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TL;DR How can we stop people from suggesting that bad questions be re-asked on Stack Overflow?


Every so often, a new user asks a question that is more programming-related than security related. Then some of our users will comment that the question belongs on Stack Overflow. Such comments get upvotes, too.

The problem is that most of these questions are not a good fit for Stack Overflow at all. These questions tend to lack basic information about infrastructure, logs, an MCVE, or even a minimal show of research.

Encouraging new users to re-post such questions on Stack Overflow, is doing them a great disservice. First their question wasn't welcome on Security.SE. Then they are referred to Stack Overflow, where their question gets downvoted, closed and deleted. Nobody's happy in this scenario.

So the question is - how can we make our community more aware that re-posting or migration is only good for questions that already meet minimal quality requirements?

Maybe we could create a pro-forma comment, that explains to a new user what their question should include, before posting it on Stack Overflow?

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    (Sorry if the title wasn't clear enough, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to paraphrase Monty Python!) – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Apr 6 '17 at 13:48
  • I completely agree, but we (I) am not an expert in what would be acceptable in the various other SE sites. If we could solve that problem, we could provide the guidance that is required. Ideas? – schroeder Apr 6 '17 at 14:01
  • @schroeder I guess we could link the Help Center of these sites. What bugs me is that the new user may experience this as being sent a list of rules to obey - when all they want is a solution to their problem. (Trying to put myself in the feet of a new, unsuspecting user here). – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Apr 6 '17 at 14:10
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    I'd link the Help Center when ppl want to vote .... "Does it meet the requirements at X.SE?" – schroeder Apr 6 '17 at 14:12
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    As an avid reader of SO, I think they are over-zealous in sending any security-related questions here. Try asking anything PKI related there. Now, this is not a good reason to retaliate in kind... I think our focus should be on helping first, following rules and maintaining order second. RTFM, while sometimes warranted, is never helpful. – Kirill Sinitski Apr 6 '17 at 22:06
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    Questions for mods: When I see a really bad question with two or three votes for migration, should I flag it so you can stop the migration? Or would that be trying to over rule the community? @schroeder – Anders Apr 7 '17 at 12:35
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    @Anders it wouldn't be overruling if we are maintaining standards – schroeder Apr 7 '17 at 20:47
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Thansk for raising this issue! Talking about it here on Meta is a good first step.

In the long run, I think the only solution is to comment whenever someone suggests a bad migration (be it in a comment or through a close vote). I see no need for a stock comment - instead I think it is better to tailor one to the situation, explaining why the specific question is not on topic on SO.

When commenting, I feel no need to explain what improvements needs to be done for it to work on SO. Instead, I just explain why it is off topic there. The good people on SO have a hard time making people understand their quality standards - I don't think we would have any better luck. So I just warn them that the question will be closed there, to spare them the unpleassant surprise.

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    Ikarus? – julian Apr 8 '17 at 0:49
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    @SYS_V I'm impressed! Well spotted! Not Ikarus himself - his head is under water - but the farmer who continues to plough the earth. – Anders Apr 8 '17 at 5:48
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    When people suggest migrating/re-asking a bad question on SO, I usually comment that the question won't be welcome there. Last time, though, the question quickly disappeared - IIRC it was deleted by the hapless user and probably re-asked on SO. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Apr 10 '17 at 12:12

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