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 5:27
  • 1
    Given that sysadmin1138 nolonger seems to participate he's as good as it gets.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 8:25

We could probably just use the "minimal understanding" close reason. Many questions are "crap" because there's just not enough thought put into the question. As the close reason explains, it expects the asker to provide more specific information to salvage the thread.


TL;DR: Don't migrate crap. Use the "other" reason if none of the ones we have applies. If you're doing that all the time with the same basic comment post it on Meta and we'll bug the community team to give us a 4th bucket to throw shit in.

Server Fault currently has 3 custom close reasons -- my two cents on their applicability:

Questions must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved.

Generally intended for use when the OP is so clueless as to be unable to help us help them. "How do I set up Apache?", "What is a router?", "How is server formed?" and the like.
A lot of crappy questions fall into this bucket -- we could clarify the wording on this a bit.

(This is a close cousin of the standard Unclear what you're asking reason -- if it's not obvious the OP is clueless the standard reason should probably be used in preference to this one. I could even get behind retiring this reason in favor of something else and using "Unclear what you're asking" as the general clueless close reason.)

Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic

Self-Explanatory: "Which X should I buy?" isn't something we want to answer.

("What tools can I use to accomplish some well-defined goal" questions may or may not fall into this bucket. Certainly the ones that can be answered with a simple Google search don't belong here, but ones that require a creative combination of tools may escape the axe. There's some gray area for what is/isn't "shopping".)

Questions must be relevant to professional system administration.

For questions which, well, aren't relevant to professional system administration. ("My home media server shit itself. HALP!", "Excel won't open this document. HALP!", and other end-user technical support questions. Also "I'm a developer, how do I set up LAMP?" and the like where someone needs a professional sysadmin.)

Other (Leave a comment)

This is an underused close reason -- If a question sucks so much it needs to die but none of the reasons above fit, make up your own.
If you guys are making up the same reason all the time throw up a meta post and we can ask the community team for an additional (4th) close reason -- I'm sure the ones we have aren't adequate even after the work that went into them to date,

  • 2
    Whilst I too think this is the way to go it's too much effort to be bothered - hence it's current under utilisation.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 18:50
  • The "leave a comment" close path is definitely more work than most of us are willing to put into killing a question -- the only way to streamline it is creating custom close reasons for the common issues. (I'd do that myself, but I'm a terrible moderator and don't keep track of the close comments I write. I've got a feeling "We're not your vendor. Go call tech support you lazy git!" is my top custom close reason though.)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 18:53
  • 2
    If the pro-forma comments script were extended to include the leave a comment close path it would be easier but for now it's still easier to (ab)use the not relevant route.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 19:00

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