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Migration is a nice feature but I am starting to get annoyed by the bad migrated questions we are receiving. I haven't counted but my feeling is that the majority of migrated questions to cstheory are problematic. Here is a recent case:

2 partition problem with equal cardinality is migrated while OP had already posted the same question here .

Moderators on other SE sites don't necessarily understand what is an appropriate question on cstheory and this makes their decisions problematic. An ideal person for making the decision to migrate a question is someone who is an active high reputation user on both sites not just the sending site, but right now this is not the case.

I think that the decision about migrating a question should be made by both sides not just the sending site. We should be able to vet questions before they are migrated to cstheory, for example when a moderator on a sending site migrates a questions it should not become migrated at once but should become a possible migratable question on the receiving site visible only to moderators and high reputation users (say +2K) for a limited time (say one week) and if it receives enough migration votes on the receiving site or if a moderator on the receiving site decides that it is on-topic and suitable for the site then the migration is completed.

Another possibility is to allow high reputation users vote to unmigrate a migrated question back to the original site (with a note to the migrating moderator about it so they will be more careful in their feature migration decisions).

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe a short description of the receiving site's scope/topic could also be shown to the migrator before he/she confirms the migration. $\endgroup$ – Mathieu Chapelle Feb 2 '11 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Mathieu: I believe that a short description of the target is already shown when a moderator is choosing to migrate, but the “short description” is too short: in our case, it is “Q&A site for theoretical computer scientists and researchers in related fields.” $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Feb 2 '11 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ The question 4644 was not migrated. Did you mean to link to 4700? The question 4700 is a unique case because it is not inappropriate on our site by itself but it is inappropriate because the asker had already posted the same question (4644) on our site. $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Feb 2 '11 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Tsuyoshi: yes, thanks, I meant that one. I agree, it is kind of special in some sense but I think the main problem is the same, the migrating moderator on SO didn't know something about cstheory because of not being active here. What I am saying is that these decisions should not be made solely by the sending site. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 2 '11 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Mathieu Chapelle, I think you have a good point there. Ideally it should also show the information shown when posting a question, e.g. the list of similar question on the site. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 2 '11 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ Before we start our own discussion, it would be helpful to note the parallel discussions on meta.SO. This link (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75523/…) is closed, but contains links to other discussiosn on the topic. Bottom line: no consensus yet on what to do $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Feb 2 '11 at 17:45
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I was looking into this a bit more, and realized this: this is not an invalid migration ! The proof is that the question this was deemed a duplicate of is still around and generated some discussion of its own. The OP can be faulted for crossposting on SO and here at the same time, but the moderators on SO can't be blamed for migrating this here - in fact, it is in scope for cstheory.

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Each StackExchange site should have a Migration FAQ. For us, this would be a summary of selected answers in our FAQ, namely those dealing with what is on- and what is off-topic. It should not be longer than half a dozen one-liners.

Before a migration vote can be made, the target site's Migration FAQ pops up with a button to actually vote below it (similar to license crap). This directly educates the migrator under the assumption that he cares (hopefully valid) and prevents a nasty bounce to happen.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, Mathieu has had the same thought in the meanwhile. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Feb 2 '11 at 12:27
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It's important to note that the migration you are describing can only be performed by a diamond moderator.

(We only unlock regular 3k user close migration paths based on real world frequency.)

Thus, every migration you see is a direct result of THAT SPECIFIC diamond moderator making the decision, for whatever reason. I highly suggest reaching out to that moderator or emailing Robert about it.

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    $\begingroup$ "(We only unlock regular 3k user close migration paths based on real world frequency.)" -- I do not understand this sentence. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Feb 8 '11 at 17:52
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I wanted to contribute this question to this discussion - it's definitely borderline at best as "research-level", and it would be on topic for a general CS non-research-level site (it's not, strictly speaking, math, so I doubt math.SE would welcome it either), but as it is it's a bit orphaned within stackexchange.

However, putting the boilerplate "Welcome to cstheory..." on such a question and downvoting may not be terribly helpful - I dislike the outcome SO punting something to us, where we kill it. I think I'd specifically like to suggest that we cut SO migrated questions (that can be answered) a little bit of slack, and try to work with the SO moderators (I don't know how...) to make sure that doesn't happen too much.

As Suresh says, the example in this original post was actually kind of successful (it was on topic and the migration-repost generated more discussion), so this might be a better example of a less-than-desirable migration.

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    $\begingroup$ Rob, when the moderators on other sites migrate questions that are off-topic for cstheory I flag the original question on the other site explaining that it is not suitable for cstheory. We can also mention it directly in chat to other moderators but I think flagging is usually enough. We haven't got that many off-topic questions migrated to cstheory recently. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 25 '11 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Neat, Kaveh, I didn't know it was possible for you godlike moderators to do that. $\endgroup$ – Rob Simmons Nov 26 '11 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ :) no, it is not a mod power, it is simply the normal flagging on the original site. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 26 '11 at 6:30

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