Do we and should we encourge cross posting questions? For example I found an interesting question with no good answers at Reddit and one at Seclists, and I posted them here.

Nealmcb made some statements in the first question in the list:

  • Can you clarify the legal and ethical aspects of copying this? E.g. is the original your question? copyrighted? licensed?
  • Do we encourage cross-posting?

Questions from cross posting:

3 Answers 3


There are two issues here, as I see it

  1. Duplication of a question across the Stack Exchange network: asking the same question on multiple Stack Exchange sites.

    This is strongly discouraged and often considered grounds for account suspension. It can be OK to ask a question of different Stack Exchange sites, but you MUST tailor the question to the specific audience on a given site. You can also delete your question (assuming it has not gotten traction) and re-ask it elsewhere.

  2. Duplication of a question across the broader internet: asking the same question on multiple unrelated websites or mailing lists or what have you.

    I think this is absolutely fine, with one caveat – if you ask a question in multiple places, you have a civil and moral obligation to keep your question up to date in all the places you asked it. It is not fair to us (or to other communities on the internet..) to get an answer in place 1 of 5 that you asked and abandon the other 4 places. The proper thing to do as a citizen of the internet is update ALL the places you asked with the final answer, so everyone can benefit and as a way of "paying it forward" to reciprocate the effort those 5 communities spent on your question trying to help you.

  • Also, it would be nice to link to other places you asked a similar or identical question. Jun 28, 2011 at 23:24

Personally I prefer migration. I often comment on questions that are relevant to us but get posted at stackoverflow or programmers.se, which often leads to duplication but of course the mods there have the option to migrate, then we can merge the dupes at our end.

Of course, migration from digg, slashdot and friends is not possible because the remote end doesn't understand the protocol. In these cases, we should combine duplication with giving better answers so that the community realises they should come here for security discussion.

One final point: blithely copying any old security question from reddit is not something I'd recommend. Stackexchange works best when we have good quality questions that are consistent with the FAQ guidance, and if you post a random question from the inter webs without understanding its context we may require additional clarification that you can't provide.


I mostly agree with @Graham, except for one (sort of) point - sometimes (not often) there will be a single larger question, for which you may want several different viewpoints, e.g. for a system architecture question you may be asking on SO for implementation, SU for sysadmin/operational PoV, and of course here for security aspects.
In that case, it could be okay to crosspost, but mainly because it's not really the same question, even if you would be copypasting 80% of it.

  • 1
    Still, link each question to the other incarnations. Jun 28, 2011 at 23:25

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